NASA SBIR 2014 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 14-1 S4.04-9819
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Extreme Environments Technology
PROPOSAL TITLE: High Temperature Venus Drill and Sample Delivery System

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Honeybee Robotics Spacecraft Mechanisms Corporation
398 W Washington Boulevard, Suite 200
Pasadena, CA 91107 - 2000
(212) 966-0661

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Kris Zacny
398 W Washington Blvd suite 200
Pasadena, CA 91103 - 2000
(626) 421-7902

CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Chris Chapman
460 West 34th St
Manhattan, NY 10001 - 0000
(646) 459-7802

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 3
End: 4

Technology Available (TAV) Subtopics
Extreme Environments Technology 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)
We proposed to design, build and test a high temperature Pneumatic Drill and Trencher system for Venus subsurface exploration. The Venus Drill and Trencher will be hybrid systems capable of acquiring surface and subsurface regolith as well as pulverized rocks (i.e. cuttings) from depth (the exact depth will be driven by the science requirement). The drill and the trencher unique sample delivery system will be able to transfer samples as they are being acquired, directly into the science instruments. Hence, these systems could be a single deployment system – it will have to drill/cut down once to deliver samples, and never retract. If the Venus Drill and/or Trencher will be deployed from a robotic arm, the system could be used multiple times. If the Venus Drill or the Trencher will be body mounted or mounted to a single degree of freedom system (spring deployable single action arm), it would be deployed once. Depending on the deployment requirements, the Drill and the Trencher could require just one actuator, while the remaining degrees of freedom (lowering the system to the ground and/or deploying the system some distance from the lander) could be achieved by a set of springs and hinges.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
NASA applications for this technology include sampling of surface regolith (i.e. 'vacuum cleaner suction mode') as well as the subsurface soils and rocks on Venus. The sample delivery system is an integral part of both the drill and the trencher. Hence, there is no need for any additional sample transfer hardware e.g. a robotic arm with a scoop, etc. The successful completion of the proposed effort would be essential to a New Frontiers Venus mission proposal as it would offer significant new opportunities for improved science, data gathering and operational life. In addition to Venus applications, the drill and the trencher with the sample delivery system work in any other environment that has an atmosphere (e.g. Titan with the atmospheric pressure of 1.5 atm). Because of Titan's lower temperature (~100K), there will be no need for HT motors and associated HT materials, and hence the system would have to be redesigned for lower temperature (e.g. actuators would need heaters, etc.).

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Non-NASA applications include any scenarios that require acquiring a sample from hot and often hazardous locations. For example, the proposed sampler could be used to robotically acquire samples from walls of nuclear reactors to determine the extent of radiation damage. Since the proposed drill is small, it could be mounted at the end of COTS robotic platforms such as iRobot's PackBot, Qinetic's Talon, or Remotec's Andros. Samples of topsoil are also required in war zones to determine if the location has explosives or other contaminants. The drill with sample acquisition and delivery system could be packaged into a stand-alone sampler-analyzer system (e.g. XRF/XRD or a GC/MS could be integrated with the drill). Hence, the robotic device could drive to a location of interest, acquire surface and subsurface samples, and analyze them in situ to determine if the location has buried explosives. Note that it is not necessary to touch the IED (Improvised Explosive Device) or a mine itself to determine if it's an explosive. Explosives manufacturing leaves traces of compounds (e.g. nitrides) that are extremely difficult to remove or wash away, an that contaminate anything that has been in contact with them (e.g. soil). For this reason, airport security personnel conduct swab tests around the suitcase without the need for opening the suitcase itself to determine if explosives are present.

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.)
Machines/Mechanical Subsystems
Passive Systems
Pressure & Vacuum Systems
Robotics (see also Control & Monitoring; Sensors)

Form Generated on 04-23-14 17:37