NASA SBIR 2015 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 15-1 S4.05-9420
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Contamination Control and Planetary Protection
PROPOSAL TITLE: Development of a Hermetically Sealed Canister for Sample Return Missions

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Honeybee Robotics, Ltd.
Building 3, Suite 1005 63 Flushing Avenue Unit 150
Brooklyn, NY 11205 - 1070
(212) 966-0661

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Phil Chu
398 W Washington Blvd suite 200
Pasadena, CA 91103 - 2000
(646) 239-0429

CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Chris Chapman
P O Box 27420
Brooklyn, NY 11202 - 7420
(626) 459-7802

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

Technology Available (TAV) Subtopics
Contamination Control and Planetary Protection 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)
The goal of the Phase I is to perform breadboarding and testing of the promising sealing techniques as well as perform a system level study to determine implementation challenges within actual mission architectures. The tests will be conducted on clean and 'dirty' seals. The results of the Phase I will be one or more options for hermetic sealing. During some approaches (Shape memory Alloy and brazing) additional data will be acquired to determine the temperature rise of the inner sample chamber.
In the follow on Phase II of the proposed investigation, we will design and fabricate multiple high fidelity prototypes of the hermetic sealing canister and sealing system. The size and shape of the canisters will be designed to fit the requirements of any proposed or current sample return missions, such as Mars 2020. These canisters will include thermal insulation to protect and preserve volatile material within the samples, and will be optimized for mass reduction. We will test the hermeticity of the canister seal when exposed to dust accumulation, as well as thermal cycling, shock and vibration environments. This testing will result in a technology readiness level for the sample canister and sealing of TRL6 at the end of the Phase II investigation. We will also develop preliminary spacecraft requirements (mass, power, volume, etc.) for the sealing system.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Future robotic astrobiology and geology missions such as Mars Sample Return, as well as Lunar, Comet and Asteroid sample return missions will benefit greatly from the ability to hermetically seal samples in a dusty environment. These missions will require long periods of time where the samples are either in transit back to Earth, or awaiting pickup. A robust sample canister that is dust tolerant will greatly reduce the complexity of support equipment that may otherwise be required to clean containment vessels prior to sealing. This will contribute to reductions in mass and program cost, making sample return missions more feasible.
In addition during future human exploration of the Moon, Mars, and Asteroids, astronauts will be collecting samples for earth return (in a similar manner as Apollo astronauts). The seals will therefore be directly applicable to those missions as well.
Although originally not designed for other applications, one can imagine that test data and certain parts of the technology could potentially be used for space suite designs, spacecraft airlocks, and fluid transfer lines (as in on-orbit refueling).

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Terrestrial uses of robust hermetically sealed containers might include telerobotic inspection and sampling of hazardous materials. Tele-operated robots can go into many hazardous areas which humans cannot. These robots could be outfitted with canisters with hermetic seals which function in the presence of dirt, dust and chemicals. The canisters could be robotically filled with hazardous material, and hermetically sealed using the induction brazing technique. For example, when using a double walled cylinder approach, the outer contaminated sleeve could be separated, leaving the internal chamber sealed and safe for human handling and laboratory analysis.
These canisters could also be used in field geology work, where cleanliness is not available. Samples could be obtained in the field without the need to protect sensitive sealing surfaces. These samples would be hermetically sealed and free of contamination for the journey back to the laboratory for analysis.

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.)
Coatings/Surface Treatments
Machines/Mechanical Subsystems
Models & Simulations (see also Testing & Evaluation)
Pressure & Vacuum Systems

Form Generated on 04-23-15 15:37