Flight for the Advancement of Science and Technology (FAST) 2016

Announcement of Opportunity

Stratospheric Balloon Flight in Australia

Publication date: September 26, 2016

Application deadline: October 28, 2016

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. AO Objectives
  3. Eligibility Criteria
  4. Applications
  5. Evaluation
  6. Funding
  7. Funding Agreements
  8. Privacy Notice Statement
  9. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Summary of key information

  • Total budget for new awards under this Announcement of Opportunity (AO): $150,000
  • Eligible recipients: Canadian post-secondary institutions
  • Type of transfer of funds: Grants
  • Maximum amount per grant: $75,000
  • Maximum duration of awards: 12 months from award
  • Number of approximate new awards pending adequate proposals of merit: two
  • Application deadline: October 28, 2016

1. Introduction

This AO aims at awarding up to two grants to support the adaptation, certification and flight of eligible payloads available in the course of the Centre national d'études spatiales (CNES) stratospheric balloon campaign currently planned to occur in April 2017 in Alice Springs, Australia. This opportunity is made available via the existing collaboration between the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) and the CNES from which the CSA's stratospheric balloon program Stratos was created in 2011. The primary result sought from this opportunity is to attract and train Highly Qualified Personnel (HQP) to build capacity to enable Canada's future competitiveness and productivity in the space sector.

This AO is consistent with the terms and conditions of the CSA Class Grant and Contribution (G&C) Program to Support Research, Awareness and Learning in Space Science and Technology – Research Component.

Applicants are asked to read the following AO thoroughly before submitting their applications. This AO was prepared to help applicants complete the application process, and outlines key elements, including mandatory criteria for eligibility, details on eligible projects and the selection process. In the event of any discrepancies between this AO and the individual funding agreements governing a project, the latter document(s) will take precedence.

2. AO Objectives

The objective of this AO, which is linked to the CSA G&C Program objectives, is to support Canadian post-secondary institutions research projects that offer hands-on experience to HQP before, during and after a stratospheric balloon campaign that has similarities with a real space mission. Such hands-on experience contributes to develop and maintain a robust and experienced workforce required for Canada to continue playing an active role in future space missions.

3. Eligibility Criteria

3.1 Eligible Recipients

Canadian post-secondary institutions

3.2 Eligible Projects

To be eligible, it is mandatory that a project address the following elements, which are further described in Sections 3.2.1 to 3.2.6. For instance, projects must include:

All development phases necessary for a project are eligible. Any logical breakdown or combination of these phases can constitute a funded project. However, breaking down a project into numerous phases to obtain more than the maximum grant or contribution is not allowed. Furthermore, even if the maximum funding for one project is not reached, the completion of a funded phase does not automatically guarantee funding of the remaining phases.

3.2.1 Eligible Research Disciplines

Eligible projects must provide hands-on experience to HQP in one or more of the six research disciplines below:

Research Disciplines Research Priorities
Satellite engineering Satellite and spacecraft systems, components, environments and operations; system engineering techniques; mechanical design; communication system engineering.
Space life science Research that has as main objective to better understand, or characterize and mitigate the risks to humans associated with spaceflight, and develop novel countermeasures. We welcome the use of research models and recognize that the development of improved in situ bioanalysis, bio imaging and biomonitoring is critical to accomplish our goals. Strategies against those risks, or to develop improved diagnostic or treatment techniques.
Space astronomy Astronomical investigations and development of prototypes of astronomical instruments that address space science objectives identified in the Canadian Astronomical Society (CASCA) Long Range Plan and mid-term review (e.g. dark energy, exoplanets, wide-field UV-visible-infrared imaging, high-energy astrophysics, cosmology, etc.).
Planetary exploration Planetary science and technology investigations that address objectives identified in the 2009 Canadian Scientific Priorities for the Global Exploration Strategy document (i.e. the 6th Canadian Space Exploration Workshop report).
Earth system science

Remote sensing of atmospheric composition and dynamics, clouds and precipitation, soil moisture and freeze/thaw state, hydrology, land cover, biomass fires, snow and ice, primarily in Canada. Eligible project may include the following activities:

  • Measurements, using existing instruments with proven capabilities, for the purpose of validating data and derived products from active satellite missions; and
  • Measurements, using innovative instruments that show promise for future satellite missions, for the purpose of demonstrating the capabilities of the instrument(s) and the scientific value of the observations.
Solar-terrestrial science

In situ measurements or remote sensing of energetic particles, magnetic fields, electric fields, and geospace interactions with the neutral atmosphere. Eligible projects may include the following activities:

  • Measurements, using existing instruments with proven capabilities, for the purpose of validating data and derived products from active satellite missions; and
  • Measurements, using innovative instruments that show promise for future satellite missions, for the purpose of demonstrating the capabilities of the instrument(s) and the scientific value of the observations.
3.2.2 Mass and Volume Limits for Eligible Instruments

Canadian payloads selected under this AO will be integrated into a CNES balloon gondola that is already planned to fly with European instruments. Therefore, the Canadian payloads will need to fit within specific mass and volume constraints and specifications. This criterion will be used to screen instrument for compatibility with the CNES gondola. Refer to Annex B (sections B.2, B.3 and B.4) for mission profile, exact mass and volume constraints and specifications.

3.2.3 Training Plan

Proposals must include a detailed training plan that outlines how hands-on experience will enable HQPFootnote 1 to develop some or all of the following skills:

The level and content of training should be appropriate to the research discipline, whether it is related to science or engineering, and should include opportunities for interaction and collaboration with other researchers inside and outside the organization, where appropriate.

3.2.4 Other Information on Eligible Project

As reflected in the selection criteria entitled "Fidelity of the space experience" of Section 5.2, space mission phases are highly encouraged which may include for the purpose of this AO the following activities:

An eligible project should not be the same as a project that has received CSA's financial support following a previous FAST AO.

Applicants are not allowed to break down a project into numerous phases in order to obtain more than the maximum grant. Furthermore, even if the maximum funding for one project is not reached, the completion of a funded phase does not automatically guarantee funding of the remaining phases.

3.2.5 Links to CSA Priorities

To be eligible, projects supported under this AO must contribute to the achievement of at least one of the following objectives:

3.2.6 Links to the Class G&C Program Objectives

To be eligible, projects supported under this AO must contribute to the achievement of at least one of the following objectives:

4. Applications

4.1 Required Documentation

The application must include the following:

It is the applicant's responsibility to ensure that the application complies with all relevant federal, provincial and territorial legislation and municipal bylaws.

Applications must be mailed or sent by courier to the CSA at the following address:

FAST AO
c/o Isabelle Lamoureux
Senior officer, Academic Development
Space Science & Technology
Canadian Space Agency
6767 Route de l'Aéroport
Saint-Hubert, Quebec J3Y 8Y9

Applicants must also take note of the following:

Questions and answers related to this AO will be posted on the CSA website in the FAQ section of this AO (see Section 9). The CSA will answer questions received before October 21, 2016.

4.2 Service Standards – Complete Applications

Applicants will be notified in writing of decisions regarding their application. Selected applications will be announced on the CSA website. The CSA has set the following service standards for processing times, acknowledgement of receipt, funding decisions and payment procedures.

Acknowledgement: The CSA's goal is to acknowledge receipt of proposals within 2 weeks of receiving the completed application package.

Decision: The CSA's goal is to respond to the proposal within 11 weeks of the AO's closing date and to send a grant agreement for signature within 4 weeks of formal approval of the proposal.

Payment: Grant: The CSA's goal is to issue payment within 4 weeks of the successful fulfillment of the requirements outlined in the grant agreement.

Compliance with these service standards is a shared responsibility. Applicants must submit all required documentation in a timely fashion. Service standards may vary by AO.

5. Evaluation

5.1 Eligibility Criteria

5.2 Evaluation Criteria

Once the eligibility assessment is completed, applications will be evaluated according to the following criteria:

1. Benefits to Canada

Max. score: 30
Min. score: 15

1.1 Advancement of new knowledge and technology

Max. score: 15

This criterion evaluates the originality of the research and its probable impact and potential to advance knowledge in the field of space science and/or technology, directly or indirectly.

1.2 Relevance to FAST AO research priorities

Max. score: 15

This criterion evaluates relevance of the project to at least one of the AO research priorities listed in Section 3.2.1.

2. Results in terms of contribution of the training of HQP.

Max. score: 30
Min. score: 17

2.1 Relevance of experience, knowledge and professional skills acquired by HQP to the Canadian space sector

Max. score: 15

This criterion is used to assess the degree to which the experience, knowledge and professional skills targeted in HQP training are desired by the Canadian space sector (industry, academia or government).

2.2 Fidelity of the space experience

Max. score: 15

This criterion evaluates the degree to which the project is space-like, as this will enhance the fidelity of training.

3. Resources

Max. score: 15
Min. score: 8

3.1 Quality and experience of the team

Max. score: 10

This criterion evaluates the quality of the project team, its combination of expertise, and its ability to carry out the research project and provide the proposed training activities.

3.2 Interaction between HQP and researchers from different disciplines

Max. score: 5

This criterion evaluates the interaction between HQP and researchers from different disciplines, occupations and organizations.

4. Project Feasibility

Max. score: 15
Min. score: 6

4.1 Clarity and completeness of the research, training and mentoring plans

Max. score: 15

This criterion evaluates the clarity, completeness and feasibility of the research, training and mentoring plans, with the roles and responsibilities, contribution and level of involvement of each team member clearly identified.

5. Risk and Mitigation Strategies

Max. score: 10
Min. score: 4

5.1 Project risks (financial, managerial, environmental and technical) and mitigation strategies

Max. score: 10
Min. score: 4

This criterion evaluates key risks associated with the project and the mitigation strategies for each risk.

5.3 Evaluation Process

Only applications that have passed the eligibility assessment listed in Section 5.1 will be given further consideration.

Once the eligibility criteria are confirmed, evaluators will assess the screened applications according to the criteria listed in Section 5.2. Evaluators shall be experts in the fields relevant to the applications and may include representatives of Canada and other countries, and representatives of other government and non-government agencies and organizations. If applicable, a multidisciplinary evaluation committee will be formed when applications from several different disciplines are competing in order to provide a uniform final score and ranking of proposals.

Before a final decision is made, the CSA's Program Manager responsible for this AO may seek input and advice from other organizations, including (but not limited to) federal, provincial, territorial and municipal government agencies and organizations.

6. Funding

6.1 Available Funding and Duration

The total maximum funding amount given in grant for each project will be $75,000, over a maximum period of 12 months. The number of projects to be selected under this AO is limited to a maximum of two (2).

The CSA reserves the right to reject any proposals or reduce the amount of the grants or the contributions at its entire discretion.

Approved proposals will be eligible for a total amount of government assistance (federal, provincial, territorial and municipal) of up to 100% of total project costs.

To determine the amount of funding to be allocated, consideration will be given to the availability of CSA funds, the total cost of the project, eligibility of activities, eligibility of expenses, and the other confirmed sources of funds provided by other stakeholders and the applicant.

While the duration of proposed projects should be no more than 12 months, the project schedule may be modified under exceptional circumstances with prior CSA approval (e.g. campaign delays due to poor weather).

Applicants must identify all sources of funding in their applications and confirm this information in a funding agreement if the project is selected for funding. Upon completion of a project, the recipient must also disclose all sources of funding.

6.2 Eligible Costs

Eligible costs are direct expenses that are associated with the delivery of the approved project and that are required to achieve the expected results of the project. Expenses will be covered subject to the applicant signing a funding agreement, in the form of a grant, with the CSA.

Eligible costs for grants under this AO are the following:

7. Funding Agreements

7.1 Payments

The CSA and each successful applicant (the recipient) will sign a funding agreement. This is a condition for any payment made by the CSA with respect to the approved project.

Payments will be made in a lump sum as described in the signed agreement. Grant funding agreements will include a clause stipulating the recipient's obligation to confirmtheir eligibility for the G&C Program – Research Component and inform the CSA in writing of any changes to the conditions used in determining their eligibility for this component.

7.2 Audit

The recipient of a funding agreement shall keep proper records of all documentation related to the funded project, for the duration of the project and for six (6) years after the completion date of the project, in the event of an audit. This documentation shall be available upon request.

7.3 Conflict of Interest

In the funding agreement, the recipient will certify that any current or former public office holder or public servant it employs complies with the provisions of the relevant Conflict of Interest and Post-Employment Code for Public Office Holders and the Values and Ethics Code for the Public Sector respectively.

7.4 Intellectual Property

All intellectual property developed by the recipient in the course of the project shall vest in the recipient.

7.5 Organizations in Quebec

An organization in Quebec whose operations are partially or fully funded by the province of Quebec may be subject to the Act Respecting the Ministère du Conseil exécutif, R.S.Q., Chapter M-30.

Under Sections 3.11 and 3.12 of this Act, certain entities/organizations, as defined in the meaning of the Act, such as municipal bodies, school bodies, or public agencies, must obtain authorization from the Secrétariat aux affaires intergouvernementales canadiennes du Québec (SAIC), as indicated by the Act, before signing any funding agreement with the Government of Canada, its departments or agencies, or a federal public agency.

Consequently, any entity that is subject to the Act is responsible for obtaining such authorization before signing any funding agreement with the Government of Canada.

Quebec applicants must complete, sign and include the M-30 Supporting Documentation form with their application.

7.6 Performance Measurement

The CSA will ask the recipients to report on certain aspects of their projects such as:

Knowledge Creation

Capacity Building

Collaboration

As a courtesy, the CSA would like to receive a copy of publications arising from the work, and to be informed in advance of significant press releases or media interest resulting from the work.

8. Privacy Notice Statement

The CSA will comply with the federal Access to Information Act and Privacy Act with respect to applications received. By submitting personal information, an applicant is consenting to its collection, use and disclosure in accordance with the following Privacy Notice Statement, which explains how the applicant's information will be managed.

Necessary measures have been taken to protect the confidentiality of the information provided by the applicant. This information is collected under the authority of the CSA Class G&C Program to Support Research, Awareness and Learning in Space Science and Technology – Research Component, and will be used for the evaluation and selection of proposals. Personal information (such as contact information and biographical information) included in the rejected proposals will be stored in a CSA Personal Information Bank for five (5) years and then destroyed (Personal Information File no. ASC PPU045). Personal information included in the successful proposals will be kept along with the proposal results for historical purposes. These data are protected under the Privacy Act. According to the Privacy Act, the data linked to an individual and included in the proposal being evaluated can be accessed by the specific concerned individual who has rights with respect to this information. This individual may, upon request,

Applicants shall note that for all agreements over $25,000, information related to the funding agreement (amount, grant or contribution, name of the recipient and project location) will be made available to the public on the CSA website.

For additional information on privacy matters prior to submitting a proposal, please contact:

Access to Information and Privacy
Canadian Space Agency
Telephone: 450-926-4866
Email: asc.aiprp-atip.csa@canada.ca

9. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

It is the responsibility of the applicants to obtain clarification of the requirements contained herein, if necessary, before submitting an application.

For any questions related to the AO, applicants shall use the following generic email address asc.lecedessetc-thegandccoe.csa@canada.ca. Questions and answers related to this AO will be posted on the CSA website in the FAQ section of this AO. The CSA will respond to questions received before 5 p.m. (EDT), October 7, 2016.

At any point, applicants are welcome to share with the CSA their comments or suggestions regarding the AO, the program or the process. Applicants may either use the generic email address or the generic web-based Comments and Suggestions Box.

Question 1: What is the timeline envisioned for instrument shipping and integration in Alice Springs? Is a pre-integration activity at the CSA planned? Is it planned to ship all Canadian equipment together to Australia or must all payloads make their own arrangements for customs etc.?

Answer 1: No pre-integration will be made at the CSA. The equipment will be sent to Alice Springs from the CSA (St-Hubert), by the CSA. The CSA will provide support for customs clearance. However, users will have to provide the CSA with complete packing lists. The deadline for the reception of equipment at the CSA is 10 February 2017.

Question 2: Would it be possible to delay the deadline for this AO by one week to avoid the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) grant deadlines on 1 November?

Answer 2: Given the very tight deadlines imposed by the nature of this opportunity, it is impossible to delay the closing deadline by one week for this AO.

Annex A – Scoring and Weighting

A numerical weight is associated with each criterion. It is strongly recommended that applicants draft their proposals by providing information related to each highest score. Proposals that only or mainly describe the scientific and/or technological merits of their project will have a very low probability of obtaining a grant.

Since the objective of this AO is to train HQP, the selection criteria relate particularly to the quality of HQP training. High-quality training should attract and equip students for future careers in space science or technology, hence research should benefit Canada (be exciting, original, relevant to future missions and space opportunities), and results should provide the student with experience, knowledge and professional skills that are recognized and sought after in the Canadian space sector (industry, academia or government).

1. Benefits to Canada

1.1 Advancement of new knowledge and technology

This criterion evaluates the originality of the research and its probable impact and potential to advance our knowledge in the field of space science and/or technology, directly or indirectly.

Poor: The research is not expected to have a significant short- or long-term impact. The project lacks novel concepts and will not contribute to advancement of new knowledge in space science and/or technology. (Score: 0)

Average: The research could advance knowledge in the field of space science and/or technology. The work is largely derivative of previous work. (Score: 5)

Good: The probable results will advance knowledge in the field of space science and/or technology. The proposed research involves new or original concepts or methods, and/or builds on previous work. It will contribute to maintaining in Canada a robust and experienced workforce within industry, academia, and government in order to continue playing an active role in future space missions. (Score: 10)

Excellent: The probable results will advance knowledge in the field of space science and/or technology and have a broad, long-term impact beyond the immediate field of study. The proposed research stands out because of its highly innovative or original scientific or technical concepts or methods, and/or builds significantly on previous work. It will contribute to maintaining in Canada a robust and experienced workforce within industry, academia, and government in order to continue playing an active role in future national and international space missions. (Score: 15)

1.2 Relevance to the FAST AO research priorities

This criterion evaluates the relevance of the proposed project to at least one of the research priorities listed in Section 3.2.1.

Poor: The research is not relevant to any of the FAST AO research priorities listed in Section 3.2.1. (Score: 0)

Average: The research is relevant to a FAST AO research priority listed in Section 3.2.1. (Score: 5)

Good: The research is relevant to a FAST AO research priority listed in Section 3.2.1, and may be integrated into, or enable, a future space mission. (Score: 10)

Excellent: The research is central to a FAST AO research priority listed in Section 3.2.1. It contributes to mission objectives currently under consideration and/or presents solutions to known technology needs, and hence is highly likely to be integrated into a future space mission, or to be used/commercialized by industry. (Score: 15)

2. Results in terms of contribution to the training of HQP

2.1 The relevance of experience, knowledge and professional skills acquired by HQP to the Canadian space sector

This criterion is used to assess the degree to which experience, knowledge and professional skills targeted in HQP training are desired by the Canadian space sector (industry, academia or government).

Poor: The scientific, technical, and operational knowledge and professional skills acquired by HQP over the course of the project are not defined, or are unrelated or are irrelevant to the Canadian space sector. It is also not clear how the professional and technical skills planned to be acquired by HQP will increase their mobility from the post-secondary institution to the marketplace. (Score: 0)

Average: The scientific and/or technical and/or operational knowledge and professional skills to be acquired by HQP involved in the project are defined to some degree and are relevant to the Canadian space sector. However, it is not clear who would acquire knowledge and skills, what the knowledge or skills would consist of or what purpose they would serve. There is insufficient rationale to demonstrate how the knowledge and professional skills to be acquired are relevant to future space missions. The professional skills and technical skills planned to be acquired by HQP may increase their mobility from the post-secondary institution to the marketplace. (Score: 7)

Good: The scientific and/or technical and/or operational knowledge and professional skills to be acquired by HQP involved in the project are clearly defined and relevant to the Canadian space sector. There is a description of the need for the expertise and knowledge acquired, and how it will be used, in the context of a potential future space mission. The professional skills and technical skills planned to be acquired by HQP will increase their mobility from the post-secondary institution to the marketplace. (Score: 10)

Excellent: The scientific and/or technical and/or operational knowledge and professional skills to be acquired by HQP involved in the project are clearly defined and relevant to the Canadian space sector. The proposal demonstrates a detailed understanding of the knowledge and skills required for a potential space mission or the marketplace, and establishes a clear link with the knowledge and professional skills to be acquired over the course of the project.. (Score: 15)

2.2 Fidelity of the space experience

This criterion evaluates the degree to which the project is space-like, as this will enhance the fidelity of HQP training. .

It evaluates whether HQP will be exposed to the space mission phases mentioned in Section 3.2.3 of the AO, taking into account that the proposed payload to fly during the balloon campaign must have been already developed.

It also evaluates whether the project exposes HQP to multidisciplinary and multi-organization collaboration, typical of a space mission.

Poor: The project presents no similarities with a real space mission. HQP involved in the project play a minor role in the project. (Score: 0)

Average: The project presents some similarities with a real space mission. HQP are involved in several phases of the project, and such involvement contributes to the success of the project. There is some collaboration between scientists from other disciplines and/or other countries. (Score: 7)

Good: The project presents good similarities with a real space mission. HQP are involved in most phases of the project, and such involvement is important for the success of the project. Most mission phases, described in Section 3.2.3 are covered. There is a good collaboration between scientists from other disciplines and other countries. (Score: 10)

Excellent: The project presents excellent similarities with a real space mission. There is significant involvement of each HQP in all phases of the project, and such involvement is essential for the success of the project all phases mentioned in Section 3.2.3 are well covered. Collaboration with scientists from other disciplines and other countries is significant. (Score: 15)

3. Resources

3.1. Quality and experience of the team

This criterion evaluates the quality of the project team, its combination of expertise, and its ability to carry out the research project and provide the proposed training activities. It evaluates the qualifications of the team members and the past performance of supervisors (principal investigator, co-investigator or post-doctoral fellows (PDFs) as applicable), particularly their track record in training HQP.

Poor: The team has no experience or expertise in the field of study and/or the supervisors have little to no track record with training HQP. (Score: 2)

Average: The project team has some experience and expertise in the field of study. However, although the supervisors have a track record in managing and completing similar projects, they have little experience in training HQP. All team members may not have the appropriate expertise for the roles and responsibilities they would have during the project. (Score: 4)

Good: Members of the team have demonstrated experience and expertise in the field of study and the supervisors have a good track record in training HQP. There is a good combination of expertise to undertake the proposed project and training activities. The supervisors have demonstrated the ability to manage and complete similar projects. Roles and responsibilities of each member correspond to their expertise and experience. (Score: 7)

Excellent: All team members have extensive experience in the field of study and the supervisors have a solid track record in training HQP. The combination of expertise needed to undertake the proposed project and training activities is excellent. The team members have demonstrated the ability to manage and complete more than two similar projects. Roles and responsibilities of each member correspond to their expertise and experience. (Score: 10)

3.2. Interaction between HQP and researchers from different disciplines and occupations

This criterion evaluates how well the project promotes collaborative team research and interaction between HQP of different levels of academic programs (master's, PhD, and PDFs), between HQP and researchers from different disciplines, and other occupations from academia, industry and government.

Poor: All HQP involved in the project are at the same academic level and/or have unclear or limited interaction with researchers other than their supervisor(s). (Score: 0)

Average: Some HQP involved in the project collaborate and interact with researchers from different disciplines and with others from academia, industry or governments. HQP are, however, at the same academic level (program and/or discipline). (Score: 2)

Good: Most of the HQP involved in the project collaborate and interact with researchers from different disciplines and others in academia and industry. HQP are at different levels of academic programs and disciplines. (Score: 4)

Excellent: All HQP involved in the project collaborate and interact with researchers from different disciplines and with others in academia, industry and governments in Canada and abroad. There are researchers from other countries involved in the project. HQP are from different academic programs and disciplines. (Score: 5)

4. Feasibility of the project

4.1 Clarity and completeness of the research, training and mentoring plans

This criterion evaluates the clarity, completeness and feasibility of the research, training and mentoring plans, with the roles and responsibilities, contribution and level of involvement of each team member clearly identified. The criterion also evaluates the likelihood that the work will be completed on schedule and within budget.

Poor: The management, training and mentoring plans are poorly defined and/or there is a high likelihood that the objectives will not be met because of any or a combination of the following: inappropriate methods; inadequate or unavailable resources; the proposed budget or schedule is incomplete and/or highly under- or over-estimated. (Score: 0)

Average: The management, training and mentoring plans are defined to some degree, but details are lacking. The work and HQP training could be completed on schedule and within budget, but some doubts remain concerning the suitability of methods, , and the availability of resources. A budget that appears to be reasonable is provided along with a basic rationale for projected expenses. (Score: 6)

Good: The management, training and mentoring plans are well defined. The methodology and resources required are clearly described and well suited to the work to be carried out. A budget is provided along with a sound rationale for projected expenses. The likelihood that the defined work and training activities will be completed on schedule and within budget is good. (Score: 10)

Excellent: Well-thought-out management, training and mentoring plans are provided. The methodology and resources required are clearly described and well suited to the work to be carried out. There is great detail on the breakdown and related expenses, scheduled milestones, time allocations for team members to develop a technology, be involved in training activities, feedback mechanisms between HQP and their mentors, etc. The proposal identifies adequate resources to be allocated to the project that are validated in a detailed rationale in support of the budget. The likelihood that the work and training activities will be completed within schedule and budget is excellent. (Score: 15)

5. Risk and mitigation strategies

5.1 Project risks (financial, managerial, environmental and technical) and mitigation strategies

This criterion evaluates key risks associated with the project and the mitigation strategies for each risk. In addition, a thorough analysis of the project's financial, technical, managerial and environmental risks will be carried out. Detailed information should be provided on technology readiness for flight, and the risk and mitigation strategies associated with a possible postponement of the balloon campaign (including appropriate funding support to cover unexpected travel and living expenses, collaboration with industry and/or foreign research partners).

Poor: The proposal does not identify any key risks or outline any mitigation strategies or some risks are identified, but associated mitigation strategies are missing. (Score: 0)

Average: The proposal identifies some, but not all, of the main risks and provides mitigation strategies for those identified risks. There are great risks that the proposed payload will not be ready for the CNES balloon campaign currently planned for April 2017. (Score: 4)

Good: Key financial, technical, managerial and environmental risks and associated mitigation strategies are described and are relevant, and some information is provided assessing the probability of the risks materializing. There is good confidence that the proposed payload will be ready for flight before the CNES balloon campaign currently planned for April 2017. Most other sources of funding have been confirmed. (Score: 8)

Excellent: Key financial, technical, managerial and environmental risks and associated mitigation strategies are described and are relevant. The information provided for the purpose of assessing the probability of the risks materializing is deemed realistic. Only minor changes have to be made to the payload to be ready for flight. There are very risks that the proposed payload will not be ready for the flight campaign currently planned in April 2017. All other sources of funding have been confirmed and could support flight delays and an extended balloon campaign. .(Score: 10)

Evaluation score

Annex B – CNES Gondola to Payload Interface Requirements

B.1 Overview of the CNES gondola

The CNES gondola offers many locations to mount payloads, each separated by various structural elements.

The inner frame of the gondola consists of two (2) decks: the top deck and the bottom deck. The available volume is divided into 4 quarters to accommodate 4 medium sized payloads. However, depending on the size of the instruments, it may be possible to accommodate more than one payload into a single quarter. For this specific mission, only two quarters will be made available to the CSA for payload mounting. The inner deck is exposed such that these instruments have a line of sight to the sky, towards or away from the sun.

Figure 1. Gondola top and lower deck of the inner frame

Credit: CSA

Gondola illustration with X and Y axes. Description follows.

Gondola graph. Top deck with quarter 1 and 2 and bottom deck with quarter 3 and 4.

For that specific mission, there will be accommodation made for two payloads (i.e. Payload A and Payload B). Constraints associated with the accommodation of Payload A and Payload B are presented below.

B.2 Mission Profile (Applies to Payload A and Payload B)

The balloon will be launched at night. The ascent time is approximately 2 hours. The balloon will reach ceiling altitude approximately 30 minutes after sunrise. The balloon will spend between 4 hours and 8 hours at the ceiling altitude (i.e. between 38 km and 41 km).

At the ceiling, the gondola will have the X direction pointing towards the Sun during a portion of the flight, and the Y direction pointing towards the Sun for another portion (90 degrees rotation). This will allow instruments in the central sections to have a line of sight towards/away from the Sun.

Once the mission is completed, the gondola will separate and drop under parachute to the ground. Recovery may take up to 36 hours.

B.3 Mass limits

The mass limit for each payload is:

B.4 Volume limits

The maximum volume for each payload is:

Payload A:

Payload B:

Figure 2 Payloads mass and volume limits

Maximum width: 550 mm for payload A; 250 mm for payload B

B.5 Attachment methods

The gondola offers a 100 mm x 100 mm grid pattern on the inner decks for securing bolts. The thread size is M6. Instruments can also be strapped using hardware bolted in the grid pattern.

Figure 3 Example of a strapped instrument

Credit: CSA

B.6 Power Interface

The gondola offers one or two lines of unregulated 28 Volt DC power at 8 Amps for Payload A only. Payload B will have to fly with its own power supply, which must be included in mass and volume estimates. The power consumption limit for Payload A is 80 A/hr for a total of 12 hours of mission (i.e. including ascent, flight and descent).

B.7 Thermal Interfaces

The payload must be able to withstand large temperature changes during the ascent phase, ceiling phase and descent phase. Direct sunlight on structural elements can also cause rapid temperature changes. The instrument must be designed to operate and survive in a temperature range from -70° Celsius to +60° Celsius.

B.8 Data Storage

The gondola does not offer any onboard data storage. The instrument provider may add onboard data storage to the system but it must be included in the mass and volume estimates.

B.9 Data Rate

The gondola offers limited data download and uplink capabilities. Bandwidth is limited and shared among multiple instruments.

The total bandwidth available for the balloon flight is 1.75 Megabit per second. The proposed payload adaptation plan must demonstrate that data transfers (i.e. FTP) can be limited to a maximum preset rate. The limit on the data downlink rate will be established based on the needs of each payload and could vary between 200 kilobit/sec to 600 kilobit/sec (to be confirmed).

The ground terminals also offer simple "On/Off" commands to power on or off supply lines without requiring the need for a dedicated user computer. This feature may also be used for unresponsive payload to "reboot" or reset after failure, or power On/Off a heater.

B.10 Network connection type

The gondola supports Ethernet connections to the instrument.

Ground terminals also offer Ethernet connection to the user's computer.

During payload development, the end-to-end data connectivity will be tested. To avoid communication timeouts, special care should be taken when writing software.

B.11 Shock Loads

The payload must be designed such that it will not fall off the balloon during the flight, even under the influence of external forces.

Although the ascent phase is a gentle ride, shock forces are imparted during the separation of the balloon and parachute. Analysis and/or static load tests will be required to ensure that the instrument can withstand the following combined loads expected during separation:

In addition, the payload could be subjected to impact loads of up to 15 G when it hits the ground. A waiver could be granted if your instrument does not meet the 15 G survival shock forces; however, your payload will not be certified for flight if it cannot survive the separation shock load.

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