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A -- Low Earth Orbit Flight Test Inflatable Decelerator Ancillary Gas Generator - Based Inflation Source - Appendix A and Inflation System Schematic and Legend

Notice Date
Notice Type
Sources Sought
541715 — Research and Development in the Physical, Engineering, and Life Sciences (except Nanotechnology and Biotechnology)
Contracting Office
NASA/George C. Marshall Space Flight Center, Office of Procurement, Marshall Space Flight Center, Alabama, 35812, United States
ZIP Code
Solicitation Number
Archive Date
Point of Contact
Thomas F. Zoladz, Phone: 2565441552, Melinda E Swenson, Phone: 2565440381
E-Mail Address
thomas.f.zoladz@nasa.gov, melinda.e.swenson@nasa.gov
(thomas.f.zoladz@nasa.gov, melinda.e.swenson@nasa.gov)
Small Business Set-Aside
Inflation System Schematic and Legend LOFTID LGG RFI APPENDIX A Low-Earth Orbit Flight Test of an Inflatable Decelerator (LOFTID) Project Langley Research Center - LOFTID Project Lead Marshall Space Flight Center - LOFTID Propulsion and Avionics Collaborative Support Low Earth Orbit Flight Test - Inflatable Decelerator Ancillary Gas Generator - Based Inflation Source Request for Information Introduction The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) invites Industry to submit a response to this inquiry to assist NASA in assessing the Technology Readiness Level (TRL) and possible inclusion on the Low Earth Orbit Flight Test of an Inflatable Decelerator (LOFTID) flight experiment of an Ancillary inflation system gas-generator. Industry response to this Request for Information (RFI) is requested within the context of the requirements and general approach described in the following sections and the associated appendix. A detailed description of the LOFTID Ancillary Gas Generator (LAGG) and related system design requirements are contained in Appendix-A of this Request for Information. Background A Hypersonic Inflatable Aerodynamic Decelerator (HIAD) is a deployable aeroshell consisting of an inflatable structure that maintains shape during atmospheric flight and a flexible thermal protection system protecting the entry vehicle through hypersonic atmospheric entry. Envisioned applications of this inflatable technology include International Space Station down mass, lower cost access to space through launch vehicle asset recovery and high mass/high altitude deliveries (including humans) to Mars. LOFTID is a demonstration flight project that will be used to validate thermal and structural models, and mature understanding of HIAD technologies. An ancillary inflation system gas- generator is being considered for the LOFTID flight experiment to begin the task of developing hydrogen gas generator technology for HIAD use. Hydrogen gas was selected as the highest storage density solution, and for its possible synergy with future deep space liquid propulsion systems. (though, some other products in the generated gas could be tolerated). The concept chosen for the H₂ ancillary inflation system gas generator demonstration could be used for the limited, initial, in-flight inflation of an inflatable aeroshell decelerator. There is very little micro- gravity flight experience available for such gas generators. Including a LAGG device in parallel with the primary passive (nitrogen gas) inflation system of the LOFTID potentially offers NASA a low-risk opportunity to gather such data. Larger scale HIADs for future NASA missions will likely require infusion such active hydrogen gas generation technology. Requested Response Topics The specific objective of this RFI is to solicit information to assist NASA in determining the viability of including an ancillary inflation system gas-generator within the LOFTID demonstration flight reentry vehicle. Specific goals for this solicitation and eventual flight experiment, if pursued, include: • Determine and understand the current / proposed state-of-the-art of H₂ gas generators; • Demonstrate the adequacy of the selected device: design; safe storage, handling, use, and recovery, and (if possible) determine the post-functioning physical condition of the device; • In a one (g) environment, determine ignition characteristics, reaction state of the medium used to produce H₂ gas, the total action time, the gas output temperature, the moisture content, and any evidence of particulate in the output H₂ gas; • Derive from a low (g) flight-environment the output pressure and action time of the device. • Determine the theoretical and measured H₂ recovery percentage of the chosen medium. Comments are requested but not limited to any of the following topics: • Ancillary inflation system gas-generator conceptual design, performance, and capabilities; • Notional top-level concept of operations for proposed ancillary inflation system gas- generator including initiation requirements and hazards of medium before and after use; • Conceptual ancillary inflation system gas-generator development program including rough order-of-magnitude funding requirements and top-level schedule (including vendor recommended development units); • Suggestions for possible Industry-Government teaming arrangements related to the ancillary inflation system gas-generator development. Response Instructions The information obtained will be used by NASA for planning and acquisition strategy development. No information or questions received will be posted to any website or public access location. NASA does not plan to respond to the individual responses. This RFI is being used to obtain information for planning purposes only and the Government does not presently intend to award a contract at this time. As stipulated in FAR 15.201(e), responses to this notice are not considered offers and cannot be accepted by the Government to form a binding contract. This RFI is subject to FAR 52.215-3. All responses should be provided in MS Word document format via electronic media. Font should be Times New Roman, size 12. Responses should not exceed 30 pages. Please submit responses no later than April 17, 2018, to NASA/MSFC Propulsion Systems Department, ER52/Thomas F. Zoladz, Marshall Space Flight Center, AL 35812, or via e-mail at thomas.f.zoladz@nasa.gov, with cc to NASA/MSFC Office of Procurement, Attn: PS50/Melinda E. Swenson, Contracting Officer, Marshall Space Flight Center, AL 35812, or via e-mail at melinda.e.swenson@nasa.gov. Points of Contact Primary: NASA/MSFC Propulsion Systems Department ER52/Thomas F. Zoladz Marshall Space Flight Center, AL 35812 Phone: 256-544-1552 Email: thomas.f.zoladz@nasa.gov Secondary: NASA Marshall Space Flight Center PS50/Melinda E. Swenson Contracting Officer Phone: 256-544-0381 Email: melinda.e.swenson@nasa.gov
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