NASA SBIR 2015 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 15-1 S2.02-9994
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Precision Deployable Optical Structures and Metrology
PROPOSAL TITLE: Macro-Fiber Composite-based actuators for space

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Extreme Diagnostics, Inc.
6960 Firerock Court
Boulder, CO 80301 - 3814
(303) 523-8924

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Dr. Robert Barry Owen
6960 Firerock Court
Boulder, CO 80301 - 3814
(303) 523-8924

CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Dr. Robert Barry Owen
6960 Firerock Court
Boulder, CO 80301 - 3814
(303) 523-8924

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 5
End: 5

Technology Available (TAV) Subtopics
Precision Deployable Optical Structures and Metrology 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)
This SBIR project creates a CubeSat-based on-orbit Validation System (CVS) that provides performance data for Macro Fiber Composite (MFC) piezocomposite actuators operating in space and matures this precision deployable technology through validation tests in Low Earth Orbit (LEO). NASA customers include active structures like complex space-based deployable telescopes. Phases I/II advance MFC actuator materials to Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 6 or better for space.
Implications of the innovation
While piezocomposites needed for active structure control have flown and are space qualified their performance under actuation and sensing has not been quantified under minimal thermal protection to enable large deployable precision structures like 10–30 m class space telescope observatories. Data is needed on the viability of piezocomposites as control actuators for space missions. MFCs also enable active structural health monitoring (SHM) techniques that expand the potential commercial market.
Technical objectives
CVS uses a CubeSat to conduct LEO tests. CubeSats provide low-cost rapid access to space-based testing. CVS leverages our previous NASA research and builds on our TRL 5 prototype, which is defined as a CubeSat payload. Our preliminary work found an unexpected deviation in the behavior of composite actuators reacting to thermal cycles like those experienced in LEO. Without suitable compensation, this atypical behavior could cause imprecise mechanical performance in active space structures. Phase I establishes feasibility by defining, modeling and controlling this behavior.
Research description
Phase I develops and validates compensation mechanisms for MFC actuators subjected to thermal cycling, and completes a TRL 5 prototype.
Anticipated results
Phase I provides weight, size, and power estimates updated for thermal cycle compensation and verifies that CVS fits in a CubeSat. Phase II delivers a fully operational and certified CVS CubeSat.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
CVS is the first extensive spaceflight validation for piezocomposite actuator materials. CVS will establish operational limits, determine long-duration space environmental exposure trends, and evaluate thermal compensation options for the piezocomposite materials needed to control large-scale precision space structures. Piezocomposite material applications include active control of composite reflectors, large sunshields, external occulters, large solar arrays for solar electric propulsion and other active structures. Examples include structures like the OCT Lightweight Materials and Structures long-duration deployables. Maintaining the shape of large, high-precision reflectors will be quite difficult; active reflectors that adjust their shape in situ will be cheaper and lighter. Other structures of interest include lightweight deployable hatches for manned inflatable structures. Additionally, an active, mission-capable SHM system has applications like crew safety, ISS utilization, deep-space missions, vehicle mass reduction, and Mars exploration. CVS is directly responsive to Topic S2.02, which calls for technologies that enable deploying large aperture telescopes at low cost.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Commercial space companies need SHM to reduce time to launch and operation costs and improve safety. These needs are particularly important for re-useable vehicles, where information on structural integrity during all stages of flight is important for flight recertification, validation of vehicle operation models, and prediction of remaining service life. Active control is needed for jitter suppression and to compensate for thermal and mechanical disturbances. Other applications include Homeland Security structural analysis to mitigate threats (preparedness) and assess damage (response), smart structures, and SHM of civil infrastructures, land/marine structures, and military structures. Civil infrastructure includes bridges, highway systems, buildings, power plants, underground structures, and wind energy turbines (alternative and renewable energy). Land/marine structures include automobiles, trains, submarines, ships, and offshore structures. Military structures include helicopters, aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles and others. SHM is an emerging industry driven by an aging infrastructure, malicious humans, and the introduction of advanced materials and structures. SHM applications are also driven by a desire to lower costs by moving from schedule-based to condition-based maintenance. Non-NASA government customers include the Departments of Defense, Transportation, and Energy. We are working with The Boeing Company and Ball Aerospace to apply CVS to non-NASA applications.

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.)
Actuators & Motors
Machines/Mechanical Subsystems
Nondestructive Evaluation (NDE; NDT)
Robotics (see also Control & Monitoring; Sensors)
Smart/Multifunctional Materials

Form Generated on 04-23-15 15:37