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Sources Sought Special Notice - ARC Fabrication, Integration, Machining and Inspection of Aerospace Composite Materials

General Information

Document Type:SRCSGT
Posted Date:Aug 07, 2017
Category: Architect and Engineering Services - Construction
Set Aside:N/A

Contracting Office Address

NASA/Ames Research Center, JA:M/S 241-1, Moffett Field, California, 94035-1000


This is Sources Sought Special Notice NNA17HEEET-L to seek partners specifically interested in developing competitive proposals in response to the recent NASA New Frontiers 4 (NF-4) call for proposals. Under this Sources Sought notice, NASA is seeking industry partners to enable revolutionary (game-changing) improvements to the efficiency and effectiveness of our countrys space capability. Specifically, sources are being sought for the structural assembly, integration, and testing of the NASA developed Heatshield for Extreme Entry Environments Technology (HEEET) Thermal Protection System. The NF-4 Announcement of Opportunity is a two-step process, with the first proposal response being primarily focused on the scientific merit and technical feasibility of the proposed mission and its associated scientific investigation. The initial submissions will then be down-selected in the November, 2017 timeframe after formal peer review, and the resultant subset of proposals will perform Phase A mission concept studies. During Phase A, proposals will be expanded and refined to detail the entire end-to-end mission life cycle concept, with greater attention to engineering implementation, cost, and schedule, with an anticipated Concept Study Report target due date in December, 2018. The HEEET Integration requires the manufacture of composite sub-assembly structural frames, installation of GFE supplied HEEET Acreage Tiles, machining to prepare the final shape and mill the channels for the HEEET Gap Filler material, the bonding and subsequent curing of the assembly in an autoclave capable of 350 degree F curing. The assembly can be as large as 3 meters. ARC is interested in partners that have the experience and in-house capabilities to: 1) Acquire and store the raw materials for composite aerospace components; 2) Build, assemble, and test the carrier composite structure up to 3 meter diameter; 3) Integrate composite aerospace subcomponents into large scale components forming the completed Entry System Assembly up to 3 meter diameter; 4) Machine large-scale composite aerospace subcomponents and components to exacting specifications necessary to meet aerodynamic performance requirements; 5) Perform Non-Destructive Evaluation (NDE) of fabricated composite aerospace components to insure structural and manufacturing integrity. Information is sought on potential partners that can provide all hardware necessary to implement proposed research activities or technology demonstration units. Responses to this Sources Sought notice must be submitted no later than Friday September 8, 2017 for consideration in the current opportunity. Responses to this notice may also be considered for evaluation with regard to future opportunities at ARC. Responses to this notice shall be submitted by email only to marianne.shelley@nasa.gov. Please include NNA17HEEET-L in the subject line of the email. Responses shall: 1) Not exceed 15 pages total; 2) Use an Arial font text with a size not smaller than 12 point; 3) Address all requirements listed below; and 4) Provide a Point of Contact to address technical and contractual questions from NASA. Participation in this partnering opportunity is open to all categories of U.S. organizations, including educational institutions, industry, not-for-profit institutions, as well as NASA Centers and other U.S. Government Agencies. Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Other Minority Universities (OMUs), small disadvantaged businesses (SDBs), veteran-owned small businesses, service disabled veteran-owned small businesses, HUBzone small businesses, and women-owned small businesses (WOSBs) are encouraged to submit responses. Responders should, at a minimum, address their experience with the following: Material Lot Purchasing - The contractor will be responsible for procuring raw materials or overseeing the sub-contracts for the fabrication of NASA specified sub-components by NASA selected vendors. The contractor will be responsible for all activities required from procurement, to management of specifications, non-conformances, shipping and receiving of materials between sub-contractors as well as testing or other development actives. Limited-Life Items - The contractor shall identify, procure, and manage limited-life items. Limited-life items include all materials that are subject to degradation because of limited shelf life or freezer out-time. The contractor must demonstrate the ability to store, track usage and manage qualification/certification of any and all potential limited life items required by NASA. Process Specifications - In all cases where hardware deliverables reference process specifications, compliance with those specifications is mandatory. Upon selection, NASA will provide all existing performance requirements, process, material, and inspection specifications for the specific work required. The contractor shall perform design, analysis, fabrication, and inspection of any additional tooling and or new processes required to produce the deliverables required by NASA. The contractor shall perform complete process and tooling validation concurrently with NASA ARC to finalize all manufacturing process details (beyond that contained in the supplied process specifications) or to resolve any discrepancies between test specimen and/or part design and the specified technical drawings that will be provided by NASA at contract award. Tool Fabrication - Upon selection, NASA will provide the contractor with any and all existing tool designs relevant to the required deliverables. In the event that a specific design is missing, the contractor will be responsible for the design, development and fabrication of all items required to manufacture all hardware deliverables to NASA. The vendor shall provide process documentation, all tooling drawings, procurement plan required to fabricate all piece parts associated with this task. The vendor may identify additional or different tooling depending on manufacturing process methodology chosen during development. Tooling design shall be reviewed with NASA prior to manufacturing; NASA shall be responsible for accepting tooling design. Describe the vendor capability to design or procure any potential tooling that may be required to manufacture all hardware deliverables to NASA. Composite Sub-Component / Component Integration - The contractor will be responsible for the integration of aerospace composite sub-components into large-scale components that may be as large as 3-meter diameter & 2-meters tall. The processing of large-scale composite components will require the vendor to use an autoclave capable of at least 100 psi overpressure at temperatures of least 350F. Describe the actual facilities and equipment that will be used to perform all sub-component and component integration. Composite Sub-component / Component Machining - The contractor will be responsible for the dry surface machining and/or channel routing of coupons, sectional units, parts, sub-assemblies, and the full-scale aerospace articles that may be as large as 3m diameter. Describe the actual facilities and equipment that will be used to perform these machining operations and any current limitations on available infrastructure. Include a discussion of inspection at each step of the machining sequence. Non-Destructive Testing - The contractor may be responsible for the Non-Destructive (most likely X-Ray CT) Evaluation for the inspection of coupons, sectional units, parts, sub-assemblies, and the full-scale aerospace articles that may be as large as 3 meters diameter. Describe the facilities and equipment that will (or external vendor that could) be used to perform these acceptance tests (prior to delivery) and any current limitations on available infrastructure. Nonconformance - The contractor will be required to implement a nonconformance control system that documents, segregates, and dispositions any material or product that does not conform to the requirements of the applicable drawing, specification, or contract. Any nonconformance (discrepancy), regardless of nature or where discovered, will need to be documented. Describe what system would be utilized to document, disposition and inform NASA of any nonconforming material/component. Quality Management System - The contractor will be required to utilize product assurance efforts sufficient to assure the delivered product meets all contractual requirements. The contractors Quality Management System compliance to AS9100 is strongly recommended. Briefly describe what QA plan that would be utilized, and define general polices, controls, procedures, and approaches to be followed in implementing all Tasks and the contractors typical aerospace part end-item-data-package. Management and Reporting - The contractor shall establish and maintain management operations that shall include the following areas: • Reviews and Meetings • Subcontractor Control • Schedule and Financial Management • Engineering and Manufacturing Data Management Describe the actual system that will be used for the management of a US Government contract including the accountability for subcontractors and subcontractor tasks. Government Property and ITAR Restrictions - Respondents must be able to handle ITAR content and materials. Respondents must also have certified systems for managing and tracking any Government Furnished Equipment (GFE). In addition to a technical response, ARC is soliciting comments and suggestions on contracting approaches to this effort that will enhance competition and provide business opportunities (not included in the 15 page limit for technical response). Therefore, we are requesting feedback in the following areas for consideration during acquisition planning: 1. For businesses that cannot perform the entire scope of effort described in the RFI, indicate what portion(s) of this scope your company could perform. 2. Does the selection of NAICS code 541330 Engineering Services with size standard $15M) seem appropriate? If not, what alternative NAICS code do you suggest, and why? 3. Please comment on what type of contract (firm fixed price vs. cost reimbursement) provides the best approach for this type of work. 4. Please advise if the requirement is considered to be a commercial or commercial-type product. A commercial item is defined in FAR 2.101. RFI Response Instructions The respondent shall: 1. Describe your teams experience in similar applications. 2. Identify available design and modeling capabilities required to support development. 3. Identify fabrication and testing facilities that will be required to support development and test. 4. Identify which missions you have successfully supported in this capacity and provide a customer reference POC. 5. Provide information on recent similar efforts designed and delivered, and how that experience is applicable to the mission. Basic information on scope of work, and how well the effort met requirements (technical, cost, and schedule). 6. Provide a Rough Order of Magnitude (ROM) cost estimate and timeline for the scope of the design, fabrication, and testing. This ROM will not be considered a binding commitment, but will serve as a consideration during the partnership evaluation. Due to the rigid cost cap for New Frontiers missions, the cost will be an important consideration. 7. The mission is cost sensitive; list ideas and methods of keeping costs low and the risk of cost growth. Please also include the following information about your company/ organization: 8. Name and address of organization 9. POCs phone, address, website, e-mail address, and phone number. 10. Size of business 11. Number of employees 12. Average annual revenue for past 3 years 13. Ownership-whether the company is large, small, disadvantaged, 8(a), HUBZone, and/or woman-owned & whether the company is U.S. or internationally-owned. 14. Affiliate information: parent company (US or International), joint venture partners potential teaming partners (prime contractor (if potential prime), list of customers covering the past five years (highlight relevant work performed & POC & phone number. 15. Answers to the relevant questions listed above, and a list of relevant partners/customers over the past 5 years highlighting work performed. 16. Type of partnership proposed Potential respondents are asked to contact ARC as soon as possible after release of this document with a Notice Of Interest. This contact does not create an obligation to respond to the Sources Sought, but allows ARC to disseminate more details on the parameters of the effort being considered and provide answers to questions from potential partners. All Notice of Interest respondents will receive further details on the mission that will facilitate a focused response. These details will be proprietary and competition sensitive and not to be shared outside the teams necessary to prepare a full response. All questions and answers will be sent to those who respond to the Notice of Interest, while the source of the questions shall be held confidential. Questions and answers that contain information unique to a respondents proprietary approach will not be shared if they are identified as such. Responses to this notice may also be considered for evaluation with regard to future opportunities at ARC, if responders so indicate. Similarly, organizations that submitted responses previously to other Sources Sought Special Notices may request that their response be re-evaluated for this opportunity. In that case, please email marianne.shelley@nasa.gov and indicate when the response was submitted previously and to what email address. This ARC partnering opportunity does not guarantee selection for award of any contracts or other agreements, nor is it to be construed as a commitment by NASA to pay for the information solicited. The proposal partner(s), if selected, will provide the necessary resources to support proposal development, at no cost to NASA, including technical requirements, conceptual designs, technical data, proposal input, project schedules, and cost estimates by the required due dates. Final proposal inputs will be due to ARC prior to the final due date as determined by ARCs proposal development team. Inability to adequately support proposal development will result in the partner being dropped from the proposal. If the proposal is subsequently selected by NASA, ARC anticipates negotiation of contracts or other agreements to the selected partner(s) for performance of the proposed tasks. Potential partners may submit their responses to this notice by email to the POC listed at any time. However, ARC reserves the right to complete its evaluation of responses in a time frame necessary to support timely submission of the ARC proposal to a particular opportunity. Responses to this notice will serve as the basis for selection of proposal partners. Additional information may be requested to help in the selection process. ARC reserves the right to hold optional oral presentations, site visits, meetings or written email exchanges with potential proposal partners to obtain additional information or clarifications about their capability. Oral presentations will have a specified period of time to present and for questions and answers. Responses to this notice will not be returned. All responders to this notice should be aware that NASA support service contractors may have access to their responses to this notice and proposal information. All information received in response to this notice that is marked "Proprietary" will be handled and protected accordingly. NASA support service contractors are under an obligation to keep third-party proprietary information in confidence. By submitting a response to this notice, the responder is deemed to have consented to release of proprietary information to such NASA support service contractors. This synopsis is for information and planning purposes and is not to be construed as a commitment by the Government, nor will the Government pay for information solicited. Submitted responses will be maintained for possible future opportunities for 1 year after receipt. Questions regarding this notice may be directed to Marianne.Shelley@nasa.gov.

Original Point of Contact

POC Marianne Shelley, Phone: 6506044179

Place of Performance

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