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  • OMB Approval Number 2700-0087

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration AUGUST 19, 2004



    WASHINGTON, DC 20546-0001



    NASA Research Announcement Soliciting Research Proposals For New Technology Earth Science Instruments

    Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 00.000


    Notice of Intent Due: September 20, 2004

    Proposals Due: November 2, 2004

  • Executive Summary

    This NASA Research Announcement (NRA), entitled "Instrument Incubator Program (IIP) –2004", solicits proposals for the Instrument Incubator Program (IIP), a technology development program in support of the NASA Science Mission Directorate (SMD). The IIP seeks proposals for technology development activities leading to new system and subsystem level suborbital and space-based measurement techniques to be developed in support of SMD science research and applications. This NRA solicits proposals for instruments for investigating:

    • Atmospheric aerosols and trace gases, including in the lower troposphere; • Ice topographic mapping; and • Global tropospheric winds.

    Subject to availability of funding, the Government expects to make awards with annual costs in the approximate range from $500,000 to $1 Million. Awards will be made as grants, cooperative agreements, contracts, or inter- or intra-Government transfers depending on the nature of the proposing organization and/or program requirements. The typical period of performance for an award is three years. Contract awards are typically structured with a one year base period, and options for two additional years. Proposals resulting in the award of other types of funding instruments (e.g. grants and cooperative agreements) should be for up to three years. Organizations of every type, domestic and foreign, Government and private, for profit and nonprofit, may submit proposals without restriction on the number or teaming arrangements. Cost sharing is encouraged but not required.

  • I. Funding Opportunity Description

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) announces the solicitation of proposals for the Instrument Incubator Program (IIP), a technology development program in support of the Science Mission Directorate (SMD). The IIP seeks proposals for technology development activities leading to new system and subsystem level airborne and space-based measurement techniques to be developed in support of SMD science research and applications.

    1. Introduction and Background

    i. Science Mission Directorate

    The NASA vision is: To improve life here To extend life to there To find life beyond

    The NASA mission is: To understand and protect our home planet

    To explore the Universe and search for life To inspire the next generation of explorers …as only NASA can.

    NASA's Science Mission Directorate is responsible for carrying out the scientific exploration of the Earth, Moon, Mars, and beyond; chart the best route of discovery; and reap the benefits of Earth and space exploration for society. A combined Earth and Space Science research endeavor is best able to establish an understanding of the Earth, other planets and their evolution, bring the lessons of our study of Earth to the exploration of the Solar System, and to assure the discoveries made here will enhance our work there and vice versa.

    The Science Mission Directorate is creating an integrated Sun-Earth System research and observation program to conduct exploration of the Sun-Earth System to enable scientific understanding, facilitate exploration of the solar system, and bring practical benefits to society. Principal goals of this program are to:

    • Develop a predictive capability for solar and space physics enabling space weather forecasting and supporting the safe transit of human exploration missions to the Moon, Mars, and beyond, and;

    • Investigate how the living Earth system is changing due to the Sun's variability and naturally-occurring and human induced processes, and the consequences of these changes for life on Earth.

    This NASA Research Announcement is aimed at the second of these two major goals. Specifically, this NRA solicits science-driven technology development supporting future Earth system global measurements.

  • Within SMD, NASA's Earth system science research develops a scientific understanding of the Earth system and its response to natural or human-induced changes in order to enable improved prediction capabilities for climate, weather and natural hazards. The Earth system research program aims to acquire a deeper understanding of the components of the Earth system and their interactions. These interactions occur on a continuum of spatial and temporal scales ranging from short-term weather to long-term climate scales, and from local and regional to global scales. NASA's Earth system research also seeks to provide accurate assessments of changes in the composition of the atmosphere, the extent and health of the world's marine and terrestrial ecosystems, and geophysical phenomena that lead to natural hazards.

    The long-term (2010 to 2020) vision for Earth system research includes:

    • 10-year climate forecasts • 15- to 20-month El Niño prediction • 12-month regional rain rate • 60-day volcano warning • 10- to 14-day weather forecast • 7-day air quality notification • 5-day hurricane track prediction to +/- 30 km • 30-minute tornado warning • 1- to 5-year earthquake experimental forecast

    The science technology program seeks to develop and adopt advanced technologies to enable mission success and serve national priorities. Technological innovation resulting in reduced size, mass and/or power requirements of future remote sensing instruments is essential to the future success of NASA science research. A major objective of the science program is to achieve more capable science missions that can be developed over a short period of time (i.e. 2 to 3 years). An effective way to achieve this objective is by identifying and developing key technologies required by NASA missions in advance.

    ii. Instrument Incubator Program

    The objectives of the IIP are to identify, develop and, where appropriate demonstrate new measurement technologies which:

    • reduce the risk, cost, size, and development time of Earth observing instruments, and • enable new Earth observation measurements.

    The IIP is designed to reduce the risk of new, innovative instrument systems so that they can be successfully used in future science solicitations in a fast track (3 year) acquisition environment. Figure 1 shows the idealized relationship between the IIP and development of future missions.

  • Years 0 1 2 3 4 5 6

    IIP Technology Development

    Mission Development

    Science Solicitation

    Figure 1 Idealized Relationship between IIP and Future Flight Missions

    Critical to this design is the relationship between the various technology development programs that the SMD has available to enable missions. For technology infusion into NASA science missions to take place in a timely and efficient manner, appropriate funding must be applied at each stage or readiness level associated with the development of key and enabling technologies. Technology development activities are planned and initiated so that major technological risk is retired prior to a science solicitation via an Announcement of Opportunity (AO) or Request for Proposal (RFP). A focused, requirement driven approach with direct project connectivity can effectively harness advanced instrument technology capabilities and leverage developments in technology programs funded from NASA, other government agencies, private organizations, and academic institutions. Within this development environment, the IIP can rely upon the NASA ESE Advanced Component Technology (ACT) Program for advanced instrument components and subsystems and other NASA programs for space flight validation.

    Technology Readiness Level (TRL) is a systematic metric/measurement system that supports assessments of the maturity of a particular technology and the consistent comparison of maturity between different types of technology (see Appendix F for TRL definitions). Figure 2 shows the Technology Readiness Levels for these programs and future science missions.

    Figure 2 TRL Ranges for Technology Development Programs & Science Missions


    9 8 76543 2 1


    Science Mission


  • 2. NASA Research Announcement Description

    i. Goals

    This NASA Research Announcement solicits instrument design, engineering model construction, lab demonstrations, and field demonstrations for innovative measurement techniques that have the highest potential to meet the objectives of the IIP and the measurement capability requirements for NASA's Earth system research.

    The IIP is envisioned to be flexible enough to accept instrument and measurement concepts at various stages of maturity (see Figure 3), and through appropriate risk reduction activities (such as design, construction of laboratory breadboards and engineering models, and field demonstrations on the ground or on airborne platforms


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