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Solicitation Number: NNJ13ZBH005L
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Office: Johnson Space Center
Location: Office of Procurement
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Sources Sought
Added: May 03, 2013 2:51 pm
The NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC) is considering follow-on activities to the current contract, Simulation and Software Technology Contract (SSTC), NNJ08HA01C, currently ending May 31, 2014. The contract has four 1 month options extending the contract through September 30, 2014. The total potential value on the current SSTC is $132,100,000.00. The intent of this Request for Information (RFI) is to solicit comments from industry regarding acquisition strategies. Industry is invited to review Attachment 1, Request for Information on Potential Procurement Approach; Attachment 2, Small Business Sources Sought Request; and Attachment 3, Request for Organizational Conflicts of Interest and provide feedback on the specific areas requested in the Attachments, as applicable. The SSTC currently provides a broad range of simulation support, virtual reality applications, robotics training systems, and engineering analysis services at JSC. Background: Currently, the SSTC supports the JSC Engineering Directorates Software, Robotics, & Simulation Division (SRSD) in support of the International Space Station (ISS) Program (ISSP), the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle (MPCV), the Training Systems for the 21st Century (TS21), and advanced programs for exploration. This includes design, development, testing, and operations of training systems, intelligent systems, robotic systems, spacecraft flight software systems, and real-time simulation systems. The SSTC also provides engineering in the areas of automation and intelligent systems, as well as telerobotics and autonomous robotic systems for ground and space flight applications. The SSTC provides the MPCV prime contractor insight/oversight and inline support for areas including software design, prototyping, systems engineering, software integration, software life-cycle management, requirements analysis, systems management, and system architecture analysis in each of the software functional domains. The SSTC is also the exclusive contract used in developing and maintaining the Trick Simulation Environment. Trick is the primary simulation architecture for all Dynamic Skills Trainer simulations in support of ISS crew training and the Space Station Remote Manipulator System simulation supporting the Space Station Training Facility. In addition, Trick is the foundational simulation architecture utilized in all human-in-the-loop engineering simulations at JSC, including the TS21. The current SSTC Statement of Work (SOW) and other pertinent documents are located on the procurement website: . These documents are for information and planning purposes only and to allow industry the opportunity to comment, as well as promote competition. Confidential, proprietary, competition sensitive, or business information shall not be submitted in response to this RFI as the information submitted in response to this RFI may be used in developing a future contract strategy. The SSTC North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code 541519 is preliminary and is subject to change for Simulation and Software Technology (SST II). The current SSTC is Cost Plus Fixed Fee (CPFF) Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ). SST II Description: The SST II will provide simulation and software technology support for Virtual Reality (VR) applications for Extra Vehicular Activity (EVA) training systems, robotics training systems, and engineering analysis; and developing situational awareness and planning software. SST II will also provide engineering in the areas of Vehicle System Management (VSM), automation and intelligent systems, and telerobotics and autonomous robotic systems for ground and space flight applications. Potential requirements that may be incorporated in the statement of work include: 1. Virtual Reality (VR): Provide research, design, and development of VR state-of-the-art technologies and software. Provide VR training environments, including mission specific scene databases, for astronaut EVA training and robotic systems training. These environments include helmet mounted displays, wide-screen displays, motion and force feedback devices, mass handling robotic hardware-in-the-loop simulations, and other sensor devices for motion tracking. Develop innovative image generation algorithms and techniques, and interface these capabilities with existing off-the-shelf sensor and motion hardware. Integrate dynamic simulations into these environments for training and engineering analysis, and provide astronaut training session support. Develop and maintain the Dynamic Onboard Ubiquitous Graphics (DOUG) image rendering software package in support of the Virtual Reality Lab and its task to support EVA training and provide flight software for the Space Station as well as training and engineering simulation facilities at JSC. 2. Trick Simulation Environment: The Trick Simulation Environment is a set of software utilities and code generators which allow users to rapidly develop, integrate, and operate simulations based on the specific requirements of their application domain. Develop and maintain the Trick simulation environment core capabilities, including run-time executive, user interfaces, code generators, and other simulation construction and operation support utilities. 3. Trick Simulation Math Models and Applications: In conjunction with the Trick Simulation Environment, there are multiple simulation applications consisting of math models, verified simulations, and other supporting software utilities. Develop and maintain the Trick simulation math models including dynamic and kinematic space-based robotic systems, manipulator/orbital dynamics, earth environmental models, contact dynamics models, and scene generation graphics interface. Develop and support advanced kinematics and dynamic robotic and spacecraft simulations and tools for engineering analysis and real-time man-in-the-loop/hardware-in-the-loop training and the associated documentation. The Trick simulation applications vary widely and include batch (non-real-time), real-time, hardware-in-the-loop, human-in-the-loop, multi-process/processor, and multi-computer simulations using both Trick discrete time and event based scheduling mechanisms. Develop Trick simulation applications which may include investigating, designing, prototyping, developing, testing, and documenting advanced simulation techniques for robotics and spacecraft systems. Develop and evaluate software requirements and software algorithms necessary to provide simulations of robotics systems, spacecraft systems and integrated robotics and spacecraft environments. 4. Trick Simulation Analysis: The Trick math models and simulation applications may be used for engineering analysis of robotic and spacecraft systems. Develop analysis requirements, run analysis simulations, analyze data, and document the results of the analysis. 5. Research and Development in Advanced Robotics and Intelligent Systems: Research and development in advanced robotics includes research, prototyping, design, and development of intelligent and/or autonomous robotic software systems in support of space operations, science, and exploration missions. Analyze missions, tasks, and scenarios; develop software designs, requirements, and software algorithms necessary to provide intelligent robotics architectures, systems or subsystems; develop tools and environments; and develop effective human-robot interactive systems. Perform research in advanced robotics, develop prototypes, and design and develop software for new robotic grasping techniques, aiming for potential sharing of human hand-held tools with robots in space. The field of intelligent systems includes intelligent software technologies in the areas of monitoring and control, advanced knowledge capture, knowledge management, and knowledge based application tools, software and services. It also includes advanced and intelligent software technologies in autonomous control, advanced workflow, human-computer interaction, procedure execution, Intelligent Computer Aided Training (ICAT), space vehicle on-board and ground system applications, and/or web-based collaboration. Provide research in intelligent systems; develop prototypes and requirements; and design, develop, test, and certify knowledge-based software technologies and/or software tools. 6. MAGIK Simulation Maintenance and Development: The Manipulator Analysis Graphic Interactive Kinematic (MAGIK) simulation supports kinematic analysis for multiple existing space-based robotic systems. MAGIK is an interactive robotics simulation tool that provides 2D and 3D graphical user interfaces and displays for robotic analysis. Develop and maintain the MAGIK simulation to meet the analysis requirements as defined in various software Change Requests (CRs). Integrate the flight system manipulator control system software, as supplied by the Trick simulation tool, into the MAGIK software. 7. Vehicle System Management (VSM): Support the VSM subsystem manager by performing assessments of life cycle implementation for the VSM design, including SRS-level requirements, design, integration and test, production, certification and acceptance. 8. System Engineering and Integration (SEI): Support space vehicle system and subsystem managers in systems engineering and integration analyses, and in development of Flight Software reference architectures. This work will include requirements assessment, architecture development, design analysis, trade studies and analyses, support of technical oversight activities and collaboration with Orion, other Constellation and program prime contractors, and with multiple vehicle systems and subsystems for life cycle implementation of vehicle hardware and software systems. Support system and subsystem managers in technical oversight activities including oversight of requirements, designs, verification plans, test data, certifications, system performance verification, integration and problem resolution, as well as collaboration with NASA Program and Project Offices. Perform systems engineering analysis by identifying architectural driving requirements, trading architectural patterns that satisfy the requirements, performing functional allocations across the avionics components, and assessing contractor design and implementation against the reference architecture. Additionally, develop content, and application of procedures, in support of vehicle system interactions and mission operations, as well as assess procedures used with respect to different phases of flight. 9. Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV) Engineering Analysis Test Bed: The CEV Engineering Analysis test bed will be used to support requirements, architecture, design analysis, and evaluation of command & data handling, vehicle system management, and other avionics integration software functionality. Develop the test bed and provide configuration management responsibilities, including documentation and property custodian duties. 10. Guidance, Navigation, and Control (GN&C) Simulation Analysis: This task involves GN&C simulation software development for application to autonomous systems development. Perform simulation tasks, which include (1) model and algorithm development, software integration, configuration management, issue tracking, and version delivery, (2) Real-time hardware in the loop facility development, testing, and configuration management to support integrated testing of autonomous systems, GN&C, and avionics, and (3) Simulation and testing requirements development and documentation for support of autonomous systems and GN&C software. Perform autonomous navigation system development tasks, which include: (1) Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver firmware architecture design, development, and testing, (2) Navigation software architecture design, development, and testing including simulation only and integrated hardware tests, and (3) Evaluation of existing or proposed navigation systems including hardware, software, and algorithms. 11. Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV) Simulation and Avionics Model Development: Support CEV simulation and avionics model development, which includes full life cycle support of spacecraft simulation modeling and facility development, including requirements definition, design, prototyping, implementation, integration, test, verification, and documentation. Perform facility-specific development and integration required to interface with flight hardware and software avionics systems. Attachment 1: Request for Information on Potential Procurement Approach To assist in formulating a procurement strategy, the following Request for Information (RFI) questions are offered for your consideration. In your response, indicate which number you are addressing. For example, if you would like to respond to number 3(a)(i), please note 3(a)(i) in your response. 1. Contract Type: a. Identify any portion(s) of this requirement for which fixed price contracting could be utilized and provide rationale and risks. Identify any portion(s) of this procurement for which fixed price contracting could not be utilized and provide rationale and risks. Provide any other feedback on contract type along with rationale. b. Of the portion(s) identified in your response that can be fixed price, provide options to minimize administrative efforts for potential changes to the requirements. 2. Small Business: a. How can NASA design/structure the contract to ensure that small business goals are met or exceeded? b. Identify any areas, if not all, of the current SSTC SOW that you believe could be performed by a small business and provide rationale. 3. Metrics and Measures of Success: a. Provide feedback on metrics or measures of performance NASA might consider to monitor the contractors performance on: i. Any fixed price portions; and ii. Cost reimbursable portions. 4. Provide feedback concerning overall contract option implications and potential strategies for direct and indirect cost control, overall management structure, IT implications, etc. 5. Address your companys overall skills, experience, and capabilities to execute this proposed contract. 6. For each of the 11 potential requirements listed above, indicate whether your firm would serve as either the prime contractor or a subcontractor. If your firm is planning to perform as prime on a particular requirement, please state what percentage, if any, would your company subcontract to other firms if your company was awarded this requirement. 7. Given the requirement summary detailed above, what percentage of incumbent workforce does your company typically retain given similar requirements? 8. Identify barriers to competition that could be mitigated to foster a more competitive environment for this procurement. 9. Provide feedback and rationale on any other topic(s) you would like to address regarding this potential procurement. Your response is requested by 4:00 p.m. local time on May 30, 2013. Attachment 2: Small Business Sources Sought Request NASA/JSC is seeking capability and qualification statements from all interested parties, including Small, Small Disadvantaged (SDB), 8(a), Woman-owned (WOSB), Veteran Owned (VOSB), Service Disabled Veteran Owned (SD-VOSB), Historically Underutilized Business Zone (HUBZone) businesses, and Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU)/Minority Institutions (MI) for the purposes of determining the appropriate level of competition and/or small business subcontracting goals for SSTC. The Government reserves the right to consider a Small, 8(a), Woman-owned (WOSB), Service Disabled Veteran (SD-VOSB), or HUBZone business set-aside based on responses hereto. The current SSTC SOW is located at the SST II procurement website: This preliminary information is being made available for planning purposes only, subject to FAR Clause 52.215-3, entitled Request for Information or Solicitation for Planning Purposes. It does not constitute a Request for Proposal, Invitation for Bid, or Request for Quotation, and is not to be construed as a commitment by the Government to enter into a contract. This document is for information and planning purposes to allow industry the opportunity to verify reasonableness and feasibility of the requirement, as well as promote competition. Interested small business parties are requested to 1.) Review the current SSTC SOW, and other information available in the technical library, if applicable. 2.) Submit a statement of their firms capabilities, qualifications and state whether it is the intention of the firm to submit as a subcontractor or prime contractor. Interested small business parties may submit capabilities and qualifications other than the areas listed above, if desired. The determination to set aside this effort for a small business will be determined after responses are received and evaluated. Responses must include the following: 1. Name and address of firm; 2. Size of business; 3. Average annual revenue for past 3 years and number of employees; 4. Ownership; e.g. large, Small Business (SB), SDB, 8(a), WOSB, VOSB, SD-VOSB, HUBZone, HBCU/MI; 5. Number of years in business; 6. Affiliate information: parent company, joint venture partners, potential teaming partners, prime contractor (if potential sub) or subcontractors (if potential prime); 7. List of customers covering the past five years. Please be sure to include the following: a. Relevant work performed. All relevant work should be linked to where this work would be performed in the current SSTC statement of work; b. Contract numbers, contract type, dollar value of each procurement; c. Point of contact - address and phone number. Your response is requested by 4:00 p.m. local time on May 30, 2013. Attachment 3: Request for Organizational Conflicts of Interest NASA/JSC is requesting information from industry regarding potential organizational conflicts of interest (OCI) arising from the Simulation and Software Technology II (SST II) contract. The nature of the work anticipated under SST II may create a situation, where there could be a potential for an OCI as currently described in FAR Subpart 9.5. Each potential offeror should review FAR Subpart 9.5 in light of NASAs anticipation of OCI issues and consider carefully the extent to which an OCI may arise before making the decision to compete for the SST II. A link to the NASA Guide on Organizational Conflicts of Interest has been posted to the SST II procurement website at: . Please reference this document for additional information about NASAs policies with respect to OCI issues. You are requested to provide electronic responses via e-mail to the Contracting Officer listed at the end of this synopsis. Your response is requested by 4:00 p.m. local time on May 30, 2013. Potential offerors are requested to address the following questions: 1. What type of OCI issues would your company or potential team identify, if any, should you choose to propose on the SST II contract? 2. What strategies would you anticipate proposing to mitigate the OCI issues that you identified (if any)? Please provide strategy details, previous examples/experience with other contracts with NASA or other agencies, etc. 3. Does your company foresee any OCI issues associated with the SST II contract that would cause you to decide not to propose on the potential SST II requirements? NASA intends to assess any responses received regarding potential OCI and each offerors proposed OCI mitigation strategy, responding to each company who submits a mitigation strategy in writing. NASAs response will simply be an attempt to preliminarily examine possible circumstances which might lead to or eliminate an OCI. It will not be a confirmation that, in fact, an OCI will ultimately exist or that an offeror can successfully eliminate or mitigate an OCI. Furthermore, the response in no way alters or interprets the application of FAR 9.5 as it applies to a final statement of work or a final proposal submission, should a potential offeror elect to submit a proposal in response to a Request for Proposal (RFP) issued under a solicitation for SST II. Subsequent to the initial submission and response, the Government will not consider further information as it relates to this RFI. Responses to the RFI shall include the company name, address, and point of contact. The Government intends to release the company names, addresses, and points of contact of all respondents unless specifically requested not to do so by the respondent. This information will be provided on the SST II procurement website in an Interested Parties List. Any communications in reference to this RFI shall cite the RFI number in the subject line and be directed to the point of contact identified in the RFI. In accordance with FAR 15.201(e), responses to this notice are not offers and cannot be accepted by the Government to form a binding contract. The Government is under no obligation to issue a solicitation or to award any contract on the basis of this RFI. The Government will not pay for any information solicited. No evaluation letters and/or results will be issued to the respondents. You are requested to provide electronic responses to all Attachments (limited to 50 pages, using no less than 12 point Times New Roman font) via e-mail to In your response please indicate which Attachment you are addressing. Your response is requested by 4:00 p.m. CST on May 30, 2013. No solicitation exists; therefore, do not request a copy of the solicitation. If a solicitation is released it will be synopsized in FedBizOpps and on the NASA Acquisition Internet Service. It is the potential offerors responsibility to monitor these sites for the release of any solicitation or synopsis. The Government intends to review the responses submitted by Industry. The documents on the NASA procurement website are for information and planning purposes, to allow industry the opportunity to comment, and to promote competition only. NASA will not affirmatively release any information received in response to this RFI to the public, but may use information received in developing the best approach for a contract strategy, and therefore such information may be recognizable to the potential offeror who submitted it. Therefore, any data that is submitted as part of a companys response that is marked Proprietary will not be reviewed and will be returned to the respondent. Any information submitted in response to this RFI that is marked as Confidential Commercial or Financial Information will be considered as voluntarily submitted in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act.
NASA/Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, Houston Texas, 77058-3696, Mail Code: BH
Stacy G. Houston, Contracting Officer, Phone 281-483-9649, Fax 281-483-7890, Email

Stacy G. Houston