NASA SBIR 2012 Solicitation

FORM B - PROPOSAL SUMMARY


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 12-2 H5.01-9689
PHASE 1 CONTRACT NUMBER: NNX13CL35P
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Expandable/Deployable Structures
PROPOSAL TITLE: TRUSSELATOR - On-Orbit Fabrication of High Performance Support Structures for Solar Arrays

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

CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Robert Hoyt
hoyt@tethers.com
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: 4
End: 6

Technology Available (TAV) Subtopics
Expandable/Deployable Structures is a Technology Available (TAV) subtopic that includes NASA Intellectual Property (IP). Do you plan to use the NASA IP under the award?
No

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
The Trusselator technology will enable on-orbit fabrication of support structures for high-power solar arrays and large antennas, achieving order-of-magnitude improvements in packing efficiency and launch mass while reducing life-cycle cost. The Phase I Trusselator effort successfully demonstrated fabrication of continuous lengths of high-performance carbon fiber truss using a novel additive manufacturing process, establishing the technology at TRL-4. The initial truss samples displayed bending stiffness efficiency superior to SOA deployable mast technologies. The Phase II effort will address the key technical risks and mature the Trusselator technology to TRL-6. We will do so by first refining the additive manufacturing process elements to improve process reliability and increase structural performance of the truss products. We will then design and prototype a Trusselator capable of operation in the thermal-vacuum environment of space, incorporating design improvements to reduce weight and stowed volume. Demonstration of fabrication of multi-meter lengths of truss in a vacuum environment will establish the technology at TRL-6. We will also develop an automated process for integrating the fabricated truss with thin-film solar cell blankets, and demonstrate this process with a solar cell blanket simulator. These Phase II efforts will prepare the Trusselator for flight demonstration in Phase III efforts to enable its adoption into the critical path for flight missions requiring high-power solar arrays.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The Trusselator is a key element of the NIAC "SpiderFab" architecture for on-orbit fabrication and integration of space systems. This technology will enable order-of-magnitude improvements in performance-per-cost for a wide range of mission, including:
- High Power Solar Arrays for SEP Exploration Missions
- Multi-Hundred-Meter Solar Sails for Outer Planet Missions
- Arecibo-scale Antennas for High-Bandwidth Communications with Mars and Deep-Space Missions
- Kilometer-Scale Masts for Long-Baseline Interferometric Astronomy
- Kilometer-Scale Sparse Apertures for Exoplanet Imaging

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The Trusselator will also enable on-orbit fabrication of large apertures and baselines for DoD space systems to enable order-of-magnitude improvements in bandwidth, sensitivity, resolution, and power for a wide range of tactical, strategic, and national security missions, including SATCOM, geolocation, SIGINT, and Earth observation. It will also enable affordable construction of large antennas for GEO commercial communications satellites.

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.)
Composites
In Situ Manufacturing
Joining (Adhesion, Welding)
Processing Methods
Robotics (see also Control & Monitoring; Sensors)
Structures
Textiles

Form Generated on 03-04-14 13:38