NASA SBIR 2015 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 15-1 S3.06-9331
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Terrestrial and Planetary Balloons

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Tethers Unlimited, Inc.
11711 North Creek Parkway South, Suite D113
Bothell, WA 98011 - 8808
(425) 486-0100

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Mr. Jeffrey T Slostad
11711 North Creek Parkway South, Suite D113
Bothell, WA 98011 - 8808
(425) 486-0100

CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Dr. Robert Hoyt
11711 North Creek Parkway South, Suite D113
Bothell, WA 98011 - 8808
(425) 486-0100 Extension :111

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

Technology Available (TAV) Subtopics
Terrestrial and Planetary Balloons 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)
To overcome the communication gap to Venus, TUI proposes to develop the Venus or Titan Exploratory (VORTEX) Gimbal to point a meter scale diameter, high gain antenna. The VORTEX Gimbal is a highly advanced adaptation of the COBRA gimbal developed by TUI for the nanosatellite market. The VORTEX Gimbal will be capable of providing performance characteristics that are unmatched in the current high-fidelity gimbal market at a SWAP (size, weight and power) that has yet to be developed. Included in these characteristics is the ability to slew and rotate continuously in any direction from any position without the need for failure-prone and costly slip rings. This feature will be highly beneficial for coaxial or other cabling that is needed to pass from the payload to the antenna via the gimbal. Due to the lack of slip rings, this mechanism will be significantly more reliable than traditional gimbal mechanisms. The VORTEX Gimbal also provides 3 degrees of freedom (DOF) by nature of its design. This means that in addition to hemispherical-plus pointing (greater than 2 pi steradians), the VORTEX Gimbal has the ability to stow compactly for launch in a much denser volume than its operational workspace.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The primary application for the Venus or Titan Exploratory (VORTEX) Gimbal will be for aerobot-based exploration missions on Venus and other planetary bodies. The VORTEX Gimbal will provide a reliable, lightweight, autonomous mechanism for pointing high gain antennas used in telecommunications. The VORTEX Gimbal mechanism will not be limited to this use case, however. This mechanism will be useful for any mission with instruments that require precision pointing and data throughput, such as sensors, imagers, solar arrays, and thrusters.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The proposed VORTEX Gimbal could enable precision pointing in numerous terrestrial applications. The mechanism will be designed for the caustic environment of Venus or Titan and will, therefore, be suitable for many other harsh environments on earth. Any application requiring hemispherical-plus pointing, 30 deg/sec slew and rotate rates, along with long service life will benefit from the VORTEX gimbal without paying the price of increased mass and cost.

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
Airship/Lighter-than-Air Craft
Machines/Mechanical Subsystems

Form Generated on 04-23-15 15:37