NASA SBIR 2008 Solicitation
FORM B - PROPOSAL SUMMARY
||Extravehicular Activity (EVA)
||Interchangeable Bearings for Profile and Weight Trade Studies
SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Milford, CT 06460 - 4845
PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Milford, CT 06460 - 4845
Expected Technology Readiness Level (TRL) upon completion of contract:
2 to 3
TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Air-Lock, Incorporated is proposing to design fully sealed shoulder and arm bearings with interchangeable bearing housings. The interchangeable housings shall be utilized in trade studies to determine the optimal bearing profile and weight relative to the shoulder and arm position. It is assumed that the next generation of NASA pressure suits will require the crewmember to utilize their suit in both the pressurized and unpressurized mode. Historic, key design drivers have always been suited comfort in the unpressurized mode and suit mobility in the pressurized mode. As a minimum, bearings will be needed at the shoulder, bicep, and wrist to satisfy pressurized mobility requirements. To placate unpressurized comfort, the optimal bearing design shall be lightweight and low profile; often conflicting characteristics in bearing design. This SBIR proposal will provide NASA with a bearing design that facilitates quick trade studies to determine the optimal bearing profile and weight.
POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Due to the highly specialized nature of the proposed design effort, extending the application of the interchangeable bearings is unlikely. More feasible applications can be realized through the improved manufacturing techniques developed during Phase II. Reducing mass of historically metallic structures via composite, structural plastics or urethanes have been achieved in the past but proved to be very costly. Air-Lock plans to develop manufacturing techniques that would allow the molding of complicated geometries to "near net shape" to realize cost reduction of lightweight, robust structures.
POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The recent increase in commercial space business ventures (Virgin Galactic, Commercial Orbital Transportation Services, (i.e., COTS), Bigelow Aerospace, etc.) would present excellent opportunities to implement the pressure suit bearing. Additionally, and of equal importance are the manufacturing techniques to be developed throughout the proposed effort that can be utilized for any pressure suit hard mobility joint.
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.
TECHNOLOGY TAXONOMY MAPPING
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