NASA SBIR 2014 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 14-1 S3.04-9566
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Unmanned Aircraft and Sounding Rocket Technologies
PROPOSAL TITLE: The StratoCruiser Propulsive Long Endurance Balloon Gondola

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Aurora Flight Sciences Corporation
4 Cambridge Center, 11th Floor
Cambridge, MA 02142 - 1494
(617) 500-4809

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Justin McClellan
4 Cambridge Center, 11th Floor
Cambridge, MA 02142 - 1494
(617) 500-4809

CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Scott Hart
4 Cambridge Center, 11th Floor
Cambridge, MA 02142 - 1494
(617) 500-4892

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

Technology Available (TAV) Subtopics
Unmanned Aircraft and Sounding Rocket Technologies 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)
New measurement technologies are required to support science campaigns to better quantify rapid loss of permanent floating ice volume in the Arctic Ocean, accelerating loss of the Greenland glacial system, recurring drought conditions in the U. S. continental interior, and increasing frequency and intensity of severe storms in both coastal zones and in the nation's central corridor. While balloon measurements offer persistence and relative low cost when compared to aircraft systems, they lack the ability to reposition, station-keep, or navigate along or across observed gradients. Similarly, aircraft offer the ability to target regional phenomenon, reposition, and navigate to areas of interest but are costly to operate and lack the persistence of balloons. The StratoCruiser balloon gondola concept offers unprecedented mobility and the reel-down payload support for executing unique in-situ studies of large-scale convective events. Combining the persistence of balloon platforms, the vertical measurements of soundings, and the mobility of aircraft the StratoCruiser will enable new understanding of stratospheric phenomenon. The StratoCruiser carries the unique Harvard–designed reel-down payload and winch system. The winch allows the suspended payload to be lowered from a vehicle at rates of 5-10 m/s up to a distance of 10 km. These soundings provide in situ detection of radicals, isotopes, ozone, reactive intermediates, long-lived tracers and condensed and vapor phase H2O and HDO.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Aurora Flight Sciences and Harvard University have proposed the Airborne Stratospheric Climate Coupled Convective Catalytic Chemistry Experiment North America (ASC5ENA) mission to the NASA Earth Venture initiative. The reel-down facility and StratoCruiser are both centric to this study and represent the first path of commercialization for the proposed work.
Seeing as there StratoCruiser is a science platform, it has applicability to a wide variety of science missions. The platform's unique mobility and persistence allows new forms of measurements enabling new discoveries.

The StratoCruiser will be useful for a broad array of scientific studies dealing with the climate, atmospheric chemistry, weather, land usage, and astronomy. The platform is flexible and can carry a variety of instruments providing scientists with the repositionable and vertical profile capability unmatched by other systems. The drag analysis conducted under this effort and refined in future phases will also provide NASA with greater understanding of balloon drag allowing for more accurate predictions of non-powered balloon drift. Similarly, the composite structure work performed under this effort can readily be infused into other stratospheric balloons to provide greater strength with less structural weight freeing up payload for instruments.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The unique capabilities of the StratoCruiser to station keep, relocate, and provide persistence in the presence of winds aloft offer significant utility to the Department of Defense. The system's ability to place a payload over an area for long duration at a reduced cost to an unmanned vehicle flight is clearly applicable to surveillance missions. The reel-down payload capability also offers potential benefit for sensing applications. Aurora plans to pursue the development of a DoD StratoCruiser and plans to compile a white paper for DARPA on the technology.

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.)
Airship/Lighter-than-Air Craft
Algorithms/Control Software & Systems (see also Autonomous Systems)
Atmospheric Propulsion
Models & Simulations (see also Testing & Evaluation)
Vehicles (see also Autonomous Systems)

Form Generated on 04-23-14 17:37