NASA SBIR 2010 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 10-1 X4.01-9498
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Space Suit Pressure Garment and Airlock Technologies
PROPOSAL TITLE: Space Suit Glove Pressure Garment Metacarpal Joint and Robotic Hand Analysis

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Final Frontier Design
313 7th Ave Suite 3L
Brooklyn, NY 11215 - 4141
(347) 512-0082

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Ted Southern
313 7th Ave Suite 3L
Brooklyn, NY 11215 - 4141
(347) 512-0082

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 2
End: 4

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Spacesuit glove pressure garments have been a design challenge for NASA since the inception of spacesuits. The human hand demands a complex range of motions, a close fit, an ease of movement, and a lack of bulk that is at odds with the engineering and durability requirements of an inflated safety garment. While precision motions of the fingers are relatively well met by NASA's current I.L.C./Phase VI gloves, the torque required for more gross power grips such as translating along bars or grasping tools is significant. This torque comes not from the individual fingers or phalange-phalange joints, but at the joint between the fingers and the palm, or the metacarpal-phalangeal joint.
In addition, this motion is difficult to precisely measure. The human hand is capable of omni-directional multifaceted movements that are challenging to mimic robotically. In addition, the presence of a human wearer makes the measurement impossible to repeat accurately, but it is required to adequately reproduce the movements of the glove.
FFD in collaboration with The Polytechnic Institute of New York University (NYU-Poly) propose to develop a glove pattering specific to the bending of the metacarpal-phalangeal joint, and a robotic instrument suitable to measure this torque. This will lead to even more functional glove pressure garments, and to a more refined way of measuring them.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Highly functional pressure garment gloves have always been and remain a coveted and marketable product for NASA. Pressure garment gloves directly effect an astronaut's performance in space. In recent years, with NASA's "wall of EVAs" necessary for ISS assembly, we have seen the critical role gloves play in the big picture of spacewalking. Because of the very high cost of EVAs, and their inevitability, investments in more functional spacesuit glove technology have significant payoffs. As astronauts are able to use their hands better in spacewalks, so will they become more efficient and reliable workers. FFD hopes to work with current NASA contractors such as ILC Dover to merge and develop useful new glove technologies.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Highly functional spacesuit gloves have a potential market outside NASA in commercial high altitude and space flight. As commercial space flight becomes more common, the market for affordable and effective pressure garments will surely increase. The pressure garment glove is perhaps the most critical element of the suit, in terms of motion requirements and effects. FFD is currently marketing itself to the leaders of the commercial space flight industry, including Virgin Galactic and Space X.

TECHNOLOGY TAXONOMY MAPPING (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.)
Actuators & Motors
Analytical Methods
Nondestructive Evaluation (NDE; NDT)
Protective Clothing/Space Suits/Breathing Apparatus

Form Generated on 09-03-10 12:12