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The National Academies

ACRP 02-85 [RFP]

Commercial Space Vehicle Emissions Modeling

Posted Date: 12/15/2017

  Project Data
Funds: $450,000
Contract Time: 24 months
(includes 2 months for ACRP review and approval of the interim report and 3 months for ACRP review and for contractor revision of the final deliverables)
Authorization to Begin Work: 6/15/2018 -- estimated
Staff Responsibility: Joseph D. Navarrete
   Phone: 202/334-1649
   Email: jnavarrete@nas.edu
RFP Close Date: 2/1/2018
Fiscal Year: 2018

BACKGROUND
Commercial space activity is entering a period of strong growth as operators are now regularly flying missions to the International Space Station, deploying satellites, conducting suborbital flights, and gearing up for space tourism.  While operations are currently located at just a few facilities, the number of launch sites is expected to grow.  Commercial space vehicle operations generate emissions, yet there are no formal, standardized procedures for estimating these emissions, and very limited data.  A method is needed that would allow practitioners to estimate emissions in a consistent manner, and since the FAA’s Aviation Environmental Design Tool (AEDT) is the standard model for estimating airport-related emissions, it is desirable for a method to be compatible with AEDT.
 
OBJECTIVE
 
The objective of this research is to develop a method to estimate emissions from commercial space vehicle operations. The method should:
  • Allow users to estimate emissions for existing and emerging commercial space vehicles, engines, and propellants;
  • Allow users to estimate emissions both below and above the mixing height;
  • Be incorporated into a simple (e.g., spreadsheet) emissions estimator tool to allow for easy estimations; and
  • Be designed with the intent to be integrated with AEDT.

 

RESEARCH PLAN
 
The ACRP is seeking the insights of proposers on how best to achieve the research objective. Proposers are asked to develop and include a detailed research plan for accomplishing the research objective. Proposers are expected to describe research plans that can realistically be accomplished within the constraints of the available funds and contract time. Proposals must present the proposers’ current thinking in sufficient detail to demonstrate their understanding of the issues and the soundness of their approach to meeting the research objective. The work proposed must be divided into tasks, and proposers must describe the work proposed in each task in detail.
 
The research plan should include the following interim deliverables at a minimum:

1. A literature review;

2. An interim report that documents research to date, including:
  • Description, including a rationale, of a recommended method to estimate emissions from commercial space vehicle operations,
  • Plan for demonstrating the method’s applicability and functionality (e.g., a hypothetical example, showing the amount of additional emissions generated by various levels of commercial space activity at an airport), and
  • Plan to verify and validate the method within the resource limitations of the project; and
3. A preliminary version of the emissions estimator tool.
 
The research plan should include the following checkpoints with the ACRP panel at a minimum: (1) web-enabled meeting to be held within 1 month of Notice to Proceed; (2) web-enabled meeting to discuss the literature review; (3) one face-to-face meeting to discuss the results of the interim report; and (4) web-enabled meeting to review the preliminary version of the emissions estimator tool.
 
Note: Following receipt of the interim report, there should be 2 months for ACRP review and comments and for the interim meeting.
 
The final deliverables will be:
 
1. A technical report documenting the entire research process, including:
  • Literature review;
  • The method to account for emissions from commercial space vehicle operations;
  • Guidance for using the method and tool, including how to consider commercial space vehicle activity and emissions in environmental studies;
  • The demonstration of the method’s applicability and functionality;
  • A database of emission factors expressed in practical units (e.g., grams per pound of thrust, grams per unit of propellant, grams per time in mode [e.g., percent of rated thrust, with or without strap-on boosters]);
  • A set of default settings (e.g., activity data) to be used with the emissions factors;
  • Verification/validation results;
  • A plan that describes how the method could be integrated with AEDT; and
  • Future research needs that would help improve and refine the method.
 
2. The emissions estimator tool; and
 
3. A stand-alone technical memorandum titled, “Implementation of Research Findings and Products,” as noted in Special Note E.
 
Note: Following receipt of the draft final deliverables, there should be 3 months for ACRP review and comments and for contractor preparation of the final deliverables. For budgeting purposes, proposers should assume that ACRP will provide access to web-enabled teleconference services. ACRP will pay panel members’ travel costs for the face-to-face interim meeting. Proposers should assume that the meeting will be held in Washington, DC.
 
SPECIAL NOTES
 
A. Proposals are evaluated by the ACRP staff and project panels consisting of individuals collectively very knowledgeable in the problem area. Selection of an agency is made by the project panel considering the following factors: (1) the proposer's demonstrated understanding of the problem; (2) the merit of the proposed research approach and experiment design; (3) the experience, qualifications, and objectivity of the research team in the same or closely related problem area; (4) the plan for ensuring application of results; (5) the proposer's plan for participation by Disadvantaged Business Enterprises--small firms owned and controlled by minorities or women; and (6) the adequacy of the facilities and equipment.
 
Note: The proposer's plan for participation by Disadvantaged Business Enterprises should be incorporated in Item 12 of the proposal.
 
B. Proposals should include a task-by-task breakdown of labor hours for each staff member as shown in Figure 4 in the brochure, "Information and Instructions for Preparing Proposals" (http://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/crp/docs/ProposalPrep.pdf). Proposals also should include a breakdown of all costs (e.g., wages, indirect costs, travel, materials, and total) for each task using Figures 5 and 6 in the brochure. Please note that TRB Cooperative Research Program subawards (selected proposers are considered subawards to the National Academy of Sciences, the parent organization of TRB) must comply with 2 CFR 200 – Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards. These requirements include a provision that proposers without a “federally” Negotiated Indirect Costs Rate Agreement (NICRA) shall be subject to a maximum allowable indirect rate of 10% of Modified Total Direct Costs. Modified Total Direct Costs include all salaries and wages, applicable fringe benefits, materials and supplies, services, travel, and up to the first $25,000 of each lower-tier subaward and subcontract. Modified Total Direct Costs exclude equipment, capital expenditures, charges for patient care, rental costs, tuition remission, scholarships and fellowships, participant support costs and the portion of each lower-tier subaward and subcontract in excess of $25,000.
 
C. Item 4(c), "Anticipated Research Results," in each proposal must include an Implementation Plan that describes activities to promote application of the product of this research. It is expected that the implementation plan will evolve during the project; however, proposals must describe, as a minimum, the following: (a) the "product" expected from the research, (b) the audience or "market" for this product, (c) a realistic assessment of impediments to successful implementation, (d) the institutions and individuals who might take leadership in applying the research product, (e) the activities necessary for successful implementation, and (f) the criteria for judging the progress and consequences of implementation.
 
D. A strategic priority for ACRP is to assure quality in its research projects. ACRP therefore encourages the principal investigator of the successful proposer to participate in a 1-day Symposium on ACRP Research in Progress that will be held during the Transportation Research Board’s 2019 Annual Meeting in Washington, DC. Proposers may include this cost in their proposed project budget.
 
E. The required technical memorandum titled “Implementation of Research Findings and Products” should (a) provide recommendations on how to best put the research findings/products into practice; (b) identify possible institutions that might take leadership in applying the research findings/products; (c) identify issues affecting potential implementation of the findings/products and recommend possible actions to address these issues; and (d) recommend methods of identifying and measuring the impacts associated with implementation of the findings/products. Implementation of these recommendations is not part of the research project and, if warranted, details of these actions will be developed and implemented in future efforts.
 
F. Item 5 in the proposal, "Qualifications of the Research Team," must include a section labeled "Disclosure." Information relevant to the ACRP's need to ensure objectivity and to be aware of possible sources of significant financial or organizational conflict of interest in conducting the research must be presented in this section of the proposal. For example, under certain conditions, ownership of the proposing agency, other organizational relationships, or proprietary rights and interests could be perceived as jeopardizing an objective approach to the research effort, and proposers are asked to disclose any such circumstances and to explain how they will be accounted for in this study. If there are no issues related to objectivity, this should be stated.
 
G. The tool should be developed using commercially available off-the-shelf software. Upon delivery, it must be accompanied by model documentation and certified to be free of defects and viruses.  
 
H. Copyrights - All data, written materials, computer software, graphic and photographic images, and other information prepared under the contract and the copyrights therein shall be owned by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The contractor and subcontractors will be able to publish this material for non-commercial purposes, for internal use, or to further academic research or studies with permission from TRB Cooperative Research Programs. The contractor and subcontractors will not be allowed to sell the project material without prior approval by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine. By signing a contract with the National Academy of Sciences, contractors accept legal responsibility for any copyright infringement that may exist in work done for TRB. Contractors are therefore responsible for obtaining all necessary permissions for use of copyrighted material in TRB’s Cooperative Research Programs publications. For guidance on TRB’s policies on using copyrighted material please consult Section 5.4, “Use of Copyrighted Material,” in the Procedural Manual for Contractors.

Proposals (15 single-bound copies) are due not later than 4:30 p.m. on 2/1/2018.

This is a firm deadline, and extensions are not granted. In order to be considered for award, all copies of the agency's proposal accompanied by the executed, unmodified Liability Statement must be in our offices not later than the deadline shown, or the proposal will be rejected. Proposers may choose any carrier or delivery service for their proposals. However, proposers assume the risk of proposal rejection if the carrier or delivery service does not deliver all the required documents by the deadline.

Delivery Address:

PROPOSAL-ACRP
ATTN: Christopher J. Hedges
Director, Cooperative Research Programs
Transportation Research Board
500 Fifth Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001


Liability Statement

The signature of an authorized representative of the proposing agency is required on the unaltered statement in order for the ACRP to accept the agency's proposal for consideration. Proposals submitted without this executed and unaltered statement by the proposal deadline will be summarily rejected. An executed, unaltered statement indicates the agency's intent and ability to execute a contract that includes the provisions in the statement.

Here is a printable version of the Liability Statement (pdf). A free copy of the Adobe Acrobat PDF reader is available at http://www.adobe.com.


General Notes

1. According to the provisions of Title 49, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 21, which relates to nondiscrimination in federally assisted programs, all parties are hereby notified that the contract entered into pursuant to this announcement will be awarded without discrimination on the grounds of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, or disability.

2. The essential features required in a proposal for research are detailed in the current brochure entitled "Information and Instructions for Preparing Proposals" (updated August 2016). Proposals must be prepared according to this document, and attention is directed specifically to Section V for mandatory requirements. Proposals that do not conform with these requirements will be rejected. This brochure is available here.

3. The total funds available are made known in the project statement, and line items of the budget are examined to determine the reasonableness of the allocation of funds to the various tasks. If the proposed total cost exceeds the funds available, the proposal is rejected.

4. All proposals become the property of the Transportation Research Board. Final disposition will be made according to the policies thereof, including the right to reject all proposals.

5. Potential proposers should understand that follow-on activities for this project may be carried out through either a contract amendment modifying the scope of work with additional time and funds, or through a new contract (via sole source, full, or restrictive competition).


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