MSP ITT BFI
11 MARCH 97
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
1. Please clarify what you mean by a computer testbed.
A: It is not a simulation, but rather a derivative of a sizing tool to determine the effects of technology on an MSP system, and the effects of requirements on the MSP system.
2. Please clarify the funding.
A: There currently is $8M available for the ITT program, with an AFSPC request for $10M of AF money in 99, however, it's not there now. Based on the $8M we have in hand, we envision a maximum of $3-5M available for several initial ITT awards. Additionally, AFSPC plans to seek new start funding in the 00 POM.
3. Since you only talk about $3-5M, what is planned for the remainder of the $8M?
A: We currently anticipate multiple awards.
4. Will the flight demonstrator be first demonstrated on/as the Mark I?
A: Yes, any flight demonstrations will be accomplished by a future competitively awarded contract.
5. Is the concept design focus on the flight demonstrator or the MSP?
A: On the flight demonstrator, but scaleable and traceable to the MSP.
6. Does the AF have a target cost for the MSP?
A: No, our focus is on the technology demonstration. As the technology matures we will begin looking at MSP target cost.
7. Is the program thinking about flight testing and the facilitation necessary within the $120-145M or will the focus be just on technology demonstrations?
A: The focus is on technology ground test articles and not flight test. It will include concept design and technology demonstrations.
8. Regarding going from $8M to 150M, how do you plan to get from here to there?
A: At this time we plan to structure the program with a basic effort to cover a concept design and limited demos and a series of priced options to cover ground test activities to be exercised as money becomes available.
10. Have you thought of using a leader - follower approach?
A: We have discussed and explored this possible option. We are open to industry suggestions on this and other approaches.
11. Have you thought about pursuing a full system acquisition similar to EELV or X-33?
A: Current funding projections do not allow for this approach. However, if money becomes available, future acquisitions could pursue this approach.
12. Do you feel that with timing of the ASP that you can make an award by August 97 or that it will slip out?
A: We plan to make the contract award by Aug 97.
13. If an outside organization like BMDO is willing to add money what could you do?
A: As money becomes available then we can exercise options sooner.
14. There is apparently a contradiction, i.e. testing different individual technologies within the framework of an integrated system, how can this be done?
A: Our focus is to not only demonstrate a component technology but also to test this article in a larger integrated assembly where appropriate.
15. Where do you see the technology level will be frozen?
A: Essentially the Technology levels will be frozen at three points in the Military Spaceplane Program (MSP): At the ITT contract award for the Ground Demonstrator, at contract award for any future Flight Demonstrator, and at contract award for an orbital system EMD. Recognizing at each of those points technology will continue to mature and be inserted into MSP.
16. Since the ITT is not a propulsion demonstration/integration effort is there a parallel propulsion effort?
A: Yes, two. One in NASA for the X-33 aerospike, and one in the AF for the Integrated Powerhead Demonstration ( IPD). We anticipate the Mark I demonstrator would use an existing engine. Propulsion modifications and integration will be addressed in the offerors concept design but limited funding probably precludes any new engine development.
17. Will there be a concept for a new engine in the flight demonstrator?
A: The Mark I demonstrator, will probably use an existing or modified engine. However, we expect industry to propose the Mark I propulsion concept, and we are not placing restrictions on the proposals.
18. What is the source of the XLR-138 (IPD) funding?
A: The IPD program is funded with AF POM dollars. The XLR-138 is a proposed follow-on program whose funding will be worked in an ITT in the 00 POM.
19. Please elaborate on the concern over task order type contracts.
A: We are exploring the use of completion vs task order efforts based on the level of design maturity. The AF needs an affordable provable design as the procurement proceeds. We need traceable and scaleable hardware developed and visible early in the procurement. Task Order procedures place the AF in the position of defining and approving your design.
20. Will PL continue to be the procuring agency or when the program progresses to the Mark II to IV who will be?
A: Phillips Lab has been assigned as the procuring agency; we are not aware of any changes at this time.
21. When do you see sensors will being required for this program?
A: If it's for command and control of the vehicle, vehicle state, and integrated health monitoring, it could be addressed within the ITT effort as ground demonstrations.
22. How do you plan to secure FY 98 money?
A: MSP is not currently budgeted in the 1998 AF POM; however, the initial ITT award should last through FY99, mitigating the need for FY98 funds.
23. How does industry leverage AF labs and facilities?
A: Offerors are expected to be familiar with government labs, centers, and ranges and demonstrate teaming efforts.
24. If industry wants to use Government facilities, is there any preconceived notion of how an agreement should be structured?
A: The agreement between industry and the laboratory may not be a subcontract arrangement. Other than that stipulation we are eager for laboratory involvement
25. SOO discusses a low cost reusable upper stage. How does it fit into the overall program?
A: The low cost reusable upper stage (i.e., mini-spaceplane) is envisioned to be an integral part of an overall operational MSP system. However, it is a payload.
26. Are there any provisions being made to allow access to X-33/RLV technologies?
A: There is a technology list being developed that includes points of contact within the various technology areas, government and industry, which we hope will allow an "open door" to leverage X-33 technologies. However, recognize that the proprietary nature of some of these technologies will limit any leveraging.
27. Between the concept design and the technology demonstrations do you see a 50-50 split?
A: Look to greater effort for the technology demonstrations.
28. Would incorporation of joint university-industry training elements for graduate engineers and entry-level professionals be viewed as a positive or desirable enhancement in the context of the MSP ITT procurement?
A: Such an issue would be between the university(ies) and industry. We support teaming arrangements and educational outreach programs; however we do not mandate them.
29. Who do you see being the source selection authority for the ITT?
A: The SMC Commander.
30. Please define what is meant by priced options?
A: Priced options are the costs offerors propose for the critical technology demonstrations.
31. Clarify what you mean by ground demonstrations and does that preclude flight?
A: The ITT is not a flight vehicle, however, this does not preclude demonstrating technologies in a flight environment.
32. Baseline system option requires using the IPD engine - why?
A: The contractor may propose the use of any engine in their Military Spaceplane concept design studies. The IPD "engine" is really a suite of propulsion technologies which contractors may propose using.
33. Verify the ability to use foreign technology/hardware and is it permissible for the ITT and any follow-on flight demonstration?
A: Yes it is all right to use foreign technology/hardware, especially if the technology is transferred to the US.
34. In complying with US DoD space policy will we be able to use Russian hardware as long as the plan is to put it into production within four years after the start of EMD?
A: Yes, there should be no problem so long as US policy is complied with.
35. Regarding subcontractors supporting everyone - could that be a problem (not so much for the basic contract but for the priced options)?
A: The government would allow the prime contractor to sort these issues out with the subcontractors.
36. Are there sufficient existing propulsion systems to integrate into suborbital designs?
A: We expect industry to answer this question.
37. Can we hold discussions with the government up until the RFP is released?
A: Yes, and it is highly encouraged.
38. We perceive that this program may eventually be like the ATF/F-22 program, agree?
A: That will depend on how well industry develops and demonstrates the key supporting technologies.
39. Where is the emphasis - on reports or hardware?
A: Hardware, and hardware in the loop testing.
40. Asked what kind of Gross Lift Off Weight (GLOW) was envisioned for the ATD/ACTD type vehicles?
A: GLOW is configuration dependent.
41. What is the on-going work that is being performed by the three major primes regarding MSPs?
A. They are not a part of the ITT effort. They are separate studies of military applications of MSP.
42. In the area of advanced integrated avionics, has there been any thought of incorporating existing avionics systems/architectures?
A. Yes, particularly in the area of overflight safety it is critical to include integrated avionics systems. Proven avionics will allow incremental flight envelope expansion.
43. Is the goal of ITT (w/options) a full ground test vehicle, or simulations plus selected components?
A. The goal is to develop and demonstrate critical technologies traceable to the Mark I demonstrator.
44. Can you clarify the meaning of "test bed?" How much already exists (FOCC, other efforts, etc.). A. We anticipate that industry will propose its own version of a testbed. Some existing relevant hardware is owned by the government and industry but none specific to ITT.
45. In your mind is the ITT/MSP SSTO?
A. The ITT is using SSTO as a technology stretch goal in the initial ground demonstrations. However, a future Military Spaceplane can use either single or multiple stages.
46. Clarify the synergy between this program and others such as the minispaceplane (MiST).
A. This is a new start while the MiST is an on-going effort.
47. Has the AF looked at using different vehicles for different missions?
A. We have looked at that in detail, and we recognize different missions may be best accomplished by different vehicles.
48. Is there any interest in command and control systems for the ITT in the simulation and reconnaissance areas or is it just for the vehicle itself?
A. The ITT program interest lies primarily in developing the critical technologies that will enable future military spaceplanes.
QUESTIONS 49 - 53 WERE ASKED OF ALL PARTICIPANTS:
49. Given the Air Force's limited funding and current program maturity should the AF proceed on a single or multiple award basis for the ITT procurement? what do you see are the benefits for either approach?
From a "keep the program sold" viewpoint the multiple award is the preferred approach.
This approach will provide access to more contractor support, definition of more concepts, and the benefit of the breadth and depth of technology expertise from multiple contractors.
50. Does the level of understanding of the overall requirements support a definitive statement of objectives (i.e. priced options) on a completion basis or should the work be defined on a task order basis.
Essentially a mixed response, task orders were preferred by small business, primes preferred priced options if engineering estimates were acceptable for pricing analysis. Task orders dilute the Mark 1 focus, with an open ended contract and ill defined cost and technical objectives.
51. Based on the understanding of requirements should the procurement be CPFF or CPAF, or is industry willing to support cost sharing?
The current funding support will not allow contractors to commit to cost sharing. The administrative workload associated with administering an award fee contract cannot be justified with the current funding and potential number of options. Therefore, a CPFF completion contract was considered most appropriate.
52. Given the requirements of the ITT procurement what level of design maturity could be expected at the end of the basic effort and at the end of the full effort.
At the end of the basic effort, with no technology demonstration options exercised, a System Readiness Review (SRR) would be the level of maturity. At the end of the total effort with all options exercised, technology would have matured to an acceptable level to develop a Mark I demonstrator.
53. Has the Air Force identified the critical technology areas and can you provide a priority rank?
Yes, the Air Force identified the majority of critical technology areas. Additional areas may be required by individual contractors for specific concepts. Industry could provide a priority ranking of the technologies based on their concept(s) and the maturity of the technologies within their company.
54. What are the real MSP requirements?
A. See the draft SRD.
55. Why baseline the IPD engine for the ITT?
A. The IPD technology is not a baseline engine. It does provide technology to feed industry proposals of an appropriate baseline engine.
56. When do you expect to DD 250 the equipment?
A. The AF expects to DD 250 the equipment after the final test demonstration is completed.
57. What does the AF expect to be delivered in the computer model?
A. The AF does not expect to acquire the source code for the computer model. The AF would like a program delivered that would allow the AF to input raw data and model the results.
58. Is the ITT manned or unmanned?
A. The ITT is an unmanned ground demonstration. The Mark I demonstrator is also envisioned to be unmanned.
59. Will a change to CONOPS be forthcoming? If so what kind.
A. A change is being worked at this time. No details are available.
60. Will the use of CRDA, Cooperative Agreements, Other Transactions be considered.
A. The Government is focused on a contract arrangement for the ITT. However, other instruments may be established to support the program.
61. The page count is excessive.
A. The page count is being reduced.
62. What is the role of DCMC or ACO office?
A. These offices will perform normal administrative functions prior to contract award. The contract will be administered from Phillips Laboratory with assistance from the ACO.
63. Will the SOO change.
A. The SOO will change for the Draft RFP and possibly again after industry comments from the Draft RFP are received.
64. How much time and traceability are there between Mark I and Mark IV?
A. TBD. Industry needs to define.
65. Is PL's concern for CONUS based spaceplane using Lo2/LH2 an operability issue or a rapid response issue?
A. PL believes LOX/LH2 offers an excellent propellant combination for future Military Spaceplanes. Nearer term demonstrators, however, may be asked to use alternative propellants with superior operability characteristics.
66. STARS (Scientific Technical Activity Reports) were very effective in SDIO, could they be used to advantage during the basic or ITT phases?
A. We plan to use minimum CDRLs and encourage contractor format.