NASA STTR 2010 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 10-1 T1.01-9956
RESEARCH SUBTOPIC TITLE: Small Probe Entry Descent and Landing Systems
PROPOSAL TITLE: Small Probes for Orbital Return of Experiments (SPORE)

NAME: Aurora Flight Sciences Corporation NAME: Georgia Institute of Technology Center for Space Systems
STREET: 9950 Wakeman Drive STREET: 620 Cherry Street NW
CITY: Manassas CITY: Atlanta
STATE/ZIP: VA  20110 - 2702 STATE/ZIP: GA  30332 - 0150
PHONE: (617) 500-0536 PHONE: (404) 385-3819

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
David Spencer
270 Ferst Drive, NW
Atlanta, GA 30332 - 0150
(404) 385-7641

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 2
End: 3

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Analogous to the CubeSat standardization of micro-satellites, the SPORE flight system architecture will utilize a modular design approach to provide low-cost on-orbit operation and recovery of small payloads. The Phase 1 investigation will evaluate a scalable flight system architecture consisting of a service module for on-orbit operations and deorbit maneuvering, and an entry vehicle to perform entry, descent and landing (EDL). The design space for the SPORE system architecture is shown in Figure 1. Flight system designs capable of accommodating payload volumes ranging from 1-unit (1U) dimensions of 10x10x10 cm to 4U dimensions of 20x20x20 cm will be investigated. The proposed system will be capable of flight operations and return from low-Earth orbit (LEO) and geosynchronous transfer orbit (GTO). The SPORE design can be launched as a primary or secondary payload into LEO or GTO, or it can be deployed from the International Space Station (ISS).

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Aurora believes the market for a science platform that allows access to the space environment while returning the experiment for laboratory examination is growing rapidly. Microgravity experiments traditionally flown on the Shuttle mid-deck for up to a week before returning to Earth will require alternative flight platforms. There is a forthcoming capability gap between sounding rocket flights and longer duration ISS flights. SPORE has the benefit of filling a market niche not filled by short duration sounding rockets providers, and where ISS flight time is unavailable or too complex or expensive. Researchers requiring longer duration exposure to the space environment lack a capability in between several minute sounding rockets flights and months-long ISS missions. SPORE also provides lower cost and flexible scheduling for ISS downmass.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Aurora has already begun looking at additional markets for the SPORE system. In addition to commercial launch vechile TPS testing and commercial experimental payload missions, SPORE subsystem technology can be inserted into non re-entering CubeSats. CubeSats have become a de-facto standard for low-cost access to space. SPORE however adds significant capability to the basic CubeSat platform. For this reason Aurora feels that in addition to marketing complete SPORE systems, many SPORE technologies can be inserted into commercial CubeSats providing additional capabilities and expanding the revenue potential of SPORE. Examples of these technologies include propulsion system concepts which could provide CubeSats a limited altitude or plane change capability or payload accommodation architecture that could allow CubeSats to provide greater payload support in the form of thermal control or data handling.

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.)
Entry, Descent, & Landing (see also Planetary Navigation, Tracking, & Telemetry)
Spacecraft Design, Construction, Testing, & Performance (see also Engineering; Testing & Evaluation)

Form Generated on 09-03-10 15:17