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Lab-to-Orbit: Accelerating the Development and Testing of Materials for Low Earth Orbit




November 9, 2023



December 20, 2023





Award Floor:



Match Required?





Entity Types:

Public & State controlled institutions of higher education, Private institutions of higher education




Source Type:


THIS WILL BE A TWO-STEP SOLICITATION:First Step: WHITE PAPER DUE DATE AND TIME: 20 December 2024 and Wright-Patterson AFB, OH 2:00 PM EST. Only white papers are due at this time.Second Step: PROPOSAL DUE DATE AND TIME: To be provided in the Requests for Proposals sent to recipients that submit White Papers considered to meet the needs of the Air Force. Brief Program Summary: This program is anticipated to be a single phase consisting of a 36 month base technical effort with a 24 month optional period, plus 3 months for the final report. The technical effort of the program will focus on development of a combined computational and experimental approach for materials discovery and development low-earth-orbit applications through strong, organic collaborations between the Recipient and USAF researchers. The program will seek to grow these collaborations by funding graduate students at the Recipient institution(s) performing exceptional basic research in materials problem spaces to advance materials for space and spacecraft systems. Research under this program should produce actionable, quantifiable information that furthers fundamental knowledge of materials systems.The Recipient is expected to consist of an interdisciplinary team including researchers with expertise in materials science, aerospace systems, and data analytics. As such, multi-investigator teaming across departments, disciplines, and institutions (if applicable) is highly encouraged. Emphasis should be placed on transformative concepts, over incremental efficiency gains, to demonstrate the capacity to accelerate technology development for space applications. Developing students with cross-expertise in the areas listed above and the ability to effectively communicate between these technical communities is paramount. To ensure the collaborative effort, graduate students participating in the CoE are expected to perform research under the direction of an AFRL S for approximately 8-12 weeks each year on site at AFRL, Wright-Patterson AFB. Additional quarterly visits between the Recipient and AFRL S involved in the program are expected.Type of Instrument: Awards under this FOA will be Cooperative Agreement(s) (CA) governed by 2 CFR 200. Cooperative Agreements require successful recipients to have an accounting system considered adequate for tracking costs. The effort may be cost shared as addressed in Part III.2.Estimated Program Cost: The Government anticipates a Base Award Cost of $4.8M with an Option Period Cost of $3.2M. Costs will be shared as follows:- Base Award, 36 Months, Government Share: $3.3M- Base Award, 36 Months, Recipient Cost Share: $1.5M- Option, 24 Months, Government Share: $2.2M- Option, 24 Months, Recipient Cost Share: $1.5MAnticipated Number of Awards: The Air Force anticipates awarding one (1) award for this announcement. However, the Air Force reserves the right to award zero, one, or more Cooperative Agreements for all, some or none of the solicited effort based on the recipients ability to perform desired work and funding fluctuations.

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