NASA SBIR 2008 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 08-2 S4.01-9499
SUBTOPIC TITLE: NanoSat Launch Vehicle Technologies
PROPOSAL TITLE: Enabling Technology for Small Satellite Launch

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Design_Net Engineering LLC
16080 Table Mountain Parkway, Suite 500
Golden, CO 80403 - 1648
(303) 462-0096

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Gerry Murphy
16080 Table Mountain Parkway, Suite 500
Golden, CO 80403 - 1648
(303) 462-0096

Expected Technology Readiness Level (TRL) upon completion of contract: 5 to 6

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Access to space for Small Satellites is enabled by the use of excess launch capacity on existing launch vehicles. A range of sizes, form factors and masses of small sats need to be accommodated. An integration process that minimizes programmatic/technical risk to the primary, allows "late flow" integration and predictable cost/schedule for the secondary enables regular and cost-effective access. The integration process proceeds smoothly when the right adapter accommodates the secondary in a seamless way. Design_Net, with our commercialization partner SpaceAvailable Inc. has designed a family of adapters that meet these criteria and one has been selected by NASA to complete development for targeted NASA rideshare opportunities. We are also currently working with United Launch Alliance (ULA) for a broader class of rideshare accommodations, and development of interfaces that allow late access on Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicles (EELV)s. Design_Net will continue, via this SBIR Phase 2, to develop the selected adapter to a structurally tested engineering model. This adapter can accommodate everything from 6u and 12u carriers to full up "ORS class" (800lb) small satellites and is applicable to Minotaur IV, Falcon 9 and Taurus 2.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Different NASA centers have different uses for Small Satellite Rideshare. KSC is interested in flying P-POD class missions for education and technology; Ames desires to fly 6u and 12u form factors for biological purposes and is interested in potential Lunar missions; JPL has a number of technologies waiting for a ride. Adapters which enable NASA to make better use of its Launch Vehicle inventory and efficient use of lift mass will move some of the technology experiments from TRL 5 to TRL 8 and greatly assist the agency in buying down risk on its larger missions as well as flying the small ones for a predictable price. The particular adapter selected for development can accommodate all of these uses and take advantage of several launch vehicles. It is also very suitable for DoD/NASA opportunities which may happen more frequently in the future.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Design_Net Engineering LLC and our sister company SpaceAvailable Inc. are working with a large customer base of over 50 commercial government payloads (e.g., Iridium, space Test program and NRO). Our first technology rideshare flew on a Falcon 1 in August of 2008. With the right hardware, the right integration flow, and for the appropriate price point, a business can indeed be developed around this principle. We are bringing primary customers and LV providers into the process early, and developing fixed and affordable cost points, with regular flight opportunities. We currently have a backlog of approximately a dozen funded customers waiting for a flight opportunity and we expect this will grow significantly with DNet's broadly useful adapter. Both Design_Net and SpaceAvailable are investing IR&D funds as commercial money to develop Phase 3 opportunities.

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.

Launch and Flight Vehicle

Form Generated on 08-03-09 13:26