NASA SBIR 2006 Solicitation


SUBTOPIC TITLE:Motors and Drive Systems for Cryogenic Environments
PROPOSAL TITLE:Gear Bearing Transmission for the Lunar Environment

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Honeybee Robotics Ltd.
460 W 34th Street
New York, NY 10001-4236
(212) 966-0661

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Jack   Wilson
460 W. 34th Street
New York, NY  10001-4236
(646) 459-7816

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT ( Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Honeybee Robotics proposes to build upon technology we have previously developed with Goddard Space Flight Center and redesign specifically for the lunar environment a "gear bearing" transmission. We intend to bring this technology to a higher Technology Readiness Level (TRL) for the number of applications imagined for future missions to the lunar poles requiring motors and drive trains ranging from mobility systems, in situ resource utilization (ISRU) machinery, and robotic systems mechanisms. The advantages of this design lend themselves well to spaceflight mechanisms in general and specifically to the extreme conditions at the lunar poles. The high gear reductions possible within a single stage, coupled with the already compact size make gear bearing transmissions ideal for spaceflight hardware where size and weight are at a premium. The relative simplicity, the elimination of traditional bearings in the transmission, and the avoidance of sliding friction altogether have significant advantages in cryogenic and hard vacuum environments where material and lubricant selection are limited.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS ( Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
NASA's 2006 Strategic Plan identifies as a key goal the establishment of a lunar return program with the intention of facilitating later missions to Mars. Beginning with ground testing of enabling technology on the moon by 2012 and culminating with a long-term human outpost at one of the lunar poles , there will be a great need for cryogenic motors and mechanisms for the lunar environment.

By bringing gear bearing transmission technology to a high TRL, Honeybee will be enabling a wide range of essential systems, key to robotic precursor missions designed to survey and characterize lunar landing sites and later for in-situ resource utilization (ISRU) activities essential to a long-term human presence on the moon. Honeybee hopes to build on this heritage and continue to play a vital role in the development of spaceflight hardware for these future NASA missions.

Honeybee has in development robotic systems to be flown on every recent and future planned mission to Mars, beginning with the very successful MER missions, through Phoenix, and including the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission. It is our intension in designing and testing this technology for the extreme environment of the lunar poles that these fundamental, robust components will have transferable application to the demanding environment of Mars as well. Honeybee plans to continue our successful relationship with NASA through the further development of this technology.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS ( Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
As with past successful SBIR efforts, we will seek to patent the novel aspects of our designs and pursue licensing the technology to other industries. We will utilize our experience and contacts in the aerospace industry, as well as continue to perform market research and identify companies in other industries that could utilize this technology. We have identified one potential application of advanced cryogenic actuators in laboratory testing equipment for a number of industries.

NASA's technology taxonomy has been developed by the SBIR-STTR program to disseminate awareness of proposed and awarded R/R&D in the agency. It is a listing of over 100 technologies, sorted into broad categories, of interest to NASA.

Integrated Robotic Concepts and Systems

Form Printed on 09-08-06 18:19