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Sources Sought Notice - High Resolution Array - Bottomside Iono Structure

May 26, 2014

Notice Type: Sources Sought Notice

Posted Date: 23-MAY-14

Office Address: Department of the Air Force; Air Force Materiel Command; AFRL/RVKV - Kirtland AFB; 3550 Aberdeen Ave SE Kirtland AFB NM 87117

Subject: High Resolution Array - Bottomside Iono Structure

Classification Code: 18 - Space vehicles

Solicitation Number: FA9453-14-R-0228

Contact: Francis M. Eggert, Contracting Officer, Phone 5058467603, Email - Nicole Canfield, Buyer, Phone 505.853.3237, Email

Setaside: N/AN/A

Place of Performance (address): AFRL RVKVB (General Mail)Attn: Mr. Francis M. Eggert or Ms. Nicole Canfield 3550 Aberdeen Ave, SE. Kirtland AFB NM 87117-5773 Kirtland AFB, NM

Place of Performance (zipcode): 87117

Place of Performance Country: US

Description: Department of the Air Force

Air Force Materiel Command

AFRL/RVKV - Kirtland AFB

23 May 14 1. Part: U.S. Government Procurements

2. Subpart: Services

3. Procurement Classification Code: A - Research and Development (R&D); Code # 18 - Space Vehicles

4. Agency: Department of the Air Force

5. Responsible Office and Address: Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) Det 8, Space Vehicles Directorate (AFRL/RV); Mail to: Det 8 AFRL/RVKVB; Attn: Mr. Francis M. Eggert, e-mail: or Ms. Nicole I. Canfield, e-mail: ; 3550 Aberdeen Ave., S.E.; Kirtland AFB, N.M. 87117-5773.

6. North American Industry Classification Systems (NAICS) Code: 541712 - R&D in the Physical, Engineering & Life Sciences (except Biotechnology)

7. Solicitation Number: FA9453-14-R-0228

8. Notice Type: Notice Of Contract Action (NOCA) - Sole Source Contract to the University Of New Mexico (UNM)

9. Subject: Global Ionospheric Processes Project (GIPP) - High Resolution Array-based Imaging of Bottomside Ionospheric Structure Research and Development (R&D) 10. Original Contract Number: None.

11. Description of this Action: The Government is issuing this Sources Sought Announcement as part of a market research survey. This announcement is for information ONLY and will be used to determine the best acquisition strategy for this procurement. Any information submitted will be utilized as part of furthering the Government's understanding of the market place and an offeror's capabilities and capacities.

The Air Force Research Lab (AFRL) Det 8 at Kirtland AFB, NM, Space Weather Center of Excellence Branch (RVBX) has a need for a contract and has been funded to conduct research on the ionosphere which entails making observations of the ionosphere at high spatial resolution. To accomplish this objective, AFRL requires access to an existing large receive array which can receive signals from a high frequency (HF) transmitter located at Kirtland AFB as the transmitted signals reflect off the overhead ionosphere. The receive array must therefore be located close enough to Kirtland AFB to observe the reflected rays at a maximum 30 degree zenith angle at a reference altitude of 250 km, which necessitates the array being within about 150 km of Kirtland AFB. For adequate resolution, the array must have a long baseline (100 m or more) and a large number of antenna elements (100 or more). The signals observed by the receive array must then be processed and analyzed with super-resolution or similar techniques to provide images of bottomside ionosphere structures with high spatial resolution. This information will enable development of new techniques for improved operation of military HF radio systems dependent on the ionosphere for propagation. The anticipated period of performance is from August 2014 to August 2018. The AFRL cost estimate for this project is: Basic Effort $300, 000 for three years with two Options, each for $100,000 per year for a total of $500,000.00.

This NOCA is part of a market research effort to assess industry capabilities that will best address the AFRL's Battlespace Environment Division (RVB) needs as further described below. 12. Background. The Air Force Research Lab (AFRL) Space Weather Center of Excellence Branch (RVBX) has been funded to conduct ionospheric research including radio imaging of the ionosphere with high spatial resolution. There are no previous contracts for this effort. This is part of a larger research effort to understand and mitigate effects of the ionosphere on radio systems. The project requires specific observations of the ionosphere over/near Kirtland AFB using established HF-band facilities to accurately determine ionospheric structure over a range of scale sizes. 13. Description of the Efforts Needed. The critical performance requirement for the research project is the capability to record reflections from ionospheric structures illuminated by the AFRL/RVBX ionosonde or other HF systems at Kirtland AFB, NM using an existing coherent receive array with at least 100 elements and baseline across the array of approximately 100 meters or more. The array must be able to view the ionosphere layer at a reference altitude of 250 km over Kirtland AFB with a maximum zenith angle of 30 degrees or less; this is equivalent to the array being located within ~150 km of Kirtland AFB. The array must be able to sample and record raw voltages on all antenna elements simultaneously for frequencies down to 5 MHz or lower. The tasks for this project are below. Task 1. Record reflections from ionospheric structures illuminated by the AFRL ionosonde or other HF systems at Kirtland AFB, NM with the existing coherent receive array. This will require close coordination with AFRL instrument operators regarding timing, frequency, and waveform of the transmitted signals, and may have to be performed at specific times of day depending on available frequencies and ionospheric conditions. The receiving array must have the ability to sample and record raw voltages on all antenna elements simultaneously for frequencies down to 5 MHz or lower. The experiments are anticipated to require approximately 100 hours, most likely 1 or 2 hours a day for several months.

Task 2. Develop, test, and implement super-resolution techniques on observations from the existing receive array to achieve imaging of at least 100 independent sources within realistically sized range and Doppler bins. Super-resolution or similar processing does not need to operate in real time but can be done in post-processing.

Task 3. Cooperate with AFRL researchers to analyze data from the array in conjunction with other ionospheric measurements from Kirtland AFB to determine ionospheric structure responsible for the observed reflections in at least the two horizontal dimensions. This will involve raytracing and propagation calculations, empirical ionospheric modeling, and comparison of multiple data sets from different instrument types to constrain the final solution. Publication of results in scientific journals is expected.

Other requirements: The performer will collaborate closely with AFRL/RVB personnel located at Kirtland AFB. To maximize the potential for close interaction with Kirtland researchers, the performer will provide a graduate student or junior research scientist who can be located at Kirtland AFB up to half time, depending on budget, during the period of performance and a senior researcher who can be physically present at the Kirtland AFB location approximately one day a week. Working at Kirtland AFB requires that these researchers be US citizens. No budget for travel or relocation expenses to and from Kirtland AFB will be allowed. Changes to contractor personnel performing work at Kirtland AFB may be made after coordination with AFRL contract managers.

14. Period or Performance and Other Information. The period of performance for the above efforts are anticipated to be a total 60 months from award, with a basic effort of three years and two one year Options. A Request for Proposal (RFP) will be issued to UNM provided other sources cannot furnish the services at equivalent terms.

Respondents are required to provide sufficient information concerning their ability to fulfill the above requirements within the period of performance in order for the project office to determine the requirements can be met. A draft plan as well as resumes of key personnel must be included in the Statement of Capability (SOC). The SOC shall include a program plan, resumes, attachments, diagrams, etc. Information should also include CAGE Code and current Central Contractor Registration (CCR) information, financial information, business size, and other information deemed relevant to being capable of satisfying the government's need.

Page limitation: The SOC is limited to a total of 25 pages and shall be single spaced, single-sided, 8.5 by 11-inch pages. Select an easy to read font no smaller than 12 pitch fixed or proportional font size 10 or larger. Smaller type may be used in figures and tables as long as it is clearly legible. The page limitation includes all information i.e., indices, photographs, foldouts (2 page), appendices, attachments, resumes, etc. Each printed side counts as one page. Blank pages, title pages, tables of content, lists, tabs or cover sheets are not included in the page count. The Government will not consider pages in excess of the limitation. Submission: Submit the SOC with a cover letter, the original document, and one electronic CD-R copy. The electronic copy must be submitted on a compact disk (CD-R only) in a PC compatible file format and must be readable by Microsoft Office. Submit responses to either Mr. Francis M. Eggert or Ms. Nicole I. Canfield at the address listed below in the Contracting Points of contact Information no later than 15 calendar days after the date of this announcement by 12:00 p.m. Mountain daylight time. No classified or sensitive information should be included in the response. All proprietary information must be marked as proprietary. The information provided will be used solely by AFRL/RVBX as market research. AFRL will not divulge individual responses to this sources sought outside of AFRL/RVBX Program Team. This synopsis is not a formal solicitation and is not a commitment on the part of the Government to award a contract as a result of this notice or to pay for any information received. Respondents are advised that the Government is under no obligation to acknowledge receipt of the information received or provide feedback to respondents with respect to any information submitted.

The proposed contract action is for an R&D project for which the Government intends to solicit and negotiate with only one source under authority of FAR 6.302-1, Only One Responsible Source. This notice of intent is not a request for competitive proposals. However, all information received within fifteen (15) calendar days after date of publication of this synopsis will be considered by the Government. A determination by the Government not to compete this proposed contract based upon the responses to this notice is solely within the discretion of the Government. Information received will be considered solely for the purpose of determining whether to conduct a competitive procurement. Based upon market research, the Government is not using the policies contained in FAR Part 12, Acquisition of Commercial Items, in its solicitation for the described supplies or services. However, interested offeror(s) may identify to the contracting officer their interest, capability, and capacity to satisfy the Government's requirement with a commercial item within 15 days of this notice. Firms responding should indicate if they are a Small Business, a Socially and Economically Disadvantaged Business, an 8(a) Certified Business, a Woman-Owned Business and/or a HUBZone Certified Small Business Concern. To be considered a Small Business the following applies: NAICS Code: 541712, size standard 1,000 employees. Foreign owned firms are advised to contact the Contracting POCs and or Technical POC before submitting a proposal to determine whether there are restrictions on receiving an award. It is not anticipated that contractors will have access to or will generate data that is unclassified with limited distribution and/or subject to U.S. Export Control laws and or to International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITARs).

15. Contracting Points of contact (POCs): The Contracting POCs are: AFRL/RVKVB; Attn: Mr. Francis M. Eggert, (General Mail Room) 3550 Aberdeen Ave S.E.; Kirtland AFB, N.M. 87117-5773; Phone: 505-846-7603; e-mail:, and AFRL/RVKVB, Attn: Ms. Nicole I. Canfield,; 2251 Maxwell Ave S.E.; Kirtland AFB, N.M. 87117-5773; Phone: 505-853-3237; e-mail:

16. Technical POC: Technical responses must be submitted to AFRL/RVBX; Attn: Dr. Todd Pedersen, Senior Research Physicist; (General Mail Room) 3550 Aberdeen Ave S.E.; Kirtland AFB, N.M. 87117-5773; Phone: 505-853-3792; e-mail: or Dr. Cassandra G. Fesen, Phone: 505-846-1654; e-mail:


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