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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

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 1.  How do I arrange for a study in one of the labs?
  Contact Jennifer Medlin Bracken, the IDC Manager.

Email: jennifer.m.bracken@nasa.gov
Phone: 301-286-5127

 2.  What is the cost of an IDC study?
  IDC charges are highly dependent on study assumptions and associated factors (e.g., number of funded IDC studies executed annually, scope and complexity of a study, actual expended labor hours per study, annual IDC operations costs, IDC discretionary funding requirements, etc.). For reference purposes, IDC cost is composed of two primary elements (i.e., service fee and Civil Service (CS) labor hours). Based on previous years' experiences, the estimated costs for an FY16 IDC typical study week, are:
  • Instrument Lab: $50K service fee + 0.5 CS FTE
  • Mission Lab: $50K service fee + 0.5 CS FTE
 3.  What is involved in planning and preparation of an IDC study?
 
  1. The pre-work planning starts 4 to 6 weeks prior to study execution.
  2. One or several face-to-face pre-work meetings are held with the customer.
  3. Discussions take place to determine study goals/objectives/scope and to work out any scheduling issues.
  4. IDC starts long duration tasks (if any) before study execution. For example, the team may need to examine orbit design for some complicated missions.
 4.  How long is an IDC study?
  Although the actual length of an IDC study is dependent on many factors (e.g., incoming concept maturity and complexity level, study scope, negotiated outcome, etc.), a typical design study is 1 week in duration.
 5.  When is an IDC product delivered?
 
  • An interim product is available immediately following the formal presentation.
  • The final product is delivered on CD-Rom 3 to 4 weeks following study execution.
 6.  Is there maximum number of studies that the IDC can handle?
  Current scheduling limitations (e.g., facility, key leadership and engineering personnel availability) and study pre-work, preparation and wrap-up demands result in a preferred "maximum" study profile of one week off, one week on. More ambitious scheduling can be entertained to meet peak demand, but more frequent study execution is accompanied by considerable risk (e.g., delayed product delivery, personnel burn out, degraded product quality, etc.).
 7.  Can any potential proposer procure an IDC run without NASA funding?
  Yes, it is possible to fund the execution of an IDC study from a non-NASA funding source. However, there is considerable lead time required to get through the process (e.g. MOU/MOA's, reimbursable packages, legal review, etc.). It may take many months to prepare to execute such a study.
 8.  What other choices are available for proposers outside of the IDC?
  Proposers' choices vary. Some options include:
  • In-House Assigned Team
  • Ad-Hoc Teams
  • Contractor Suport
  • Rapid Spacecraft Development Office (RSDO) funded and/or non-funded studies
  • Rapid Instrument and/or Mission Design Support like the IDL/MDL
 9.  Do other organizations (e.g. spacecraft partners, JPL, etc.) offer similar services?
  Environments similar to the MDL/IDL include labs at JPL, Aerospace, NGST, etc. Some of these environments are open to all, while others are set up for internal and/or classified use.
+ Privacy Policy and Important Notices NASA Curator: David Kuok
NASA Official: Jennifer Medlin Bracken
Last Updated: 01/29/2016