NASA STTR 2014 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 14-1 T4.02-9941
RESEARCH SUBTOPIC TITLE: Regolith Resources Robotics - R3
PROPOSAL TITLE: Free-Flying Unmanned Robotic Spacecraft for Asteroid Resource Prospecting and Characterization

NAME: Honeybee Robotics Spacecraft Mechanisms Corporation NAME: Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
STREET: 398 W Washington Boulevard, Suite 200 STREET: 600 South Clyde Morris Boulevard
CITY: Pasadena CITY: Daytona Beach
STATE/ZIP: CA  91103 - 2000 STATE/ZIP: FL  32114 - 3966
PHONE: (626) 421-7902 PHONE: (386) 226-7953

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Hever Moncayo
600 S Clyde Morris Blvd
Daytona Beach, FL 32114 - 3966
(386) 226-7953

CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Chris Chapman
460 W 34th Street
New York, NY 10001 - 2320
(646) 459-7802

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

Technology Available (TAV) Subtopics
Regolith Resources Robotics - R3 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)
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU) and Honeybee Robotics (HBR) proposes to develop an integrated autonomous free-flyer robotic spacecraft system to support the exploration and subsequent resource utilization of asteroids as well as other planetary bodies and moons.
The proposed spacecraft will address the first step towards In Situ Resource Utilization from Near Earth Object bodies; namely it will prospect it with sample acquisition devices and characterize the NEO for ISRU potential. Embry-Riddle and Honeybee Robotics propose an innovative resource prospecting mission concept based on autonomous small marsupial free-flyer prospector spacecrafts. Such technologies are currently being developed at Embry-Riddle. The spacecraft will utilize unique technologies such as MicroDrills and Pneumatic Samplers previously developed under other SBIR projects by Honeybee Robotics. In particular, the proposal will focus on flight control and reconfiguration for guidance under extreme environments, vision-aided navigation approaches, and sampling systems design, testing and evaluation. The proposed system will be developed, simulated and evaluated during Phase I of the project, and experimentally validated and demonstrated during Phase II through flight testing on an autonomous research platform. The successful completion of the proposed research is anticipated to provide a theoretical and experimental framework to investigate the capabilities of a marsupial-based robotic system to explore and extract samples from terrains that would be inaccessible to traditional rover-type vehicles and where traditional flight guidance and navigation sensors, such as GPS receivers and magnetometers, are not functional.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The acquisition of surface samples from small interplanetary bodies such as comets and asteroids, as well as small moons like Mars' Phobos, and Deimos holds great scientific interest. Under the NASA Authorization Act, Congress instructed NASA to "plan, develop, and implement a Near-Earth Object (NEO) Survey program to detect, track, catalogue, and characterize the physical characteristics of NEOs equal to or greater than 140 meters in diameter in order to assess the threat of such near-Earth objects to the Earth." In 2010, President Obama called for a new approach to space exploration, which would include human and robotic exploration of asteroids. Characterization of these objects would require novel approaches akin to what is here proposed.
While the specifics of the subsystem design to be performed in the proposed effort are intended for a spacecraft-type platform, the general approach of marsupial robots for reconnaissance and sampling from bodies with very low gravitational fields can also be applied to other bodies such as the Moon.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Non-NASA applications for this technology include sampling of contaminated soils and liquid from hazardous environments (near nuclear reactors, oil spills, chemical spills etc.). Key subsystems such as the sampling probes, sensors could be re-purposed for sampling and investigating terrestrial sites. This would reduce the risk of sending personnel into contaminated environments.

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.)
Autonomous Control (see also Control & Monitoring)
Machines/Mechanical Subsystems
Navigation & Guidance
Relative Navigation (Interception, Docking, Formation Flying; see also Control & Monitoring; Planetary Navigation, Tracking, & Telemetry)
Robotics (see also Control & Monitoring; Sensors)
Spacecraft Design, Construction, Testing, & Performance (see also Engineering; Testing & Evaluation)
Spacecraft Instrumentation & Astrionics (see also Communications; Control & Monitoring; Information Systems)
Tools/EVA Tools

Form Generated on 04-23-14 17:37