NASA SBIR 2015 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 15-1 S4.03-9958
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Spacecraft Technology for Sample Return Missions
PROPOSAL TITLE: Single-Stage, Gelled Hydrazine System for Mars Ascent Vehicle Propulsion

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Microcosm, Inc.
4940 West 147th Street
Hawthorne, CA 90250 - 6708
(310) 219-2700

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Markus Rufer
4940 W. 147th Street
Hawthorne, CA 90250 - 6708
(310) 219-2700

CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Chris Maruyama
4940 West 147th Street
Hawthorne, CA 90250 - 6708
(310) 219-2700

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 2
End: 3

Technology Available (TAV) Subtopics
Spacecraft Technology for Sample Return Missions 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)
Microcosm, Inc. in cooperation with Aerojet Rocketdyne is presenting an innovative approach to the Mars Ascent Vehicle (MAV). The single-stage monopropellant system offers the substantial advantage of simplicity, while providing operational flexibility. The projected result offers low cost at high reliability. Our proposed concept employs a gelled hydrazine monopropellant which provides low temperature capability (-54 ?C/ 65 ?F demonstrated), thus reducing the thermal conditioning demand on the Entry Descent Lander (EDL). Precision pointing at the time of launch is not required due to the relatively low, under 10g's, initial acceleration and high control gain provided by the articulated plug nozzle, enabling the use of a single degree-of-freedom EDL launch platform.
This proposal combines the strength of a previous proposal submitted to NASA's Planetary Sciences Division, in May of 2010, with the particular expertise of Microcosm Inc. in space mission design as well as its advanced all-composite pressurized structures technology for significant vehicle performance/weight reduction enhancements. The MAV concept and its CONOPS are built on experience by Aerojet, Raytheon and Avaliant and employ a single stage mono propellant design. The proposal takes advantage of the vast experience of the team members from programs such as VIKING, Sidewinder, and AMRAAM, missile guidance algorithm design, communications and health monitoring systems engineering. This single-stage, liquid monopropellant MAV concept leverages recent component advancements resulting from over $500 million in investment by the Missile Defense Agency in miniature interceptor component technology.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
This technology will dramatically reduce the spacecraft mass of a sample return mission that has to lift off from any substantial celestial body. It can be used either to reduce cost, increase the mass of the returned sample, or both. The technology will be critical for any sample return mission from any major solar system body, including the Moon, planets, or moons of other planets.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
There is substantial interest in commercial sample return missions, for which the key issue is how much material can be returned at what cost. This technology both reduces the cost and dramatically increases the mass of the samples that can potentially be returned, which makes non-NASA sample return missions much more economically viable.

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)
Navigation & Guidance
Positioning (Attitude Determination, Location X-Y-Z)
Spacecraft Design, Construction, Testing, & Performance (see also Engineering; Testing & Evaluation)
Spacecraft Instrumentation & Astrionics (see also Communications; Control & Monitoring; Information Systems)
Surface Propulsion

Form Generated on 04-23-15 15:37