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Gap Mitigation Request for Information

Solicitation Number: 20140327
Agency: Department of Commerce
Office: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
Location: Acquisition and Grants Office
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Special Notice
Added: Mar 28, 2014 7:07 am

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service (NESDIS) is soliciting industry input to improve our understanding of existing and potential options to deploy atmospheric remote sensing instruments to mitigate the loss of data should a failure occur in polar satellite coverage provided by the Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS). NOAA's current polar and geosynchronous orbiting satellites collect critical data for the U.S. National Weather Service (NWS) and other national users. The JPSS microwave and infrared sounders produce global vertical temperature, moisture, and pressure profiles that provide critical input to the NWS numerical weather prediction models. Though these models incorporate data from multiple sources, a gap in JPSS sounding data would reduce their accuracy. This RFI focuses only on options for mitigating a possible loss of data and does not affect the current JPSS program.

NOAA/NESDIS has an immediate interest in understanding options for rapidly deploying assets that provide Earth observational capabilities to mitigate the impact of a gap in data from the JPSS sounders on a best value basis that balances observational needs with rapid deployment time and low cost. NOAA is interested in options with performance that replaces or sustains current performance ("gap filler") as well as options with partial performance ("gap mitigation"). NOAA will use industry responses to this RFI to inform near-term programmatic planning as well as long-term strategic planning to define what may follow the current JPSS program.

The Government for Planning Purposes is seeking a Request for Information (RFI) only, and does not obligate the government to reimburse any costs associated with the preparation and/or submission of this information. Nor does this RFI guarantee that the government will issue your company a request for proposal or award a contract for supplies or services. No specific RFP is planned to follow this RFI; however, the responses could impact the government's decision to release an RFP in the future.

Request for Information
This RFI focuses on:

1. Atmospheric sounding data with the capability and performance the same as, or comparable to, the currently operating Advanced Technology Microwave Sounder (ATMS) and/or Cross-Track Infrared Sounder (CrIS) weather instruments.

2. Low-cost methods for providing the spacecraft and the launch vehicle for rapid deployment of the JPSS ATMS and/or CrIS instruments or alternatives within a year from call up.

3. Comparable global atmospheric profiles that do not fully meet the current requirements, and in particular, approaches that include new technologies that show promise for lowering costs in the future.

The relevant JPSS requirements are attached as supplemental documentation. The first document is the Level 1 Requirements document for the JPSS Program. The 2nd document is the Supplemental, more details on the requirements. Submitters will be particularly interested in sections 4.1 and 4.3, as that's where we address the requirements for the ATMS and CrIS instruments.

1. JPSS_L1RD-FINAL_v1_7_RevA10
2. JPSSL1RDS-F_v29RevA

NOAA is interested in innovative cost-effective methods to obtain these gap filler and/or gap mitigation capabilities, and in particular, specific risk/cost trades. These could include:

1. More efficient acquisition models for procuring the flight segment

2. Streamlined oversight methods

3. Accepting more risk

NOAA is interested in capabilities that would be on-orbit or could launch rapidly to bridge the possibility of a 3-year gap in the event of a failure. This includes options that could provide this operational data at any time during JPSS's nominal operational period from now through 2038, with a particular focus on the early 2020s when the lifetime of current on-orbit assets is exceeded. Respondents may offer solutions that leverage existing ground resources or alternative solutions that comply with best practices for information technology. In all cases, the solutions must provide data products that support NOAA's numerical weather prediction models.
Respondents are hereby notified that NOAA may share responses with other government agencies, especially the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and that the government may utilize Federally Funded Research and Development Centers (FFRDCs) to provide technical advice and evaluate responses. All personnel assigned to assist in the RFI assessment will sign both nondisclosure and conflict of interest forms and will be made aware that responses shall not be duplicated, used, or disclosed in whole or in part for any purpose other than to consider the response.

Submittal Instructions

RFI responses must be received in soft copy no later than 10:00 am Eastern Time, 30 days following the date of this RFI, which is the date of its posting. The government is not obligated to review responses to this RFI received after the deadline. Submissions are limited to not more than 15 pages, including supporting appendices, title page(s), all graphics, pictures and figures. A page is defined as each face of an 8 1/2 by 11 inch sheet with information contained within an image area of 7 by 9 inches. Type size shall be 12 point proportional font. Information shall be submitted in Microsoft Word or Adobe Acrobat (PDF) format. Follow the instructions posted for specific soft copy submittal instructions.

Issues and questions regarding this RFI shall be submitted to Joel Perlroth at until the time and date it is due. The government will entertain questions on a case-by-case basis. Respondents should be advised that all questions submitted will be posted to FedBizOps as an amendment for all respondents to review, although the identity of the requesting organization will be withheld. Respondents may reply to some of all of the RFI.

If contractors decide not to respond to this RFI, it will not preclude them from submitting a proposal for any subsequent NOAA or NASA work.

The government would like to thank all respondents in advance for expending the time and resources in support of this critical activity.

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Posted Date:
March 28, 2014
Description: JPSS_L1RD-FINAL_v1_7_RevA10
Description: JPSSL1RDS-F_v29RevA
SSMC2 - 11th floor /OFA61
1325 East West Highway, 11th Floor
Silver Spring, Maryland 20910
United States
Joel L. Perlroth,
Program Management Specialist
Phone: (301) 713-9204 x143
Fax: (301) 713-9219