NASA SBIR 2011 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 11-1 S4.01-8504
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Unique Mission Architectures Using Small Spacecraft
PROPOSAL TITLE: Hummingbird -- A Very Low Cost, High Delta V Spacecraft for Solar System Exploration

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Microcosm, Inc.
4940 West 147th Street
Hawthorne, CA 90250 - 6708
(310) 219-2700

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Richard E Van Allen
4940 W. 147th Street
Hawthorne, CA 90250 - 6708
(310) 219-2700

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

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Based on Microcosm's development of a high delta-V small Earth observation spacecraft called NanoEye, with a planned recurring cost of $2 million, Microcosm will develop a new class of very low cost, light weight, extremely capable spacecraft for NASA science and exploration missions, from Earth orbit to deep space. This new spacecraft, called Hummingbird, is based on an all-composite, unibody structure in which the propellant tank is the structure. The first payload would be the 2.9 kg, 9.25-inch aperture diffraction-limited telescope built by ITT. Space-qualified 1-lbf thrusters from AeroJet weighing 8.7 gm each provide both orbit control and very rapid attitude maneuvers. The current NanoEye spacecraft has over 2.5 km/sec of delta-V, although delta-V can be increased considerably. The wet mass of the spacecraft is about 80 kg in its present configuration. The spacecraft uses CubeSat components, which are evolving rapidly to become more robust and capable. Multiple Hummingbirds can work together as a system and also provide robustness against system failures. Updates with new equipment can be introduced 3 to 10 times quicker than with traditional space systems, allowing responsive mission implementation at a cost and time scale not possible with traditional space missions.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
By both dramatically reducing spacecraft cost and size, along with development schedule, the proposed Hummingbird spacecraft provides the opportunity to meet multiple Earth science and solar system exploration mission needs. Missions being considered for the Hummingbird spacecraft, constellations, or clusters include GPS Radio Occultation (GPSRO), Active Sensing of CO2 Emissions over Nights, Days, and Seasons (ASCENDS), Global Atmospheric Composition Mission (GACM), Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE-II), Comet Surface Sample Return (CSSR), Trojan Tour and Rendezvous (TTR), and Lunar Geophysical Network (LGN). All of these missions could benefit by having constellations of satellites, satellites able to orbit at much lower altitudes, or a combination of the two. For example, the GPSRO mission could significantly increase the number of satellites in the constellation from the 6 currently being planned and still end up with an overall mission cost much less than the planned $150M. The CSSR, TTR, and LGN missions all would benefit from the very large delta-V capability that is inherent in the current NanoEye spacecraft that can be modified to accommodate the different needs of these 3 missions, which is especially easy relative to adding delta-V capability at low non-recurring cost.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The principal non-NASA Hummingbird application is for military missions, with additional applications for weather monitoring, disaster monitoring and news photography, that provides rapid revisit opportunities and real-time or near real time viewing of the Earth's surface through the use of Hummingbird constellations, in particular. Weather monitoring represents a major application area that could benefit greatly from the low cost aspect of Hummingbird that would allow large constellations of spacecraft focused on data collection of selected latitude ranges of interest. Approximately 30 satellites would provide repeat coverage of selected regions approximately every 10 minutes 24 hours per day, seven days per week, and both during the day and at night. In addition, even when not over a specific area of interest, weather data could still be collected for use by others.

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
Algorithms/Control Software & Systems (see also Autonomous Systems)
Attitude Determination & Control
Autonomous Control (see also Control & Monitoring)
GPS/Radiometric (see also Sensors)
Hardware-in-the-Loop Testing
Image Capture (Stills/Motion)
Image Processing
Inertial (see also Sensors)
Isolation/Protection/Shielding (Acoustic, Ballistic, Dust, Radiation, Thermal)
Machines/Mechanical Subsystems
Maneuvering/Stationkeeping/Attitude Control Devices
Models & Simulations (see also Testing & Evaluation)
Navigation & Guidance
Optical/Photonic (see also Photonics)
Positioning (Attitude Determination, Location X-Y-Z)
Project Management
Relative Navigation (Interception, Docking, Formation Flying; see also Control & Monitoring; Planetary Navigation, Tracking, & Telemetry)
Simulation & Modeling
Spacecraft Design, Construction, Testing, & Performance (see also Engineering; Testing & Evaluation)
Telemetry/Tracking (Cooperative/Noncooperative; see also Planetary Navigation, Tracking, & Telemetry)
Telescope Arrays

Form Generated on 11-22-11 13:43