NASA Suddenly Has A Need For Fancy Interactive Displays

NASA GSFC Solicitation: MT-50 Touch Table

"NASA/GSFC intends to purchase the items from Ideum Inc. Competition is impractical because the Table was developed and designed by Ideum and other tables did not meet the needed standards."

NASA GSFC Solicitation: Magic Planet Tabletop With 18 and 24in Sphere

"NASA/GSFC has a requirement for QTY1, Magic Planet Tabletop with 18" and 24" sphere. NASA/GSFC intends to purchase the items from Global Imagination. Based on market research competition is impractical because Global Imagination is the sole supplier of the Magic Planet Sphere."

NASA GSFC Solicitation: Magic Planet Tabletop With 18in Sphere

"NASA/GSFC has a requirement for QTY2, Magic Planet Tabletop with 18" sphere. NASA/GSFC intends to purchase the items from Global Imagination. Competition is impractical because based on market research Global Imagination is the sole supplier of the Magic Planet."

NASA KSC Solicitation: Science on a Sphere Hardware and Accessories

"NASA/KSC has a requirement for computer hardware and accessories to operate Science on a Sphere (see attachment for items details). Science On a Sphere(R) is a large visualization system that uses computers and video projectors to display animated data onto the outside of a sphere. According to FAR 13.106-1(b) (1) the parts are deemed available from only one responsible source (Brand Name) and no other type of supplies will satisfy NASAs requirements. The brands specified for each item are the only brands acceptable to guarantee a fully functional system."

NASA DFRC Solicitation: Magic Planet Digital Video Globe

"The specifications are: Require two digital video globes that allow the projection of data sets on globes in real time. Such data sets include things such as global climate patterns, natural disasters, earth observing, etc."

Keith's note: Three separate field centers, GSFC, KSC, and DFRC, all have a sudden need for these interactive displays with a bunch of procurement activities all initiated within days - or hours - of each other. This is rather curious - and explanations are lacking - except for DFRC. DFRC's notice states that "The global spheres will be used for educational purposes. The intent is to have one large model in a stationary area such as the DFRC Visitor Center and one other sphere to use at different venues such as schools, libraries, or museums; therefore, the smaller sphere will have portability." GSFC and KSC do not explain why they need these specific displays.

Don't get me wrong: these displays are a very good way to show a lot of data - such as global climate and planetary mapping. If you want visitors and students to understand things like this they are an excellent means to do so. But why the hurry - all at once - to buy these things? Then again, it is getting close to the end of the fiscal year and money not spent is money that is lost - so buying some last minute gadgets is one way to spend that money. Too bad these sort of things are not a higher priority at NASA since many people still do not have a clue as to how NASA research affects their quality of life.

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This page contains a single entry by Keith Cowing published on September 5, 2009 12:51 AM.

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