NASA SBIR 2011 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 11-1 S5.04-8674
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Spacecraft Technology for Sample Return Missions
PROPOSAL TITLE: Low Gravity Anchoring System

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Cadtrak Engineering, LLC
31 Santa Barbara Avenue
San Anselmo, CA 94960 - 1653
(415) 259-4929

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
David Levitt
31 Santa Barbara Avenue
San Anselmo, CA 94960 - 1653
(415) 259-4929

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

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Future sampling missions to the Moon, Mars and Asteroids will likely involve drilling and in-situ analysis from mobile robotic platforms in low gravity. Past sampling systems like the MER and MSL Rovers have used tool body preloading as their method of stabilization. This method puts high demands on the deployment device and becomes less viable as gravity decreases, as with an asteroid sampling mission. This proposal involves the development of an effective low-gravity anchoring system which would decrease the preload requirement and peak reaction forces on the deployment device. And in the case of asteroid or comet sampling it would reduce the demand and complexity of the propulsion system. At the end of this Phase 1 proposal a prototype anchor will be developed to TRL 4. A proposed Phase 2 effort would develop a flight-like system and field test it advancing the technology to TRL 6.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The anchoring system of this proposal has applications for many of NASA's future robotic exploration programs, especially those involving sampling of planetary and small bodies such as asteroids and comets. It has uses such as: 1. Anchoring of a spacecraft to a small body; 2.Tool body preloading for core drilling and sampling in low gravity environments; 3. Anchoring safety tethers at a cliff or crater edge making a descent or traverse possible by a rover; 4. Anchoring instruments that are deployed and left to gather data.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Robots and rovers are becoming more and more common in environments where human presence is not safe or possible. An autonomous rock anchor could be useful for 1) Robotic drilling and sampling systems for nuclear reactors or storage facilities 2) Anchoring safety tethers for commercial exploration 3) Robotic submersibles.

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 Astronautics)
Machines/Mechanical Subsystems
Robotics (see also Control & Monitoring; Sensors)

Form Generated on 11-22-11 13:43