This opportunity is closed for applications

The deadline was Friday 4 December 2020
UK Space Agency

UK SBS DDaT20338 UKSA National SST Programme Alpha Phase

10 Incomplete applications

8 SME, 2 large

14 Completed applications

11 SME, 3 large

Important dates

Published
Friday 20 November 2020
Deadline for asking questions
Friday 27 November 2020 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Friday 4 December 2020 at 11:59pm GMT

Overview

Summary of the work
The UK Space Agency is seeking a partnership with a highly skilled and proven supplier with extensive knowledge of working to GDS standards to undertake an Alpha to prototype and test possible solutions to address the immediate needs of the satellite operator user group for Space Surveillance and Tracking services.
Latest start date
Friday 29 January 2021
Expected contract length
6-8 weeks
Location
London
Organisation the work is for
UK Space Agency
Budget range
up to £80,000 ex VAT

About the work

Why the work is being done
The UK Space Agency (UKSA) works with the Ministry of Defence to deliver Space Surveillance and Tracking (SST) services to government users and to deliver new operational capability for the UK Space Operations Centre (UKSpOC).

To support this, UKSA is evaluating the products and services required by civil users of SST services. Discovery identified a range of civil user needs, and UKSA now wish to conduct an Alpha to address a subset of the highest priority needs.

This Alpha could inform: the future software architecture and UKSpOC operating model, and how users interact with the services we provide.
Problem to be solved
Work is underway to enhance the operational capability, and now, this Alpha is to test and prototype solutions to enhance the communication, engagement and experience of key User Groups.

This Alpha should,
- Develop notification formats that meet user needs.
- Determine a mechanism to view all notifications, configurable to user needs.
- Determine an effective way of conveying complex information to users.
- Determine an effective means of communication between the Orbital Analyst capability and users.
- Determine system and security requirements to support secure data exchange.
- Continue to research user needs, paying particular attention to accessibility needs.
Who the users are and what they need to do
The primary users are,
Satellite operators (mainly commercial), who wish to protect their assets from collisions with space debris and other satellites.

There is a secondary user group who have similar needs,
Government (e.g. Civil Contingencies Secretariat, Foreign & Commonwealth Office, Civil Aviation Authority), who may need to react to events happening on orbit where they could impact the economy, public safety, national security, or international diplomacy.
Early market engagement
N/A
Any work that’s already been done
UKSA have already completed a Discovery to evaluate the needs of their broad set of stakeholder groups. This will be shared with the shortlisted suppliers.

As part of current UKSpOC enhancement work, a new Orbital Analyst software system is under development. Details will be shared with the shortlisted suppliers to understand its functionality and interoperability with other systems
Existing team
The Supplier will be working with the UKSA SST team, as well as the Orbital Analysts who currently deliver civil operations in the UKSpOC.
Current phase
Alpha

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
Remote whilst COVID-19 restrictions remain in place.

Should official guidance change during the duration of this engagement, you may be expected to attend meetings in London, Swindon or other locations as required.
Working arrangements
Remote working whilst COVID-19 restrictions remain in place.

Normal working hours (09:00 - 17:00), Monday to Friday
Security clearance
Minimum BPSS for all team members required. SC clearance of at least one member of team is desirable.

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions
N/A

Skills and experience

Buyers will use the essential and nice-to-have skills and experience to help them evaluate suppliers’ technical competence.

Essential skills and experience
  • Demonstrate experience of working with teams, particularly those with no/limited experience of Agile, Alpha and iterative development and how you overcame this. [15 points]
  • Demonstrate experience of applying the principles of user-centred design to the development of digital services for a range of users. [15 points]
  • Demonstrate experience in designing systems that have been/are to be used to support secure data exchange, link records between systems and provide email security. [10 points]
  • Demonstrate experience of designing services that have been successfully used to present complex numeric and graphical information with simplicity. [10 points]
  • Demonstrate experience of delivering loosely coupled services with the potential for reuse. [5 points]
  • Demonstrate experience of defining KPI’s that can be used to measure the benefits and success of new services. [10 points]
  • Demonstrate experience of building on a discovery delivered by another organisation. [10 points]
  • Demonstrate experience of working with scientific subject matter experts (SMEs). [5 points]
  • Detail your teams experience of working to the GDS Service Standard, including Service Design Manual, Technology Code of Practice and wider industry standards or equivalent. [10 pts]
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Demonstrate experience of working on solutions for space surveillance or orbital dynamics. [10 points]
  • Demonstrate expertise in being able to quickly understand the market in which we work and the key users. [5 points]
  • Example of experience(s) within a highly regulated industry and technical science field of delivering the expected outcomes for a similar Alpha phase. [10 pts]

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How many suppliers to evaluate
3
Proposal criteria
  • A clearly defined approach and methodology outlining how the expected outcomes of this Alpha will be delivered [15 points]
  • Detailed proposal and timescales for the project [15 points]
  • Team structure, including skills, experiences, and relevance of individuals [15 points]
  • Identification of risks and dependencies and how these will be mitigated/managed [5 points]
  • An approach that is consistent with the Government Service Standard [10 points]
Cultural fit criteria
  • Work as a team with the customer [10 points]
  • Been transparent and collaborative when reporting or making decisions [10 points]
  • Share knowledge and experience with team members and the wider organisation [10 points]
Payment approach
Capped time and materials
Additional assessment methods
Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence

70%

Cultural fit

10%

Price

20%

Questions asked by suppliers

1. "Buyers tend to evaluate the Nice-to-have skills differently. Please can you outline how these will be involved in your evaluation?
Is it a points total that will be used regardless of the number of nice-to-have the supplier meets? Or will suppliers who can't meet all the nice-to-have be excluded in the first instance provided there are 3 suppliers who do?"
Points allocated to criteria are multiplied by their evaluated quality score (0-3).
To be shortlisted, Supplier responses must meet the minimum quality standard (score 2 and above) for all Technical Competence Essential criteria; and then achieve a top-3 position based on total points awarded under Technical Competence.
2. Did a supplier deliver the discovery? If so, whom.
Yes, a supplier delivered the discovery. However, we do not feel that it is appropriate to disclose the name of the supplier. This information is not essential or required by bidders in order to submit a response to this tender. Please note that information about previously awarded contracts is available in the public domain.
3. Is there an incumbent provider from the Discovery?
No, the discovery was completed in April 2020.
4. Is the existing Discovery partner (if there is one) eligible to bid on this Alpha?
This opportunity is open to all suppliers on the framework.
5. "Whilst we appreciate that's it is a nice to have question, you ask suppliers to..
""Demonstrate experience of working on solutions for space surveillance or orbital dynamics"".
Surely the field with this experience is very narrow, and restricts the ability of the majority of suppliers to bid competitively? Thanks."
Due to the nature of this project, it would be beneficial for the Contracting Authority if the winning supplier potentially has relevant experience in areas noted. However, as it's a 'Nice to Have' question, it wouldn't exclude suppliers who do not have experience in either of these areas; therefore it's not deemed that this narrows the market
6. Could provide more detail for the procurement timeline post Stage 1 submission
The anticipated timescales are as follows: Shortlisted suppliers informed on 15th December. Presentations - W/C 4th January 2021. Contract Award - 19th January 2021
7. Could you clarify who delivered the Discovery Phase?
We do not feel that it is appropriate to disclose the name of the supplier. This information is not essential or required by bidders in order to submit a response to this tender. Please note that information about previously awarded contracts is available in the public domain.
8. Can you confirm who conducted the discovery phase?
We do not feel that it is appropriate to disclose the name of the supplier. This information is not essential or required by bidders in order to submit a response to this tender. Please note that information about previously awarded contracts is available in the public domain.
9. Is there a current incumbent?
No
10. Does the software require integration with existing data feeds
It is expected that some data integration will be identified.
11. Can a list of Satellite Operators be provided?
This will be shared with the chosen supplier.
12. Who carried out the discovery phase for this programme?
We do not feel that it is appropriate to disclose the name of the supplier. This information is not essential or required by bidders in order to submit a response to this tender. Please note that information about previously awarded contracts is available in the public domain.
13. How long ago was the discovery phase carried out?
The discovery phase was completed in April 2020.
14. Does the system need to be publicly accessible?
This is not known at the moment and will be determined by the outcomes of the Alpha phase