NASA SBIR 02-1 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER:02- S1.03-9223 (For NASA Use Only - Chron: 022776 )
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Multifunctional Structure and Sensor Systems
PROPOSAL TITLE: SensorLine: A Distributed Sensor System for Planetary Exploration

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Tethers Unlimited
19011 36th Ave W. Suite F
Lynnwood , WA   98036 - 5752
(425 ) 744 - 0400

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Jeffrey Slostad
19011 36th Ave W, Suite F
Lynnwood , WA   98036 - 5752
(425 ) 744 - 0400

The SensorLine is a small, simple, low-cost system for deploying arrays of tethered microsensors for planetary, asteroid, and subsurface exploration. The SensorLine system integrates the microsensors into a thin, lightweight tether that provides both power and communication. In planetary exploration applications, the SensorLine?s novel deployment method permits these sensors to be distributed over long distances on a planetary surface, enabling planetary landers to obtain in situ thermal, chemical, seismic, and other measurements over a much wider area at a significantly lower cost, complexity, and technical risk than robotic rovers. In exploration of the lunar poles, the SensorLine could enable a probe placed on a sunlit hill to obtain in situ measurements of soil composition in a permanently shaded crater. In subsurface exploration applications such as the proposed Cryoscout experiment, the SensorLine system can provide power, communications, and distributed sensing capabilities for burrowing probes.

The SensorLine System and its derivative technologies have numerous potential applications in the environmental, military, and consumer markets. In environmental testing and safety markets, this system will provide a low-cost means for rapidly deploying sensors into areas where it is unsafe or impossible for humans to collect measurements manually, such as in emergency response to chemical spills. In military markets, it will provide a means for troops in unsecured areas to rapidly deploy sensors to detect chemical or biological weapons and to detect intrusion by hostile forces.

The SensorLine System will provide a low-cost, lightweight multifunctional sensor system that will enable NASA?s robotic missions to obtain in situ thermal, chemical, seismic, and other measurements in areas that currently are inaccessible or very difficult to reach with current robotic technologies. Enabled missions include lunar polar crater exploration, Mars surface and subsurface missions, and study of asteroid surfaces. The Lead Scientist for JPL's Geophysics and Planetary Geology division has expressed strong interest in the SensorLine technology for Mars exploration missions.

Form Printed on 09-05-02 10:10