Updated 04/10/2019

General Questions | Project Specific Questions


General Questions

Q: Are there any required travels such as the kickoff and review meetings? If yes, I need the venue and time-duration for our budget preparation.

A: There are no travel requirements. But we encourage teams to reserve travel funding to visit a NASA center that hosts the project management or has the technical interest in the project for which they are applying. Travel funding can be reserved in the budget but can also sometimes be obtained through the state based Space Grant programs

Q: Who can provide a signed confirmation for the implementation of X-Hab 2020 Challenge? Would the person be the department chair or anyone else?

A: All proposals must be submitted though the proposing institution’s office of sponsored projects.

Q:  May adjunct faculty serve as the principal investigator?

A: Yes. The principal investigator may be an adjunct faculty member. The PI must be a U.S. citizen and currently teaching an Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET)-accredited engineering senior or graduate design, industrial design, or architecture curriculum teaming course at a university affiliated with the National Space Grant College and Fellowship Program, or other US accredited university.

Q: May as non-US citizen serve as a co-principal investigator?

A: Yes. Non-US citizens may participate in the XHAB program in any appropriate capacity except for principal investigator. Participation by citizens of “controlled countries”, as defined in Part 768.1.d of the United States Department of Commerce, Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) Export Administration Regulations (EAR), is prohibited.

Q: Does the prize have to be a one year long course involving students senior undergrad or grad? Can it be one semester one? Can it be instead an independent study, or research team of faculty and students?

A: The proposal must be led by a faculty member who is an U.S. citizen and is currently teaching in an ABET accredited engineering program. The majority of the students involved in the team must be upper division undergraduates or graduate students enrolled in and receiving credit in the design course taught by the faculty lead. A major feature of this program is that students are in the critical path.  The project milestones dictate that the work be carried out over the course of a full academic year.

Q: Can projects lead to, or combine with, further course development and collaboration/research collaborations outside the deliverables of the course itself?

A: The solicitation contains required milestones and deliverables that span one academic year.  The Principal Investigator may choose to continue their work after the completion of the contract.  Involvement of the NASA provided mentor past the completion of the project is at the discretion of the NASA mentor.

Q: What are the content and format requirements for the following two appendages within the proposal? - Mandatory -- a signed confirmation of support of the proposal must include a signed commitment from the University faculty, collaborators, and their potential sponsor(s) to ensure their commitment to the project. - Mandatory -- a signed confirmation from the university stating that the X-Hab 2018 Academic Innovation Challenge will be implemented during the 2017-2018 academic year.

A: There are no specific content or format requirements beyond what is outlined in the solicitation.

Q: Can a project last more than one year?

A: The solicitation contains required milestones and deliverables that span one academic year.  The Principal Investigator may choose to continue their work after the completion of the contract.  Involvement of the NASA provided mentor past the completion of the project is at the discretion of the NASA mentor.

Q: Would the prize fund the salaries of the student/faculty teams or only the materials for built prototypes?

A: It is the responsibility of the Principal Investigator to develop and propose a budget that will provide adequate resources to conduct the proposed work. These resources may include but not necessarily be limited to direct labor, subcontracts, consultants, equipment, supplies, travel, indirect costs and other items. Part of the review process will be the evaluation of how the proposed budget provides adequate resources for the proposed work as well as the alignment of the budget with the overall objectives of the program.

Q: Can we select a NASA/industry team or are there already defined interested parties?

A: Multi-discipline, multi-departmental, and/or multi-institutional teaming collaborations are highly encouraged.  Involvement of NASA and/or industry personnel as mentors to the student team is allowable.  For awarded efforts, NASA will provide a technical point of contact that will interact with the group throughout the project.

Q: Is there room for questioning the mission/objectives and therefore research gaps and proposing alternatives? Or a class that may explore mission ideas themselves?

A: This is encouraged and accommodated in the modified systems engineering process built into the X-Hab schedule.  The first milestone is a System Definition review that defines the scope and the concepts to be further developed.  It often requires tailoring of project expectations and further explanation of mission goals.  X-Hab encourages the creative input of academia to complement approaches that may already be in place at NASA.

Q: What might be your stance on proposals that involve aspects of one of the mentioned projects, but do not focus on them?

A: Proposals that directly address the areas listed in the solicitation will be given priority consideration. Proposals that address other areas in direct support of the NASA Advanced Exploration Systems Division will also be considered.

Q: Can the data and results collected from the prototype be published in journals or conferences?

A: Publications are encouraged in X-Hab as part of the outreach strategy.


Project Specific Questions

High Efficiency Heat Exchanger to Achieve Low-Power CO2 Deposition

While NASA has attempted to address the following questions, NASA would like to leave space for innovation and creativity of the proposing teams for the heat exchanger, so these responses should be considered guidelines rather than requirements.   These responses and other relevant examples can be further discussed during project execution as the project is scoped in the System Definition Review phase.

QIs 130-190 K the temperature range on the warm-side of heat exchanger 2 on page 15 of the FOA?

A: 130K is the target for the cold side input and 190K is the target for the hot side input

QWhat is the estimated air flow rate to be delivered to cabin, i.e. the warm –side flow rate of heat exchanger 2?

A: Both sides have same flow rate: 30 standard cubic feet per minute (SCFM)

Q: What is the cold-r flow rate of the heat exchanger 2?

A: Both sides have same flow rate: 30 SCFM

QWhat is the estimated temperature of air entering the cold side of heat exchanger 2?

A: 130K is the target for the cold side input and 190K is the target for the hot side input

QWhat are the spatial constraints for heat exchanger 2? (maximum L x W x H)

A: 4 cu ft total volume max

QWhat is the definition of “efficiency” in the FOA for “high efficiency heat exchanger” project? Is it different from traditional definition of effectiveness of heat exchangers?

A: No, it is the traditional definition of effectiveness.

QWhat is the current fan power requirement for air circulation?

A: This question can be discussed during the project scoping phase leading to the System Definition Review and should not be required for proposal purposes

QShould the design facilitate dismantling for cleaning purposes, or will the heat exchanger be replaced after a certain period of operation?

A: The heat exchanger should not need to be dismantled or replaced. Clean product air would remove residual buildup.Are there any dimension requirements? (The chassis with the circuit boards, volume of the room, robotic arm, modular circuit board, etc.?)