NASA SBIR 2012 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 12-1 S4.02-9242
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Robotic Mobility, Manipulation and Sampling
PROPOSAL TITLE: Sensing and Positioning on Inclines and Deep Environments with Retrieval (SPIDER)

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Tethers Unlimited
11711 North Creek Parkway South, Suite D113
Bothell, WA 98011 - 8808
(425) 486-0100

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Gregory Jimmerson
11711 N. Creek Pkwy S, D113
Bothell, WA 98011 - 8808
(425) 486-0100

CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Robert Hoyt
11711 North Creek Parkway South, Suite D113
Bothell, WA 98011 - 8808
(425) 486-0100

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

Technology Available (TAV) Subtopics
Robotic Mobility, Manipulation and Sampling is a Technology Available (TAV) subtopic that includes NASA Intellectual Property (IP). Do you plan to use the NASA IP under the award?

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
To enable future robotic exploration systems to have greater mobility, sensing, sampling, and communication capabilities on difficult terrain such as craters, cliffs, gullies, and skylights, Tethers Unlimited proposes to develop a "Sensing and Positioning on Inclines and Deep Environments with Retrieval" (SPIDER) system. This system employs an innovative lightweight 'orbital winch' with the capacity for rapid tether deployment and high load retrieval or towing. The unique design of the orbital winch accomplishes cable winding and deployment without rotating the spool, minimizing mass and power consumption, while eliminating the need for electrical and optical slip-ring. The SPIDER system also integrates a launcher that can be used to deploy a wide variety of tethered end-effectors to provide new capabilities for sample retrieval and sensing. A carousel of these stowed end-effectors will allow selection of appropriate implements for a desired task. For example, tethered anchor end-effectors could give planetary rovers the ability to rappel down ravines, tow themselves up steep slopes, or free themselves from a stuck position. Sensing and sampling end-effectors with data- and power- transmitting tethers can be deployed and retrieved from otherwise inaccessible areas, giving in-situ feedback via optical fibers. The SPIDER system can also be a launch platform for subsurface boring or ice-penetrating probes such as the Cryobot. Moreover, by launching an RF transmitter/receiver, the system could improve communications for a planetary rover entering a geologic feature that would impede radio contact, such as a lava tube. The Phase I effort will mature the SPIDER to TRL 4 by testing prototypes of key components, and the Phase II will mature an integrated system to TRL 6 by testing and qualifying a prototype in a relevant terrestrial environment.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The SPIDER system will allow NASA exploration missions to extend scientific investigations in previously inaccessible terrain. It will enable rovers to explore craters, cliffs, caves and gullies. It will enable sensor, sampler, and communication device placement and retrieval. The SPIDER system may also be used for deployment and retrieval of sampling systems in zero-G environments.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The SPIDER system could enable small robots used by Search and Rescue teams to locate victims in rubble due to earthquake or mine collapse. It could provide greater mobility for military and recreational vehicles. Additionally, the SPIDER system can providing high-bandwidth communications and power for mobile robots and ROV's in military and civilian applications, such as urban tactical operations and underground environments, exploration of caves or mines, inspection of ship hulls, and inspection of water, sewer, and oil lines.

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.)
Robotics (see also Control & Monitoring; Sensors)
Surface Propulsion
Vehicles (see also Autonomous Systems)

Form Generated on 03-28-13 15:21