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Advanced Technology Solar Telescope -Mirror Coating Services

This opportunity is a Recovery and Reinvestment Act action
Solicitation Number: CS-001
Agency: National Science Foundation
Office: Division of Contracts & Complex Agreements
Location: DCCA
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Added: Nov 22, 2013 2:40 pm
Advanced Technology Solar Telescope Project Mirror Coating Services

1.0 Description

1.1 The Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc. (AURA) in support of the Advanced Technology Solar Telescope (ATST) is seeking information on mirror coating services and the properties of currently available enhanced protected silver reflective coatings for use in the ATST. AURA and the ATST Project are currently constructing this four meter aperture solar telescope on Haleakala in Hawaii under contract to the National Science Foundation.

1.2 THIS IS A REQUEST FOR INFORMATION (RFI) ONLY. This RFI is issued solely for information and planning purposes - it does not constitute a Request for Proposal (RFP) or a promise to issue an RFP in the future. This request for information does not commit AURA to contract for any supply or service whatsoever. Responders are advised that AURA will not pay for any information or administrative costs incurred in response to this RFI; all costs associated with responding to this RFI will be solely at the interested party's expense. Not responding to this RFI does not preclude participation in any future RFP, if any is issued. If a solicitation is released, it will be synopsized on the Federal Business Opportunities (FedBizOpps) and the ATST website. It is the responsibility of the potential responders to monitor these sites for additional information pertaining to this requirement.

2.0 Background

2.1 The ATST will be the world's most powerful solar observatory, poised to answer fundamental questions about the basic processes which govern variations in solar activity. ATST will provide a revolutionary new window on the solar magnetic atmosphere and will be the primary scientific tool for understanding the impacts of variations in the solar output on the Earth's climate. Solar astronomers will use ATST to understand what causes solar eruptions and provide the knowledge necessary to develop space weather forecasting, necessary for protecting or mitigating the potentially devastating societal and economic impacts of solar flares and mass ejections on the nation's space assets, the power grid and communication systems. Funding for the construction of the ATST is being provided by the National Science Foundation.

2.2 The ATST optical design contains nine relay mirrors up to one meter aperture that will require protected enhanced silver coatings. In addition to their initial coating, it is expected that these mirrors will require many re-coatings over the 40 year life of the telescope. The frequency of re-coating will depend on environmental conditions on the summit, science use of the telescope, quality of coatings and other factors that will be established as experience is gained operating on the summit. There is also the possibility that a re-coating may be necessary due to accidental damage to the surface of a mirror. The nominal plan to provide optical coating maintenance is to transport these mirrors to a preselected vendor for recoating.

2.3 The relay mirrors feed instruments including polarimeters that operate from 0.38μm to 28μm. In order for those instruments to meet their science requirements, the transmission of the relay mirrors must be high and polarization signatures need to be minimal. For this reason, a protected silver coating, with overcoat designed to maximize short wavelength reflectivity is desired.

3.0 Requested Information

3.1 Responders should provide a description of the currently available protected enhanced silver coating(s) that could be applied to the ATST relay mirrors. Specific characteristics of interest are listed below.

3.1.1. Theoretical (modeled) reflectivities over the wavelength range 0.38μm to 28μm including reflectivity in the plane of incidence (Rp), reflectivity perpendicular to the plane of incidence (Rs), and the phase difference between the two reflectivities (δ) over the wavelength range and for an angles of incidence (AOI) including at least near normal (≤10°) and 45°.

3.1.2. Measured coating performance including at least Rs and Rp over the wavelength range ≤0.38µm to ≥0.9µm for at least 45° AOI.

3.1.3. Durability in terms of reflectivity degradation with time due to exposure to observatory, laboratory or similar environments.

3.2 Responders should provide a description of the facility where the coating work will take place. This should include descriptions of equipment, processes used and approximate volume of the specific coating(s) recommended that are applied per year.

3.3 Responders should provide an estimate of the cost and schedule required to provide initial coating and recoating service. Factors that impact the cost and schedule should be discussed such as required lead times, support and handling fixtures, optical surface size and shape.

4.0 Responses

4.1 Interested parties are requested to respond to this RFI with a white paper.

4.2 White papers in PDF or Microsoft Word compatible format are due no later than 14 February 2014, 17:00 MST. Responses shall be submitted via e-mail to the ATST Contracting Officer, Harvey Bass, at the following email address Proprietary information, if any, should be minimized and MUST BE CLEARLY MARKED. Please be advised that all submissions become AURA property and will not be returned. If any responder requires a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) to be in place prior to submitting a white paper, please contact the ATST Contracts Officer to receive an AURA NDA sample.

4.3. Section 1 of the white paper shall provide administrative information, and shall include the following as a minimum:

4.3.1. Name, mailing address, overnight delivery address (if different from mailing address), phone number, fax number, and e-mail of designated point of contact.

4.3.2. Copies of any executed non-disclosure agreements (NDAs).

4.3.3. Business type (large business, small business, small disadvantaged business, 8(a)-certified small disadvantaged business, HUBZone small business, woman-owned small business, very small business, veteran-owned small business, service-disabled veteran-owned small business) based upon North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code 333314 - Optical Instrument and Lens Manufacturing. "Small business concern" means a concern, including its affiliates, that is independently owned and operated, not dominant in the field of operation in which it is bidding on Government contracts, and qualified as a small business under the criteria and size standards in 13 CFR part 121.

4.4 Section 2 of the white paper shall answer the issues addressed in Section 3 of this RFI and shall be limited to 20 pages.

5.0 Discussions
AURA representatives may or may not choose to meet with potential responders. Such discussions would only be intended to get further clarification of potential capability.

6.0 Questions
Questions regarding this announcement shall be submitted in writing by e-mail to the ATST Contracting Officer, Harvey Bass, at the following email address

7.0 Summary
THIS IS A REQUEST FOR INFORMATION (RFI) ONLY to identify sources that can provide mirror coating services for the ATST using protected enhanced silver coatings. The information provided in the RFI is subject to change and is not binding on AURA. AURA has not made a commitment to procure any of the items discussed, and release of this RFI should not be construed as such a commitment or as authorization to incur cost for which reimbursement would be required or sought.

4201 Wilson Boulevard
Room 475
Arlington, Virginia 22230
Tucson, Arizona 85726
United States
Harvey S. Bass,
AURA Contracts Officer
Phone: 520-318-8445
Fax: 520-318-8500