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NASA solicits bids for spaceship shields

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From Star Trek to reality - again

An expandable (smaller at launch than when deployed) artificial magnetosphere for spacecraft which would serve as a shield against charged particles (solar storms, solar winds, galactic cosmic rays, etc.)

The shields superconducting coils would be compressed against the habitats exterior at launch, then expand to full size once in space. Their high strength electromagnetic fields would act like Earth's magnetosphere - deflecting charged particles around it.

March 2012 NASA presentation (PDF)

NASA JSC Solicitation: Development of the Expandable Coil Concept

Synopsis - Jan 03, 2013

General Information

Solicitation Number: NNJ13457646Q

Posted Date: Jan 03, 2013

FedBizOpps Posted Date: Jan 03, 2013

Recovery and Reinvestment Act Action: No

Original Response Date: Jan 16, 2013

Current Response Date: Jan 16, 2013

Classification Code: A -- Research and Development

NAICS Code: 541712

Set-Aside Code: Total Small Business

Contracting Office Address

NASA/Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, Houston Texas, 77058-3696, Mail Code: BH


NASA/JSC has a requirement to continue the study of active radiation shielding for crew protection, a key challenge with human exploration of space. The study will include scalability of the coil configuration and magnet concept; further develop the 6+1 coil array and compensation coil concept for conductor placement, and loads as well as supporting structure. Preliminary concepts will be developed for managing fringe fields. Quench performance will be evaluated and a technology roadmap will be developed.

NASA/JSC intends to award to Advanced Magnet Lab (AML). AML has the patented coil configuration concept and approach for radiation shielding and has the proprietary software tool, CoilCAD which provides advanced 3D coil design. AML developed the 6 around 1 coil concept which includes state-of-the-art magnet tape for active radiation protection. AML also has patents on a "Double Helix" design for magnetic coils used in space shield. The Double Helix magnet technology allows nearly limitless configurations of magnetic field shapes.

The Government intends to acquire a commercial item using FAR Part 12.

Interested organizations may submit their capabilities and qualifications to perform the effort in writing to the identified point of contact not later than 4:30 p.m. local time on January 16, 2013. Such capabilities/qualifications will be evaluated solely for the purpose of determining whether or not to conduct this procurement on a competitive basis. A determination by the Government not to compete this proposed effort on a full and open competition basis, based upon responses to this notice, is solely within the discretion of the government.

Oral communications are not acceptable in response to this notice.

All responsible sources may submit an offer which shall be considered by the agency.

NASA Clause 1852.215-84, Ombudsman, is applicable. The Center Ombudsman for this acquisition can be found at



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