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General Information

Document Type:SNOTE
Posted Date:Aug 23, 2017
Category: Research and Development
Set Aside:N/A

Contracting Office Address

NASA/George C. Marshall Space Flight Center, Office of Procurement, Marshall Space Flight Center, Alabama, 35812, United States


1. SUMMARY The Centennial Challenges Program is NASAs flagship program for technology prize competitions (www.nasa.gov/challenges). The program is an integral part of NASAs Space Technology Mission Directorate, which is innovating, developing, testing, and flying hardware for use in NASAs future missions. The Centennial Challenges Program directly engages the public, academia, and industry in open prize competitions to stimulate innovation in technologies that have benefit to NASA and the nation. For more information about NASAs Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD), (http://www.nasa.gov/spacetech). The Centennial Challenges program is seeking input on the 3D-Printed Habitat challenge Phase 3 proposed to start in 2017. The 3D-Printed Habitat Challenge seeks to develop the fundamental technologies necessary to manufacture an off-world habitat using local indigenous and/or mission recycled materials. The vision includes autonomous habitat construction machines deployed to planetary surfaces to construct shelters for human habitation. This RFI seeks: (1) to gather feedback on the competition being considered, including the challenge goal, prize amounts, and competition structure (including parameters and evaluation criteria); (2) to determine the interest level in potentially competing in this challenge; and (3) potential partners for the Allied Organization to help administer the challenge. Specific information sought is detailed in Sections 5. Responses should be submitted in Adobe PDF or Microsoft Word format and are limited to five (5) pages in length. Responses should include (as applicable): name, address, email address, and phone number of the respondent, business, or organization, with point of contact for business or organization. Comments must be submitted no later than 11:59 pm Eastern Time on September 25, 2017, to Mr. Tony Kim at e-mail address: HQ-STMD-CentennialChallenges@mail.nasa.gov. Please use "3D-Printed Habitat Phase 3 Challenge RFI" on the subject line. NASA welcomes all segments of innovators, enthusiasts, industry, academia, and government; including associations to reply to this RFI. This RFI is for informational/planning purposes only and the Government will not be responsible for any cost associated with preparing information in support of this RFI. This RFI is NOT to be construed as a commitment by the government to enter into any agreement or other obligation or to conduct a 3D-Printed Habitat Challenge. This notice is issued in accordance with the NASA Prize Authority, 51 U.S.C. § 20144. Responses may be made available for public review and should not include proprietary information. Submitted information will be shared within NASA and with contractor personnel associated with the NASA Centennial Challenges Program. All responses are to be for general access by government reviewers. For general information on the NASA Centennial Challenges Program see: http://www.nasa.gov/challenges. The point of contact is Ms. Monsi Roman, Program Manager, Centennial Challenges Program, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center. 2. BACKGROUND NASA is considering the 3rd Phase of the 3D-Printed Habitat challenge to incentivize and foster the development and demonstration of new techynologies necessary to autonomously and additively construct a habitat using indigenous and recycled materials. During the Phase 1 Design Competition, we were introduced to our (fictional) NASA crew of four, who have been chosen for their grit, grace and intellect to be the first humans ever to build a sustainable presence on a planetary surface. As they prepare for their journey, they must undergoing a training program wherein they will reside in approximately 93 m2 (1000 ft2) of minimal living space for 1 year. The Design Competition called on participants to develop state-of-the-art architectural concepts that took advantage of the unique capabilities 3D printing offers. During the Phase 2 Structural Member Competition, the competition focused on the core 3D-Printing fabrication technologies and material properties needed to manufacture structural components from indigenous materials combined with recyclables, or indigenous materials alone. The Phase 3 On-Site Habitat Competition is now being planned for announcement in October 2017. Phase 3 will include elements from Phase 1 Design and Phase 2 Structural Member competition and come together for a 3D-Printed Habitat focused primarily on automation and technologies useful for construction. This competition will start in 2018 and finish in 2019. The competition will be tiered in 3 levels and the total prize purse will be $1.7 million. 3. CHALLENGE DESCRIPTION This 3D-Printed Habitat Challenge is currently contemplated as a six tiered challenge that would provide opportunities to evaluate a wide range of innovative methods to develop a continuous feed autonomous 3D-Print System that can construct a habitat with robotic placement of pre-fabricated doors, windows, hatches. This challenge would seek to engage the construction community, maker community, scientific community, aerospace industries, educational institutions, and amateurs to provide solutions. The Challenge would award prizes for successful demonstration of a 3D-Print System capable of fabricating a habitat as well as for exceptional 4D simulations of habitat designs. The Level 1 Foundation Test Competition is the first of the physical sub-competitions within the overall Habitat Competition. For Level 1, teams will additively construct a foundation system measuring 2 m by 3 m and 200 mm maximum thickness. A sample of this foundation material will undergo durability testing at a certified test lab per ASTM C666 durability test for foundations. The foundation will also be evaluated for levelness and roughness. This competition will occur at the competitors facility and data will be submitted for judges evaluation. The Level 2 3D Model competition is to develop a 3D digital model of the proposed Martian habitat and should be prepared using any available computer modeling software. This Building Information Model (BIM) shall be for a habitat that will provide space for four astronauts to live for one year. It shall have at least 93 m2 of living space with a minimum ceiling height of 2.25 m. The interior space programing shall include sleeping, eating/meal preparation, sanitation, recreation, laboratory/work area, communication, as well as mechanical, electrical, plumbing (MEP) and environmental control and life support system (ECLSS) equipment. The exterior surface of the habitat shall as a minimum include various penetration such as a suit hatch, view port, equipment hatch, and communication-power-instrumentation penetrations. These Building Information Models (BIMs) of the habitat shall be subjected to a "model review" by the judges at the 60% and 100% complete stages. For this challenge a 60% complete model shall have MEP and ECLSS design progressed to Level of Development (LOD) 100, and the structural and pressure retaining walls and components design progress to LOD 300. For the 100% model review the MEP and ECLSS shall be at LOD 200 and the structural pressure retaining components shall be at LOD 400. Level of Development shall be judged based on the publicly available guidelines provided by the BIM Forum http://bimforum.org/lod/. Each team shall host their model reviews on-line to the judges. A miniature 3D Printed Model (8x8x8 in) using the computer model on a commercially available 3D Printer must be submitted. Competitors can compete in the 3D design competition only and not Level 1, 3, 5, and 6; however, teams competing in Level 1, 3, 5, and 6 must compete in the 3D & 4D model competitions. The Level 3 Hydrostatic Test Competition is the second of the physical sub-competitions. For Level 3, teams will print a reduced-scale habitat element such as a cylinder (2 m diameter and 1.5 m tall) with an interor wall on a printed foundation and subject it to hydrostatic testing. In the process of printing, 2 circular capped pipes (12" and 1.5") will be autonomously positioned at specified locations. The placement of these pipes will simulate autonomous placement of doors, hatches, windows, and/or piping needed for a crew habitat on Mars. The seal between the joints (foundation to wall to pipes) will be stressed with a hydrostatic test where the cylinder will be filled with water and the leakage measured. Ultimately, an atmospheric leak proof joint is desired and the teams are encouraged to develop innovative ways to autonomously accomplish this task. Teams will be able to obtain bonus points for printing an optional roof on top quarter of the structure. This competition will occur at the competitors facility and data will be submitted for judges evaluation. The Level 4 4D Model competition is to develop a 4D simulation of construction of the 100% complete BIM of the habitat should be prepared using any available software. The team is responsible for the interface between the 3D modeling software and the 4D construction simulation software. The 4D simulation shall include a realistic sequence of construction and all major construction equipment showing range of motion and movement of the equipment during construction. The movement of building material including feedstock for printing of structural components, hatches and penetration, major MEP and ECLSS components, etc. shall be modeled as appropriate. Each team shall host a model review of their 4D simulation. A miniature 3D Printed Model (8x8x8 in) using the computer model on a commercially available 3D Printer must be submitted. Competitors can compete in the 4D design competition only and not other levels; however, teams competing in the Level 1, 3, 5, and 6 Levels must compete in the 3D & 4D model competitions. The Level 5 Habitat Construction competition comprises the third of the physical sub-competitions within the overall phase 3 competition. For Level 3, teams will push their autonomous 3D-Print System to fully construct a complete Mars human habitat structure. Each Team shall 3D-print a sub-scale habitat with a footprint of at least 9.3 m2 area and a height of 2.25 m onsite at the competition facility. Teams will be able to score more points by reducing any human interaction and the score can be penalized if the team has to interact with the machines by hand or by remote command. Troubleshooting is to be expected for unforeseen circumstances as well as malfunctions and this will be scored as well. The Level 6 Habitat Construction competition is much like the Level 5 Habitat Construction competition but it will be a full scale construction (minimum 93 m2) of the habitat at the competitors facility. This competitors may construct the full scale habitat and submit the data for judgement anytime during the year period and earlier submissions will get bonus points. There will be only one winning team and the winner will be the announced at the end of the year period. The following evaluation criteria are under consideration for determining scoring criteria: • Autonomous operations from the feed system to printing • Autonomous emplacement of prefabricated structures such as hatches or windows • Sealing capability at the joints within and/or between foundation/wall/doors&windows • Design of the Habitat (linking Phase 1 of the challenge) • Indigenous and Recycled Material usage and material properties (linking Phase 2 of the challenge) • Ability to stop and then re-start printing after period of time (~12 h) without human intervention • Durability of the printed foundation and wall • Creativity and Innovation of habitat • Power usage • System volume and weight Pending results from the RFI, the final challenge will be announced approximately in October 2017, with the challenge taking place over a 1.5-2 year period and finishing in 2019. 4. DRAFT CHALLENGE RULES AND COMPETITION STRUCTURE Based upon responses to this RFI, NASA may develop detailed written challenge rules ("Rules"). The Rules would include specific milestones, entrance, review and acceptance criteria, and prize award criteria. The final Rules would be the official specification of the competition structure. Awards Level 1 = up to maximum $200,000 shared by top 10 teams Level 2 = up to maximum $100,000 shared by top 5 teams Level 3 = up to maximum $300,000 shared by top 5 teams Level 4 = up to maximum $100,000 shared by top 3 teams Level 5 (on-site subscale) = possible 1st ($250,000), 2nd ($150,000), and 3rd ($100,000) places Level 6 (competitor-site fullscale) = $500,000 to one team with the highest score and meeting required qualification standards. Total Purse Prize for Phase 3 all levels is planned to be $1.7 million. 5. INFORMATION SOUGHT from Competitors a) Competition Structure • Please remark on the benefits/drawbacks of the preferred model of a simultaneous, head-to-head competition including measurements by instruments followed by presentation to the judges. • Are there metrics beyond the Key Challenge Requirements in Table 1 and the evaluation criteria in Section 3 that should be incentivized in the scoring rubric or with bonuses, such as minimizing resources for the instrument, etc. • What definition of life and/or biosignatures would you find convincing for use in this Challenge? b) Competition Awards • NASA is considering up to $1.5M in prizes. How could the award structure best incentivize participation and technical progress? • Is the prize money sufficient to incentivize potential competitors? • Please comment on the award scenario being considered. Are there other alternative scenarios that would provide greater incentives to compete? • What other actions should be taken to increase public interest? c) Interest and Readiness • Are you interested in participating in this competition? • Are there other barriers that can be addressed in the timelines, requirements, and formulation of these challenges? • Do you have a concept on which to base an instrument? • Do you have an instrument ready or nearly ready to participate in this Challenge? • What level of development and investment is needed before your instrument is ready to participate in the Challenge? • Are there specific emerging breakthrough technologies that are applicable to the competition? d) Allied Organization • Bradley University is the allied organization under a Space Act Agreement to conduct the Phase 3 of the 3D-Printed Habitat Challenge 6. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: This RFI seeks feedback on the competition phases, the prize amounts and distribution structure, and/or interest in competing in the Challenge. Comments must be submitted no later than 11:59 pm Eastern Time on September 25, 2017 To: Mr. Tony Kim at e-mail address: HQ-STMD-CentennialChallenges@mail.nasa.gov Subject Line: "3D-Printed Habitat Phase 3 Challenge RFI" For general information on the NASA Centennial Challenges Program see: http://www.nasa.gov/challenges. The point of contact is Ms. Monsi Roman, Program Manager, Centennial Challenges Program, Marshall Space Flight Center. 7. ELIGIBILITY TO PARTICIPATE IN CHALLENGES In the event that NASA does initiate this challenge, NASA will post a public notice in the Federal Register which can be found at https://www.federalregister.gov/. At that time, all individuals or entities that wish to participate in the challenge must register as members of a team and enter into an agreement with the designated challenge management organization. Teams foreign and domestic may compete in the challenge, although teams that include foreign nationals who are not permanent residents of the United States may not receive prize money for these competitions. The sole exception is for U.S based educational institutions, which may have up to 50% foreign national students on their teams. No Team Member shall be a citizen of a country on the NASA Export Control Program list of designated countries in Category II, Countries determined by the Department of State to support Terrorism. The current list of designated countries can be found at http://oiir.hq.nasa.gov/nasaecp/. As of February 15, 2017, only 4 countries are in category II (Iran, North Korea, Sudan, and Syria). Please check the link for latest updates. Teams cannot include any Federal entity or Federal employee acting within the scope of their employment. This includes any U.S. Government organization or organization principally or substantially funded by the Federal Government, including Federally Funded Research and Development Centers (FFRDC), Government-Owned, Contractor Operated (GOCO) facilities, and University Affiliated Research Centers (UARC). NASA and other federal agencies may work with and provide technical support to participating teams as long as it is done on an equitable basis. That is, similar requests are dealt with in a similar fashion, be it access to facilities, testing, scientific consultation, or other services. This does not obligate NASA or other federal agencies to provide the support. These services may be at no cost or on a cost reimbursable basis as determined by the subject federal agency in accordance with law and policy. Registration and participation in a challenge does not entitle a participant to a NASA-funded prize. To be eligible to win a NASA funded prize, the competitor must (1) register and comply with all requirements in the rules and enter into a team agreement; (2) in the case of a private entity, shall be incorporated in and maintain a primary place of business in the United States, and in the case of an individual, whether participating singly or in a group, shall be a citizen or permanent resident of the United States; and (3) shall not be a Federal entity or Federal employee acting within the scope of their employment.

Original Point of Contact

POC Melinda E Swenson, Phone: 2565440381, Tony Kim,

Place of Performance

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