NASA SBIR 2007 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 07-1 S4.08-9172
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Low-cost Assembly, Integration, and Testing
PROPOSAL TITLE: Automated Break-out Box for use with Low Cost Spacecraft Integration and Test

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Tiger Innovations LLC
5207 32nd St North
Arlington, VA 22207 - 1548
(703) 407-1236

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Robert Atkin
5207 32nd St North
Arlington, VA 22207 - 1548
(703) 407-1236

Expected Technology Readiness Level (TRL) upon completion of contract: 4 to 5

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Electrical checkout and testing is a critical part of the overall spacecraft integration and test flow. Verifying proper harness and connector signal interfaces is key to ensuring component health and overall system functionality. Break-Out Boxes (BOB) are used to give test personnel access to electrical signals for probing, voltage injection, isolation checks, safe-to-mate checks, and voltage/current measurements. Currently this involves manually attaching multimeters and oscilloscopes to banana jacks on the BOB, taking measurements and comparing to expected results.

Tiger Innovations proposes designing an automated break-out box to make electrical integration activities more efficient, repeatable, and safe by introducing software controlled test sequences and reducing human errors. Additionally, significant schedule and cost reductions are realized by improving the speed and reliability of integration operations. Our software controlled BOB would allow isolation and safe-to-mate checks to be accomplished in a fraction of the time required for a human operator. Voltage and current measurements would be analyzed in the software for pass/fail criteria and reported to the user for inclusion in the test log. Automating test sequences through the use of an automated BOB has the potential to significantly streamline spacecraft, payload and launch site electrical integration and test activities.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
In the current spacecraft industry, break-out boxes are commonly made in-house and are often specific to each spacecraft mission. In addition to the performance and schedule benefits an Auto-BOB can provide, we believe a market exists for a company to provide automated test equipment to a wide range of customers across government agencies and in the private sector. The growing micro satellite market and the desire for responsive space applications is pushing more aggressive integration and test schedules and would benefit significantly by reducing electrical integration efforts through the use of the Auto-BOB. Initial primary customers for an automated break-out box include NASA and associated contractors involved in the integration and test of small satellites.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Commercial extensions outside of NASA would focus on the micro satellite industry as the companies involved are often smaller, less resistant to change, and often face aggressive testing schedules with a limited integration team. Once the benefits and reliability of the Auto-BOB have been demonstrated on flight programs in the micro satellite industry, sales could expand into larger satellite programs and the aerospace industry as a whole. With a product successfully demonstrated in the aerospace industry, it should be feasible to market the Auto-BOB to a wide range of companies that perform electronics fabrication and testing.

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.

Operations Concepts and Requirements
Testing Facilities
Testing Requirements and Architectures

Form Generated on 09-18-07 17:50