Author Topic: Draft RFP for six AF launches (FA8811-17-R-0004) May 3, 2017  (Read 13897 times)

Offline gongora

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EELV Phase 1A RFP #1 Draft Request for Proposal (RFP) and Notice of Intent to Compete (Solicitation Number: FA8811-17-R-0004)

Quote
This RFP includes six missions consisting of three GPS III missions, Air Force Space Command (AFSPC)-8, AFSPC-12, and AFSPC-52. This RFP is organized such that the Small Business factor and the Past Performance factor are overarching criteria that will be evaluated once and applied to each mission. Annex 1 contains mission-specific criteria for the GPS III missions, Annex 2 contains mission-specific criteria for AFSPC-8, Annex 3 contains mission-specific criteria for AFSPC-12, and Annex 4 contains mission-specific criteria for AFSPC-52. Each mission annex is represented within the Instructions to Offerors (Attachment 5) and Evaluation Criteria (Attachment 6).

Unless otherwise agreed to by the Contracting Officer, it is mandatory for offerors to respond via a proposal or request for waiver to each mission. In the event there arises legitimate reasons for an offeror not to submit a proposal for a particular mission (e.g. limited capacity to perform, excessive performance capability, or inability to achieve certification by award date) the Contracting Officer may waive the requirement for proposal submission for that mission(s). All waivers must be approved prior to proposal submittal.

The Government intends to make multiple award decisions: individual award decisions for (1) the three GPS III missions (winner-take-all), (2) AFSPC-8, (3) AFSPC-12, and (4) AFSPC-52.
The Government reserves the right to make all award decisions at once or rolling award decisions. Should an Offeror be awarded multiple missions, the missions shall be awarded and executed on one contract. Four separate award decisions shall be made to the Offeror(s) that receives an acceptable rating in the relevant factors and sub-factors, with the lowest reasonable and balanced Total Evaluated Price. The Total Proposed Price (TPP) will be the price put on contract.

Two of the AFSPC missions are direct to GSO, the other does not list the orbit it is going to.
« Last Edit: 05/18/2017 03:52 am by gongora »

Offline LouScheffer

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AFSPC-8 and AFSPC-52 appear right on the edge of Falcon-9 performance.  AFSPC-8 needs 1700kg to GEO.  Extrapolating from the recent Echostar 23, this might barely be possible, assuming the long coast option is not too heavy.  Also this is very dependent on the second stage empty pass, which only SpaceX knows for sure.  Also not clear if they could add disposal plus margins acceptable to the AF and still make this.

AFSPC-52 needs to show a demonstrated launch of at least 6350 kg to GTO.   Given that SpaceX is going to put 6070kg to a super-synchronous orbit with Inmarsat 5, the performance should be there.  However it's not clear SpaceX has a particular launch that meets the requirement.  They have discussed launching heavier sats, but these were more than 7t to sub-synchronous orbit, which would not meet the "demonstrated" even if the equivalent performance is there.

AFSPC-12 (2700 kg to GEO) would definitely require a Falcon Heavy.

Offline Ragmar

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AFSPC-8 and AFSPC-52 appear right on the edge of Falcon-9 performance.  AFSPC-8 needs 1700kg to GEO.  Extrapolating from the recent Echostar 23, this might barely be possible, assuming the long coast option is not too heavy.  Also this is very dependent on the second stage empty pass, which only SpaceX knows for sure.  Also not clear if they could add disposal plus margins acceptable to the AF and still make this.

AFSPC-52 needs to show a demonstrated launch of at least 6350 kg to GTO.   Given that SpaceX is going to put 6070kg to a super-synchronous orbit with Inmarsat 5, the performance should be there.  However it's not clear SpaceX has a particular launch that meets the requirement.  They have discussed launching heavier sats, but these were more than 7t to sub-synchronous orbit, which would not meet the "demonstrated" even if the equivalent performance is there.

AFSPC-12 (2700 kg to GEO) would definitely require a Falcon Heavy.

How do you know the weight requirements for the three AFSPC satellites?  I couldn't find those in the documents.

Also, I didn't see anything in the eval criteria, but are there any comments on reused hardware?

Offline LouScheffer

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How do you know the weight requirements for the three AFSPC satellites?  I couldn't find those in the documents.

Also, I didn't see anything in the eval criteria, but are there any comments on reused hardware?
Mass for AFSPC-8 is in Table 11-5.  Mass for AFSPC-12 is  in Table 12-5.  Need for demo of 6350 kg to GTO is on line 4 of page 53 (and on page 55).

I did not see anything about re-use, but I only skimmed the document to try to find the requirements.

Offline gongora

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Mass for AFSPC-8 is in Table 11-5.  Mass for AFSPC-12 is  in Table 12-5.  Need for demo of 6350 kg to GTO is on line 4 of page 53 (and on page 55).

AFSPC-12 is 2800+ kg.  Interesting GEO payload, 1000kg satellite riding on top of a "propulsive ESPA ring" loaded with smaller sats.

There is zero chance of seeing anything about reusability in a document like this.  The Air Force doesn't have a process for certifying reused vehicles yet.

How is the second stage disposal done on the GEO missions, raise the orbit a couple hundred km?  How many more engine burns does that take?
« Last Edit: 05/10/2017 07:23 pm by gongora »

Offline baldusi

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If I had to guess I would say that they insert in the "graveyard" orbit, which is 200km higher than GEO.

Offline deruch

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AFSPC-52 needs to show a demonstrated launch of at least 6350 kg to GTO.   Given that SpaceX is going to put 6070kg to a super-synchronous orbit with Inmarsat 5, the performance should be there.  However it's not clear SpaceX has a particular launch that meets the requirement.  They have discussed launching heavier sats, but these were more than 7t to sub-synchronous orbit, which would not meet the "demonstrated" even if the equivalent performance is there.
For demonstrating that launch and assuming a heavy enough payload to qualify, does it have to be to a planned orbit?  Or would an minimum residual shutdown launch that gets it there but not to an exact planned orbit qualify?
Shouldn't reality posts be in "Advanced concepts"?  --Nomadd

Offline deruch

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Interesting that the 3 GPS-III launches are being offered as a single award, winner-take-all.  Am I reading too much into that by assuming that for the 2 previously competed GPS-III awards the "competition" wasn't really close?
Shouldn't reality posts be in "Advanced concepts"?  --Nomadd

Offline gongora

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AFSPC-52 needs to show a demonstrated launch of at least 6350 kg to GTO.   Given that SpaceX is going to put 6070kg to a super-synchronous orbit with Inmarsat 5, the performance should be there.  However it's not clear SpaceX has a particular launch that meets the requirement.  They have discussed launching heavier sats, but these were more than 7t to sub-synchronous orbit, which would not meet the "demonstrated" even if the equivalent performance is there.
For demonstrating that launch and assuming a heavy enough payload to qualify, does it have to be to a planned orbit?  Or would an minimum residual shutdown launch that gets it there but not to an exact planned orbit qualify?

I'm not going to reread the documents tonight, but somewhere in the evaluation criteria it mentions that minimum residual shutdown launches don't count towards showing a history of accurate orbital insertion, and all of the missions seem to require fairly accurate orbits.

Offline baldusi

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Interesting that the 3 GPS-III launches are being offered as a single award, winner-take-all.  Am I reading too much into that by assuming that for the 2 previously competed GPS-III awards the "competition" wasn't really close?
I would guess that this is USAF way of saying to ULA that they don't appreciate them not even bidding on GPS-III SV02 launch.

Offline Newton_V

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Interesting that the 3 GPS-III launches are being offered as a single award, winner-take-all.  Am I reading too much into that by assuming that for the 2 previously competed GPS-III awards the "competition" wasn't really close?
I would guess that this is USAF way of saying to ULA that they don't appreciate them not even bidding on GPS-III SV02 launch.

I don't believe that's the reason.  I think they are trying to simplify this overall process, and I wouldn't be surprised to see more mini block buys in the future.

Offline Robotbeat

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Mini block buys are probably optimal. You get most of the paperwork reduction benefit of a full block buy with most of the competition benefit of going one at a time.
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Offline AncientU

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There are no discriminators for awarding one GPS here and another there.  The solicitation discusses a list of 'acceptable/unacceptable' check marks, then a price.  If you have all needed up-checks and your price is lowest, then you win all.
"If we shared everything [we are working on] people would think we are insane!"
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Offline AncientU

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AFSPC-8 and AFSPC-52 appear right on the edge of Falcon-9 performance.  AFSPC-8 needs 1700kg to GEO.  Extrapolating from the recent Echostar 23, this might barely be possible, assuming the long coast option is not too heavy.  Also this is very dependent on the second stage empty pass, which only SpaceX knows for sure.  Also not clear if they could add disposal plus margins acceptable to the AF and still make this.

AFSPC-52 needs to show a demonstrated launch of at least 6350 kg to GTO.   Given that SpaceX is going to put 6070kg to a super-synchronous orbit with Inmarsat 5, the performance should be there.  However it's not clear SpaceX has a particular launch that meets the requirement.  They have discussed launching heavier sats, but these were more than 7t to sub-synchronous orbit, which would not meet the "demonstrated" even if the equivalent performance is there.

AFSPC-12 (2700 kg to GEO) would definitely require a Falcon Heavy.

What are the corresponding Atlas V configurations for each of these three (non-GPS) payloads?
Does the Falcon price advantage actually increase with the heavier payloads because of the added SRBs on Atlas?  Since the current version of F9 lists 8,300kg to GTO and 4,020kg to Mars, isn't it possible to do 2,700kg to GEO with an expendable F9, or does the plane change add too much delta-v requirement?
« Last Edit: 05/15/2017 12:35 am by AncientU »
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Offline baldusi

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AFSPC-8 and AFSPC-52 appear right on the edge of Falcon-9 performance.  AFSPC-8 needs 1700kg to GEO.  Extrapolating from the recent Echostar 23, this might barely be possible, assuming the long coast option is not too heavy.  Also this is very dependent on the second stage empty pass, which only SpaceX knows for sure.  Also not clear if they could add disposal plus margins acceptable to the AF and still make this.

AFSPC-52 needs to show a demonstrated launch of at least 6350 kg to GTO.   Given that SpaceX is going to put 6070kg to a super-synchronous orbit with Inmarsat 5, the performance should be there.  However it's not clear SpaceX has a particular launch that meets the requirement.  They have discussed launching heavier sats, but these were more than 7t to sub-synchronous orbit, which would not meet the "demonstrated" even if the equivalent performance is there.

AFSPC-12 (2700 kg to GEO) would definitely require a Falcon Heavy.

What are the corresponding Atlas V configurations for each of these three (non-GPS) payloads?
Does the Falcon price advantage actually increase with the heavier payloads because of the added SRBs on Atlas?  Since the current version of F9 lists 8,300kg to GTO and 4,020kg to Mars, isn't it possible to do 2,700kg to GEO with an expendable F9, or does the plane change add too much delta-v requirement?

I don't know about the RP-1 stage of F9. But GEO=40% GTO is a good rule of thumb for Atlas V with its Centaur stage. So let's say 1/3 of GTO. Then the Block 5 should be around 2,767kg. In other words, it seems too much on the limit of rules of thumb to give a definitive answer. But it's most probably close to the limits of capabilities.

Offline LouScheffer

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AFSPC-8 and AFSPC-52 appear right on the edge of Falcon-9 performance.  AFSPC-8 needs 1700kg to GEO.  Extrapolating from the recent Echostar 23, this might barely be possible, assuming the long coast option is not too heavy.  Also this is very dependent on the second stage empty pass, which only SpaceX knows for sure.  Also not clear if they could add disposal plus margins acceptable to the AF and still make this.

AFSPC-52 needs to show a demonstrated launch of at least 6350 kg to GTO.   Given that SpaceX is going to put 6070kg to a super-synchronous orbit with Inmarsat 5, the performance should be there.  However it's not clear SpaceX has a particular launch that meets the requirement.  They have discussed launching heavier sats, but these were more than 7t to sub-synchronous orbit, which would not meet the "demonstrated" even if the equivalent performance is there.

AFSPC-12 (2700 kg to GEO) would definitely require a Falcon Heavy.

What are the corresponding Atlas V configurations for each of these three (non-GPS) payloads?
Does the Falcon price advantage actually increase with the heavier payloads because of the added SRBs on Atlas?  Since the current version of F9 lists 8,300kg to GTO and 4,020kg to Mars, isn't it possible to do 2,700kg to GEO with an expendable F9, or does the plane change add too much delta-v requirement?

I don't know about the RP-1 stage of F9. But GEO=40% GTO is a good rule of thumb for Atlas V with its Centaur stage. So let's say 1/3 of GTO. Then the Block 5 should be around 2,767kg. In other words, it seems too much on the limit of rules of thumb to give a definitive answer. But it's most probably close to the limits of capabilities.
The Falcon-9 can't do as big a percentage to GEO since the stage itself is a big fraction of the payload, and RP-1 is not as energetic.  Here's how I got 1700 kg to GEO (with the current configuration):

Start with EchoStar 23.  This put 5500 kg into a minimal GTO+250 m/s orbit.   To get to GEO, you need roughly a GTO+1800 delta-V.  To get this, you need about 1500 m/s more from the second stage (the remaining 50 m/s will come from better first stage performance due to the lighter payload).  Making usual assumptions (111.5t fuel, 4.5t empty stage), then you need to reduce the payload to 1750 kg to get the delta-V you need.   

Of course these numbers are just estimates,and presumably Block 5 will be better.  But with the current configuration (Block 3?) if you try 2700 kg you'll end up about 250 m/s short of GEO. 

Offline baldusi

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Well, I concur that Block 3 has no chance of doing this. I do wonder if such is the extra performance of Block 5 that can put an extra ton to GEO.

Offline edkyle99

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Inmarsat 5 F4 is a nearly 6.1 tonne bird, going to GTO on either a Block 3 or a Block 4 Falcon 9.  This is close to the limit of what a Block 3 can do, I believe.  SpaceX says Block 5 will be able to boost 8.3 tonnes to GTO.  That's a surprisingly big difference.  There must be a lot of upper stage improvement.

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 05/15/2017 03:07 pm by edkyle99 »

Offline LouScheffer

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Inmarsat 5 F4 is a nearly 6.1 tonne bird, going to GTO on either a Block 3 or a Block 4 Falcon 9.  This is close to the limit of what a Block 3 can do, I believe.  SpaceX says Block 5 will be able to boost 8.3 tonnes to GTO.  That's a surprisingly big difference.  There must be a lot of upper stage improvement.

 - Ed Kyle
The EchoStar was planned shutdown and still hit minimal GTO+200, roughly.  That translates to about 6.1t  to minimal GTO.  But the last 1% of fuel contributes about 350 m/s, so going to burn-to-depletion allows more.  With usual-ish assumptions (111.5t fuel, 4.5t stage mass, 348 ISP) then a current F9 could put 7.1t into a GTO-ish orbit (it won't be exact since it's burn to depletion).

So if a block 5 can really put 8.3t into GTO, that's a 17% improvement, not quite so crazy.

Offline AncientU

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How does this change the calculations?

42698   INMARSAT 5-F4   2017-025A      1401.67min   24.50deg   69839km   381km      
42699   FALCON 9 R/B   2017-025B           1410.43min   24.47deg   70181km   384km
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