Aug 13, 2020 | Sources Sought

Sources Sought for Commercial Item Purchase

Low Noise Cryogenic Microwave Amplifiers

The National Institute of Standards & Technology (NIST) seeks information on vendors that are capable of providing Low Noise Cryogenic Microwave Amplifiers. The NIST microwave SQUID (superconducting quantum interference device) multiplexing system requires low noise cryogenic microwave amplifiers capable of handling thousands of channels of cryogenic sensors. The thousands of channels of cryogenic sensors per pair of cables is made possible by having microwave amplifiers that are low-noise to not degrade the resolution of the cryogenic sensor and high linearity to minimize cross-talk between the sensors sharing the cables. NIST currently has a measurement system that needs to expanded to additional readout channels. To achieve this, NIST requires that each indivudual amplifier is identical to exisiting amplfiers in order to combine their signals. NIST currently uses model LNF-LNC4_8C_LG amplifiers from Low Noise Factory. The goal of this contract is to provide the NIST with additional low-noise microwave amplifiers.

The Contractor shall supply the Government thirteen individual model LNF-LNC4_8C_LG microwave amplifiers. Each independent microwave amplifier consist of factory new parts (no refurbished) that meet the following minimum specifications:


1. Capable of operation at all temperatures from 305 Kelvin down to 3 Kelvin

2. Achieve a gain greater than 20 dB at frequencies from 4 to 8 GHz at an operating temperature of 4 Kelvin

3. Must achieve a noise temperature of less than 3 Kelvin at frequencies from 4 to 8 GHz at an operating temperature of 4 Kelvin

4. Must have an input 1 dB compression point of greater than -47 dBm at frequencies from 4 to 8 GHz at an operating temperature of 4 K

5. Must have female SMA connectors on the RF input and output

6. Must dissipate less than 25 milliwatts of power at an operating temperature of 4 Kelvin

7. Must have an industry standard power connection that is vacuum and cryogenic compatible

This announcement is not a Request for Quote (RFQ) and does not commit the Government to award a contract now or in the future. No solicitation is available at this time. The purpose of this synopsis is to identify organizations with the requisite qualifications to meet the requirements of the item stated herein. After the results of this market research are obtained and analyzed and compared with NIST’s minimum (see SOW contained herewithin), NIST may conduct a competitive procurement and subsequently award a contract. If at least two qualified small businesses are identified during this market research stage, then this acquisition may be solicited as a small business set aside. NIST is seeking responses from all responsible sources, including large and small businesses (SB, SDB, WOSB, HUBZone, SDVOSB, and VOSB). This requirement is assigned a NAICS code 334419, Other Electronic Component Manufacturing. The specific purpose of this Sources Sought Announcement is to determine if there are small businesses, within the parameters identified above, that are capable of providing the services identified.

Interested business organizations that believe they are capable of meeting the requirement should submit electronic copies or mailed copies of their capability statements. Please limit responses to FIVE (5) pages or less (8.5″ x11″ format, 1″ margins, 12-point font, double spaced), including figures and tables. Responses should include the following information:

1. Name of the company and address that will provide the product.

2. Company DUNS number, Cage Code, Tax ID Number, and Type of small business, e.g., Services Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business, Veteran-owned small business, 8(a), HUBZone, Women-Owned Small Business, Small disadvantaged business, or Small Business HUBZone business.

3. Company point of contact, phone, fax, and e-mail.
4. Name of the company that will manufacture the product.
5. Specification sheets and examples of products that meet the specifications.

6. Contact information of customers who have obtained and used these products.
7. Typical lead time to deliver the product after receipt of the order.
8. Any other relevant information that is not listed above, which the Government should consider in developing its minimum specifications and finalizing its market research.


Any company proprietary information should be so marked. The written capability statement should be received by the Contracting Officer no later than 8:30 am Mountain Standard Time (MST) August 15, 2020. The capability statement shall identify the business status of the organization.

Only electronic or mailed statements will be accepted.  Faxes will not be accepted. Send to MeeLondrell Lumpkin Contracting Officer, at meelondrell.lumpkin@nist.gov. Direct all questions to this e-mail no later than noon MST August 14, 2020.

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