NASA SBIR 2015 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 15-1 H5.01-9790
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Deployable Structures
PROPOSAL TITLE: Active Gravity Offloading System for Deployable Solar Array Structures

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
ATA Engineering, Inc.
13290 Evening Creek Drive South, Suite 250
San Diego, CA 92128 - 4695
(858) 480-2000

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Dr. Cory Rupp
1687 Cole Boulevard, Suite 125
Golden, CO 80401 - 3321
(303) 945-2368

CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Mr. Joshua Davis
13290 Evening Creek Drive South, Suite 250
San Diego, CA 92128 - 4695
(858) 480-2028

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

Technology Available (TAV) Subtopics
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?

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Large, lightweight, deployable solar array structures have been identified as a key enabling technology for NASA with analysis and design of these structures being the top challenge in meeting the overall goals of the NASA Space Technology Roadmap. Deployment ground testing of these structures is a uniquely difficult task as the intent is to validate 0g performance and integrity in a 1g testing environment. Existing gravity offloading test support equipment use passive offloading in which offloader tracking is driven by the deployment of the array itself. This approach introduces strong coupling between the test article and the offloader equipment, which affects deployment dynamics and hence accuracy of the simulated 0g response. ATA Engineering proposes to improve existing gravity offloader equipment through the development of an actively controlled system that minimizes the mechanical coupling between the test array and the offloader system. This active system will make use of position sensors to provide data for necessary corrective action as well as analytical models of the offloader and test article to provide predictive capabilities. When paired with actuators on the offloader system, the combined predictor-corrector system will substantially improve ground test 0g simulations. Phase I of this SBIR project will demonstrate increased realism of 0g test conditions by producing demonstration hardware that incorporates the suite of sensors and actuators with an analytical model of the offloader system. In Phase II, an active offloader system will be designed, built, and used to test a state-of-the-art solar array system.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Envisioned NASA missions over the coming decades involve ambitious destinations such as near-earth asteroids, the Moon, and Mars, and activities such as sample return and deep space exploration. These missions will require a new paradigm of very large, yet lightweight, structural systems for deployable components such as solar arrays, antennas, instrument booms, solar sails, trusses, and inflatable habitats. Qualifying these unprecedented structures will require new testing approaches, such as the proposed gravity offloading system which could be used in deployment, structural dynamics, and durability testing. The need for this technology is imminent as NASA has recently selected SEP spacecraft concepts for further study in adapting them to the agency's Asteroid Redirect Robotic Mission (ARRM). The NASA Technology Demonstration Missions SEP Project is currently seeking information from potential vendors regarding the development of 25 kW advanced, flexible-blanket solar array systems for SEP flight demonstration missions. The envisioned technology demonstrator, which will first be evaluated aboard the International Space Station (ISS), must also be extensible to power levels greater than 100 kW. Examples of planned NASA missions and activities that could also benefit from the technology include Starshade, Sunjammer, activity simulation in sub-g extraterrestrial environments, and astronaut training as a potential replacement for underwater training.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
A significant commercial market exists for the proposed gravity offloading technology in the qualification of non-NASA spacecraft. Most notably, U.S. military reconnaissance satellites (SIGINT/COMINT) are believed to require extremely large antenna arrays to conduct their missions. We believe that, as with NASA's future lightweight deployable structures, Department of Defense and commercial spacecraft will also push the limits of current ground test capabilities and stand to benefit from a capability to simulate 0-g conditions during qualification testing. ATA has significant experience in the analysis and testing of these components and has experienced the challenges associated with dynamic testing using conventional gravity offloading technology first hand.

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.)
Lifetime Testing
Spacecraft Design, Construction, Testing, & Performance (see also Engineering; Testing & Evaluation)

Form Generated on 04-23-15 15:37