Southern Research Prime Contract Vehicles

  • SEAM – Specialized Engineering Aeronautics and Manufacturing: Task A and Task C

    Agency – NASA

    Southern Research has been selected by NASA’s Johnson Space Center for work under a specialized engineering, aeronautic, and manufacturing (SEAM) contract to support the Houston center’s Flight Operations Directorate, which performs critical functions for the space agency. Under the contract, Southern Research will provide services associated with aero avionics, electrical and software systems to the Flight Operations Directorate (FOD), which manages the center’s aircraft fleet and trains astronauts and flight directors.

    Southern Research is also positioned to perform aero structural engineering and analysis work for the Johnson Space Center’s FOD as a major subcontractor to another firm selected for SEAM tasks. The work extends Southern Research’s decades-long collaboration with NASA, which began with high-temperature testing of heat-shield materials for the Apollo program and continues to this day with support of the Space Launch System (SLS) and other critical programs.

    The SEAM contract award also builds on the Birmingham-based organization’s relationship with the Johnson Space Center, which has responsibility for planning and executing human space flight missions.

  • MSFC – Testing and Analysis of Propulsion System Materials for Marshall Space Flight Center

    Agency – NASA Marshall Space Flight Center

    NASA/MSFC has awarded a contract to purchase the services from Southern Research Institute (SRI), Birmingham, Alabama, pursuant to FAR 6.302-1 which implements the authority for 10 U.S.C. 2304(c)(1) for acquisition of supplies or services from only one source and no other supplies or services will satisfy agency requirements. Competition is impractical for the following reasons:

    1. This effort involves the testing of materials and the generation of testing data that are used in human-rated propulsion systems, which is critical in the mitigation of risks associated with the operation of those systems. Due to the nature of the effort required, SRI is the only known source with the capability to generate test results with demonstrated reliability (i.e., repeatability, accuracy, and resolution) at extreme and typically non-standard testing conditions such as high temperature testing up to 5000 degrees F. SRI is the only known source that can provide the unique combination of data understanding (i.e., failure mechanisms, component and specimen processing, specimen testing conditions, specimen design, component operation conditions, and data history), reliability, and component design accuracy to enable the most efficient and effective operating system to meet NASA’s goals, thus allowing for the safest system. SRI uniquely provides an ability to obtain maximum data understanding, data reliability, and design accuracy, using a unique combination of properties, such as tensile, compression, flexure strengths, in-plane shear strength with 45 degree; tension, and in-plane shear strength with 45 degree; compression configurations for composites and monolithic ceramic materials at temperatures greater than 5000 degrees F. Only SRI has demonstrated they can generate specific heat data, unrestrained electrical conductivity data, thermal expansion data, Rumanian in-plane shear data, saddle in-plane shear data, and torsional in-plane shear data, creep with a circumferential coupon data, interlaminar shear data, double notch shear data, and tensile creep data at temperatures greater than 4600 degrees F, as well as fatigue data at a frequency of greater than 500 Hz, load ratio of 0.1, and temperature of 1800 degrees F. Only SRI has demonstrated they can generate biaxial tension-tension and compression-torsion testing data from -250 degrees F to 1500 degrees F, among other testing capabilities. This unique combination of data understanding, reliability, and component design accuracy is necessary for NASA to produce and operate these human-rated propulsion systems with the most accurate hardware designs and design safety margin.
    2. SRI is the only known source with the capability to provide a test of elevated temperature permeability with the specimen under a tensile or compressive load. Further, SRI is the only firm with analog test capability which has been used to develop unique data to develop and validate thermal models for RSRMV nozzle ablative liners. This unique data generated by SRI from room temperature to 5000 degrees F is the only data validated to model the RSRMV and 1st stage SLS nozzle ablative material. All of the ablative nozzle data used for thermo-structural analytical models to support demonstration, qualification, flight and flight anomaly investigation has been generated by SRI. The restrained thermal growth test developed by and available exclusively from SRI is also necessary in characterizing and modeling next generation nozzle materials for the RSRMV and 1st stage SLS.
    3. SRI is the only organization that has developed a material property database from room temperature to 5000 degrees F on the graphite throat used in the Solid Rocket Booster (SRB) Booster Separation Motor (BSM) and the Orion Multipurpose Crew Vehicle (MPCV) Launch Abort System (LAS) Jettison Motor (JM). This database is used in the thermo-structural analysis used for BSM and JM. SRI provided test and failure analysis on the prior BSM throat factor safety investigation and will generate the database for the new graphite material currently being qualified for the BSM built by ATK Thiokol and the JM built by Aerojet. Use of the BSM is expected to continue for the SLS / MPCV system and continued access to SRI expertise is necessary.
    4. SRI is the only organization that has developed a material property database for the cryogenic foam previously used on the Shuttle External Tank and currently anticipated to be utilized on the SLS Core Stage. This data provides both understanding of the characteristics governing the foam loss (and resultant shuttle orbiter tile damage) and supports the only thermo-structural analysis model of the cryogenic foam known to exist. This unique expertise and understanding of this critical material system is available in no other organization and is essential in support of MSFC efforts to develop a similar but more sustainable foam thermal protection system for SLS. 

NASA – WB-57 support

Agency – NASA

Southern Research has been awarded a 5-year sole source contract renewal from NASA in the amount of $9.95 million to provide continued support of the Airborne Imaging and Recording System (AIRS system) used on WB-57 research aircraft for more than a decade. This is the second sole source contract received by the Birmingham-based non-profit organization for work on this unique high altitude research program. The first was granted in 2011 for a total value of $28.5 million.

Southern Research began working on AIRS in 2003 in an effort to develop a high definition video imaging system capable of monitoring the upcoming NASA STS-114 Return to Flight shuttle launch following the Columbia accident. The technology was developed in a Southern Research lab and designed to affix to the nose cap of a WB-57 aircraft. In this capacity AIRS proved capable of providing full motion HD video of rocket launches ascending into space at distances far exceeding 25 miles.

Other Contract Vehicles

AEWD – Advanced Expeditionary Warfare Development: Large

Agency – Army Research Laboratory

The AEWD Requirement encompasses Research & Development needs that include; Basic and Applied Research, Advanced Technology Development, Demonstration & Validation, and Operational Systems Development IAW DFAS-IN Manual 37-100-11. All requirements support the U.S. Army Research Laboratory (ARL), Department of Defense (DoD) and other Government agencies and may include incidental non-personal services within scope.

The ARL develops and supports new concepts for application of advanced technology by customers whose principal focus is to counteract and defeat asymmetrical threats in the global environment. Through this contract the ARL will leverage defense industry capabilities to support timely application of technology-based solutions against these threats.

Technologies may include: advanced communications devices and systems; information technologies; electronic, mechanical and electro-mechanical systems; field power generation technologies; and advanced materials.

EXPRESS – Expedited Professional and Engineering Support Services

Agency – US Army Aviation and Missile Command

Blanket purchase agreement (BPA) to provide advisory and assistance services to AMCOM and its customers with Federal Supply Schedule contractors in accordance with the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR). This contract also provides technical support for Aviation and Missile Research, the Development and Engineering Center (AMRDEC), the Program Executive Offices (PEO) and allies for fielded Army aviation and missile systems.

The EXPRESS scope consists of Integrated Logistics Support (ILS) elements and EXPRESS Supported Systems and Equipment. ILS elements include the following: Design Influence/Concept Definition; Maintenance Planning; Manpower and Personnel; Supply Support; Support Equipment and Test, Measurement and Diagnostics Equipment (TMDE); Training and Training Devices; Logistics Support Technical Data; Computer Resources Support, Packaging, Handling and Storage (PHS); Transportation and Transportability; Facilities; Standardization and Interoperability (S&I); Continuous Acquisition and Life Cycle Support (CALS); Logistics Program Support; Reliability Availability and Maintainability (RAM) Support; and Logistics Support of Automated Information Systems (AIS). Supported systems include Long, Medium, and Short-Range Air Defense Systems; Missile Sensors; Scout Helicopters; Utility Helicopters; and Unmanned Vehicles. 

CIO-SP3 – Chief Information Officer, Solutions & Partners 3

Agency – National Institutes of Health

The Chief Information Officer–Solutions and Partners 3 (CIO-SP3) government-wide acquisition contract (GWAC) is a 10-year indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract managed by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Information Technology Acquisitions and Assessment Center (NITAAC). This contract is designed to permit the Institutes and Centers (IC) of NIH, the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), and all other federal agencies to acquire a wide range of information technology (IT) solutions and services as defined in Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) 2.101(b), and further clarified in the Clinger-Cohen Act of 1996. These IT services include health, health science, and biomedical-related IT services to meet scientific, health, administrative, operational, managerial, and information management requirements. The contract also contains general IT services partly because healthcare systems are increasingly integrated within a broader IT architecture, requiring a systems approach to their implementation and a sound infrastructure for their operation. The focus of this contract is to provide to government agencies a mechanism for streamlined ordering of required IT solutions and services at equitable and reasonable prices.

CIO-SP3 covers a gamut of innovative and secure solutions for agencies across the federal government and initiatives as diverse as Cloud Computing, Cyber Defense, and Health IT. With 10 task areas that meet scientific, health, administrative, operational, managerial, and information management requirements, CIO-SP3 has the depth and breadth of scope that complex solutions require. The geographic scope of this requirement includes continental United States (CONUS) and outside the continental United States (OCONUS) locations.

CIMTIC IV – Command, Control, Communications, Computers, and Information (C4I) and Munitions Test Improvement Contract

Agency – Air Force Test Center

This contract acquires specialized hardware and software and/or prototype systems to develop/modify the facilities and infrastructure urgently required for test/training and evaluation of C4I and Munitions systems. C4I testing includes tests of the hardware and software systems used for C4I including “System of Systems” and hardware and software systems used on aircraft platforms involved with the C2 test process. Munitions testing includes tests of ground based, airborne, and space borne ordnance/armament systems and supporting guidance and control, seeker/sensor, navigation systems. Munitions testing also includes high energy lasers, and high power microwave systems. The general areas of work include design, development, test, modification, installation, training, and/or transition to production support, all as related to the Eglin Range Complex, test hardware and software systems, facilities, and infrastructure improvements. Specific tasking will be provided on an as required basis by delivery order. A secondary requirement for this acquisition is to develop/modify the systems, facilities, and infrastructure required to provide electronic combat test, training, and evaluation support for the Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC), Air Combat Command (ACC), and other Department of Defense (DOD) agencies as needed.

DS TAT – Defense Systems Technical Areas Task

Agency – Defense Technical Information Center

The mission of the DSTAT indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract is to provide Research, Development, Test & Evaluation (RDT&E) and R&D-related Advisory and Assistance Services (A&AS) for vital technical areas:

  • Survivability and Vulnerability
  • Reliability, Maintainability, Quality, Supportability, and Interoperability (RMQSI)
  • Military Sensing
  •  Advanced Materials
  • Energetics
  • Nonlethal Weapons and Information Operations
  • Directed Energy
  • Autonomous Systems
  • Weapons Systems

Technical Area Tasks (TATs) encompass emerging government requirements and necessitate a rapid and authoritative response, integrating the expertise of a diverse cadre of professionals positioned across various organizations, including representatives from government, industry and academia. The DSTATs provide this advanced level of research and analysis to the DoD Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation (RDT&E) and Acquisition communities as well as other government agencies.

D3I – Design, Development, Demonstration and Integration: Domain 1

Agency – Army Space and Missile Defense Command

Space, High Altitude, and Missile Defense/Ground Systems. The D3I Domain 1 IDIQ contracts will provide enhanced the USASMDC/ARSTRAT mission by contractually supporting the Command’s efforts to design, develop, demonstrate and integrate products focused on the development of space, high altitude, and missile defense capabilities that enable the Warfighter to effectively support U.S. Strategic Command, other Combatant Commands, Department of Defense, other Services, and other Government agencies. The D3I Domain 1 is a Multiple-Award IDIQ contract vehicle procured through full and open competition (utilizing FAR Part 15 procedures), and provides for a total potential program ceiling value of $3.038B.

D3I – Design, Development, Demonstration and Integration: Domain 2

Agency – Army Space and Missile Defense Command

Information Integration and Data Exploitation. D3I Domain 2 will provide enhanced Warfighter capabilities to the USASMDC/ARSTRAT mission by contractually supporting the command’s efforts to design, develop, demonstrate and integrate products focused on the development of space, missile defense, and high altitude capabilities that enable the Warfighter to effectively support U.S. Strategic Command, other combatant commands, Department of Defense, other services, and other government agencies.

D3I Domain 2 is a multiple-award indefinite-delivery/indefinite quantity vehicle procured as a 100 percent small business set-aside, and provides for a total potential program ceiling value of $504M.

NRL Advanced Electronic Warfare (EW) Self-Protection and Information, Surveillance, Reconnaissance (ISR) Systems for Navy and Marine Corps

Agency – Navy Research Laboratory

Support to the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) to provide comprehensive, integrated program of systems engineering, technical engineering, engineering analysis, independent assessments, and research activities pertaining to the development, measurement, and evaluation of new and existing airborne systems and avionics. The provided engineering efforts and areas of technical investigation will be broad, but will emphasize the development of electronic systems and embedded software to facilitate the operation and optimum exploitation of visible, electro-optic, and infrared (VIS/EO/IR) sensors and systems. Alternative approaches using acoustics and radio frequencies may be investigated to determine if more effective solutions be achieved other than VIS/EO/IR. Supports optical technology to investigate areas such as materials development, information processing, bio-engineering. Initial candidate aircraft will include but may not be limited to F-18 and special aircraft as the EA-6B and the EA-18G.

OASIS – One Acquisition Solution for Integrated Services and OASIS Small Business (SB)

Agency – General Services Administration

The General Services Administration’s (GSA) One Acquisition Solution for Integrated Services (OASIS) Small Business (SB) OASIS SB is a next generation contract vehicle for complex professional services. OASIS SB is a competitive multiple award, indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contract vehicle designed to address professional service requirements, including: Scientific Services, Engineering Services, Program Management, Management Consulting, Logistics, and Financial Services. OASIS SB is designed for requirements that span multiple professional service disciplines, including commercial and/or non-commercial items and ancillary IT services and/or components.

PS-ISR – Persistent Surveillance – Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance, ISR Concept Development (aka TechSavvy)

Agency – Army Research Laboratory

Army Research Laboratory’s Persistent Surveillance, Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance (PS-ISR) Concept Development program, provides a variety of technology support to include analysis, studies, development, design, and demonstration of innovative Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) concepts and technologies to meet future asymmetric, counter-terrorism, and counter-insurgency warfare scenarios. The mission of the ARL SEDD is to research, develop, and demonstrate sensors, and electron devices to ensure U.S. military superiority and to provide the U.S Army with effective intelligence and information tools, guaranteeing our soldiers’ the information dominance needed on today’s battlefield. This contract has a ceiling of $249M and a 5-year period of performance that continues through May 5, 2021.

RTCS – Rapid Technical Collection Support

Agency – Defense Intelligence Agency

The Solutions for Intelligence Rapid Technical Collection Support (RTCS) IDIQ is to provide the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) with rapid contractual support to urgent, sensitive operations for technical collection of intelligence across the Irregular Warfare (IW) mission area encompassing any combination of phenomenologies and techniques for material sampling, radio frequency (RF), radar, electro-optical, geophysical, nuclear radiation, biometrics, and cross-cutting technology areas (not all inclusive). The IW mission area when combined with the aerospace, ground, and littoral/maritime domains becomes IW sub-categories or sub-mission areas (IWA, IWG, and IWL). The RTCS IDIQ also serves as an umbrella vehicle to execute less time-critical procurements, research and development and demonstrations across the same sub-mission areas. The RTCS IDIQ is a Research and Development five (5) year Multiple Award vehicle for the aforementioned areas.


Agency – Naval Sea Systems Command

In response to declining budgets, the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) and its Warfare Centers, which are responsible for the acquisition of all US Navy ship and shipboard systems, targeted a reduction in the cost of services for its headquarters Directorates, Program Executive Offices (PEOs) and field activities. As the first major step towards achieving this goal, NAVSEA embarked on a business process re-engineering effort to maximize the efficiency and economy of support service procurement. This effort, collectively referred to as SeaPort, took a three pronged approach: 1) the award of multiple award contracts (MAC) with innovative contracting provisions, 2) the launch of a web based commercial e-procurement portal solution, and 3) the development of a web site ( to serve as the entry point to portal. Under SeaPort-e NAVSEA service requirements can now be covered under these central vehicles. This new structure represents a partnership between NAVSEA and industry to provide services while demonstrating savings. This indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity (IDIQ), MAC contract provides for a NAVSEA wide, consistent procurement process which allows NAVSEA to leverage quality control and work requirements for its Directorates, PEOs, and field activities.

WEBS – Warrior Enabling Broad Sensor: Services 

Agency – Army Research, Development, and Engineering Command

The WEBS contract provides the U.S. Army’s Research, Development, and Engineering Command (RDECOM) with multiple services to include scientific, engineering, analytical, computer programming, manufacturing/pre-production, administrative, management, facilities support and various other technical skills. WEBS also provides a contract vehicle for the fabrication of hardware and software prototypes, ability to purchase specific existing technologies, host platforms and equipment, and the ability to integrate that equipment into various hardware and software prototypes. Additionally, WEBS provides for the ability to demonstrate new concepts, expertise to perform computer modeling and simulation experiments, and the capability to support diverse laboratory and field testing.