NASA RFI Seeking Potential Interest and Use of Langley Research Center Unique Capabilities in Structures and Materials

Synopsis - Feb 23, 2012

General Information

Solicitation Number: RFI-LARC-RLC-01
Posted Date: Feb 23, 2012
FedBizOpps Posted Date: Feb 23, 2012
Recovery and Reinvestment Act Action: No
Original Response Date: Mar 23, 2012
Current Response Date: Mar 23, 2012
Classification Code: A -- Research and Development
NAICS Code: 541712

Contracting Office Address

NASA/Langley Research Center, Mail Stop 12, Industry Assistance Office, Hampton, VA 23681-0001




NASA Langley Research Center (LaRC) seeks to enhance the use of the Center's distinctive lab and facility capabilities to support government and commercial aerospace activities. We believe the extraordinary resources available at NASA Langley, including facilities, labs and human capital, can be of great benefit to the nation and enhance technology development and infusion. The purpose of this RFI is to engage partners in dialogue leading to collaborative R&D efforts that enhance utilization of NASA Langley capabilities by industry, universities and other government agencies. The expectation is that NASA LaRC will be reimbursed for all costs incurred. Our first step in accomplishing this purpose will be to assess interest regarding the LaRC labs and facilities that have the greatest opportunities to expand partnerships, customer base and economic opportunities consistent with the NASA mission. We seek responses from organizations outlining potential collaborative efforts on a reimbursable basis to utilize the Center expertise, labs and facilities, hereafter referred to as "capabilities" in the area of Structures and Materials. It is this area of R&D where Langley leads NASA efforts in its various mission areas, especially in development of advanced aircraft and space systems and vehicles. This capability has broad application within the aerospace industry, but also potentially in many other areas of commerce.

2-UNIQUE NASA CAPABILITIES Langley's Structures and Materials capabilities include a full range of aerospace materials and structures research and development activities. These capabilities include: -developing game changing new materials at the molecular level; -research into understanding the material properties; - integration of those materials into novel new structural designs such as inflatable structures; - design of subsystems and complete systems for aircraft and space flight vehicles; -research and development of new advanced manufacturing techniques; - rapid prototyping and fabrication of components and systems for aircraft and spaceflight vehicles; -structural, thermal vacuum and environmental testing of those components and vehicles; -development of tools and techniques such as methods for advanced nondestructive evaluation and health monitoring of flight systems during missions.

The core capabilities/competencies managed at the Center that are essential to Structures and Materials are:

2.1. Advanced materials synthesis and processing - the full range of materials development, from developing revolutionary new multifunctional materials with superior properties to developing and employing new high tech manufacturing capabilities 2.2. Analytical and computational methods - advanced new capabilities to design and analyze materials and structures 2.3. Concept behavior, durability, damage tolerance, and validation - developing new structural concepts, understanding structural mechanics and material properties through analysis and testing 2.4. Nondestructive evaluation and health monitoring sensors - developing new techniques for diagnostics and prognostics for aerospace systems and components through noninvasive measurement techniques and physics-based models of measurement methodologies) 2.5. Structural, impact, and landing dynamics - loads and dynamics of aerospace systems from launch/takeoff to landing 2.6. Aeroelasticity and unsteady aerodynamics - understanding the inflight effects of air flow on the structural aerospace systems 2.7. Systems engineering and Integration (SE&I) - All aspects of SE&I such as requirements definition, design, structural and thermal analysis, fabrication, integration, and environmental testing for ground and flight validation of advanced technologies and vehicle systems.

Major physical assets and equipment required to provide Structures and Materials core capabilities and services to meet mission requirements are:

James H. Starnes Structures and Material Lab Materials Research Lab Thermal Structure Lab Subscale Impact Dynamics Lab Structural Dynamics Lab Landing and Impact Research (LandIR) Facility Combined Loads Test System (COLTS) Facility Nondestructive Evaluation Sciences Labs Multiparameter Lab Light Alloy Lab Composites Processing Lab Composites and Polymer Lab Environmental Test Facilities (Clean Rooms, Thermal-Vac Chambers, Vibration Tables, and Electromagnetic Interference and Compatibility) Fabrication Facilities Mid Range Computing Facilities

More details of each Structures and Material Capability are described in the "NASA Langley Research Center Capabilities of Structures, Materials, and Non-Destructive Evaluation Facilities and Laboratories" documents which are available at

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Our intent is to engage with potential partners to make available, on a reimbursable basis, NASA LaRC's facilities and expert NASA Science and Engineering staff to collaboratively conduct work. We will jointly define potential R&D efforts, develop mutually agreed to statements of work, cost, and schedule as defined in a reimbursable Space Act Agreement (SAA). See Section 4 for a description of Space Act Agreements". We anticipate some respondents may be interested in only one area or sub-area while others may be interested in broad efforts requiring more than one capability. Some organizations may want to partner because of their direct needs, or there may be respondents who wish to utilize LaRC support to meet needs of third parties. Such activities can be accommodated utilizing the SAA vehicle, either for a single project (SAA) or for a group of projects (umbrella SAA), consistent with the NASA mission Based on the type and quality of responses, NASA Langley expects to engage selected organization(s) in further discussions regarding expanded partnerships, customer base and economic opportunities consistent with the NASA mission. Although no site visits are currently planned, LaRC may consider scheduling a site visit to NASA LaRC Structures and Materials related labs and facilities to foster additional dialog pertaining to any proposed partnerships.

3-INFORMATION REQUESTED FROM RESPONDENTS Given the description of capabilities defined in the area of Structures and Materials, we are seeking information on potential partnership opportunities. As expressed earlier, we anticipate a range of responses from limited use to extensive use, and short duration to long term use of NASA facilities and staff. In either case, please provide summaries of your interest(s), assuming details would be further refined through discussions with NASA managers/technical staff. Interested parties shall submit statements of interest electronically, via e-mail, to the RFI General Point of Contact (POC) listed below. The statement of interest should not exceed two (2) pages. Responses should use a minimum font size of 12. To facilitate a prompt review, the statement of interest should clearly identify the specific LaRC capability of interest and the following four (4) elements: 1. Provide a summary of your proposed R&D effort, including areas of capability needed. 2. Outline the responsibilities of each party (NASA and partners). If you are proposing a broad use or long term use of capabilities, or work to satisfy third party needs, describe the volume of work (work years) expected and for whom, if 3rd parties are involved. If multiple projects are proposed, estimate the work volume per project (work years) and the number of projects per year. 3. Provide your desired schedule in terms of start date and duration of work. 4. Identify that you are a U.S. domestic entity. If not, identify the country in which your company or organization is incorporated or legally formed or organized.

4- NASA's REIMBURSABLE AGREEMENTS PROCESS Under the authority of the National Aeronautics and Space Act (Space Act), 51 USC S20113(e), NASA is authorized to enter into and perform "contracts, leases cooperative agreements or other transactions necessary in the conduct of its work ... on such terms as it deems appropriate". NASA engages in reimbursable work using Space Act Agreements (SAAs). This authority is implemented by NASA Policy Directive (NPD) 1050.1 (available at " ") , "Authority to Enter into Space Act Agreements", which identifies organizational responsibilities, mandatory legal provisions, delegation of signatory authority and other requirements. It can be found on the NASA website. In addition, NASA Advisory Implementing Instruction (NAII) 1050.1, "Space Act Agreement Guide" (available at " ", contains detailed instructions and clauses to be used in various types of SAAs, depending on the type of partner entering into the agreement with NASA, and the work to be performed. It also is located on the NASA website. Generally, work under an SAA needs to align with the NASA mission unless the facilities being used are underutilized NASA resources. In those cases NASA goods, services and facilities that are not being fully used to accomplish mission requirements may be used by private firms. However, such use is subordinate to NASA mission work, but that can usually be accommodated through scheduling. In addition, it is Government policy that any private use of NASA resources will not compete with reasonably available U.S. private sector resources. Work is performed on a "reasonable efforts" basis. Each agreement will contain clear milestones, have defined financial commitments, allocate intellectual property rights and address liability and risk of loss, as well as containing a dispute resolution mechanism and a fixed end date for the SAA. Agreements generally cannot exceed five years in duration. They may be single undertakings covering a specific task, or they may be Umbrella Agreements which spell out the terms that will apply to Annexes. Annexes address specific tasks to be performed that are within the scope of the Umbrella SAA.If you desire to utilize NASA resources on a reimbursable basis, NASA assigns a point of contact to understand the work to be performed and the schedule. NASA will generate an estimate of the cost to be reimbursed, which is included in the SAA. Payments are made in advance of work because NASA cannot perform reimbursable work in advance of funding. The point of contact will generate the SAA document which will be provided to the partner for its review and comment. Once agreement is reached, the agreement is signed by authorized personnel for NASA and the partner. An agreements manager at LaRC retains the executed document for NASA's records, and the partner also retains a copy. 5- ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: No solicitation exists; therefore, do not request a copy of the solicitation. The purpose of this RFI is to determine industry's level of interest in the LaRC capabilities addressed above. Additional information, if forthcoming, will be synopsized in the NASA Acquisition Internet Service (NAIS) and FedBizOps. It is the responsibility of potential users to monitor NAIS for the release of any additional information or synopsis. This RFI is not to be construed as a commitment by the Government nor will the Government pay for any information solicited. Since this is a RFI, no evaluation letters and/or results will be issued to the respondents.

6- RESPONSE DATE: Responses are required no later than COB on the response date specified above. Information received after this date will only be considered if deemed in the Government's best interest. Please reference this RFI, "RFI-LARC-RLC-01", in any response. Respondents are cautioned to mark any information confidential if it is to be treated as proprietary. All electronic responses should be sent to the RFI POC, identified below, with the message line "Response to RFI-LARC-RLC-01."

7- Points of Contact

Questions of a general nature should be directed to Richard Siebels. Questions related to Reimbursable rates or financial questions should be directed to Michelle Cohoon-Lawson. Questions of a technical nature should be directed to Mike Marcolini.

RFI General Point of Contact:

Richard J. Siebels
RFI Financial/Reimbursable Point of Contact:

Michelle Cohoon-Lawson
RFI Technical Point of Contact:

Point of Contact

Name: Richard J. Siebels
Title: Contracting Officer
Phone: 757-864-2418
Fax: 757-864-6131

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