NASA SBIR 2016 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 16-1 H5.04-7952
SUBTOPIC TITLE: In-Space Structural Assembly
PROPOSAL TITLE: Strut Attachment System for In-Space Robotic Assembly

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Honeybee Robotics, Ltd.
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)
Jason Herman
63 Flushing Avenue Unit 150
Brooklyn, NY 11205 - 1070
(646) 459-7819

CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Jason Herman
63 Flushing Avenue Unit 150
63 Flushing Avenue Unit 150, NY 11205 - 1070
(646) 459-7819

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

Technology Available (TAV) Subtopics
In-Space Structural Assembly 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 size of space systems is currently limited to payload envelopes of existing launch vehicles. Due to this and the customized nature of satellites, existing space systems are very costly to stand up. Nor are they designed for repair, upgrade, or reuse to amortize the cost over multiple missions. As missions get further from low-earth orbit (LEO), the dangers of human extra-vehicular activity (EVA) for manual on-orbit assembly or repair increases making robotic assembly of large structures very desirable.

Honeybee Robotics (Honeybee) proposes to develop a Strut Attachment System (SAS) that provides a common electromechanical connection architecture for robotic on-orbit structures assembly. The SAS will enable the creation of networked space frame structures with a strut/node architecture; enable payload docking to those structures for power and data transfer; and enable the creation of reusable, serviceable, and upgradable vehicle systems in support of lower cost space exploration. The SAS will leverage technology that Honeybee developed for robotic satellite servicing (DARPA Satlet Grasper Tool | TRL-5).

The proposed Phase 1 technical approach is to modify the Satlet Grasper Tool and receptacle designs to increase the connection's strength, rigidity, and power/data transmission capability. The SAS will consist of the Strut Attachment Mechanism, Strut Receptacle, and Node. The Phase 1 project will result in a Strut Attachment Mechanism and Strut Receptacle at TRL of 4 at the end of Phase 1 and TRL 5-6 at the end of Phase 2.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The SAS will be an enabling technology for future exploration missions by providing a core technology for in-space robotic assembly of:
- Extended operation space exploration vehicles
- Planetary exploration surface habitats
- In-space transportation hubs

Future exploration missions either in Earth orbit or to other planets will require large space vehicles. The optimal architecture for in-space operations may not look like a traditional space vehicle like the Space Shuttle or Apollo-era vehicles, and will be too large to assemble on the ground and launch into space directly in-space assembly will be necessary. In fact, the International Space Station is a perfect example of such a space asset. Combining the enabling capabilities of robotically assembled, networked space frame structures, with other in-space robotic technologies being developed such as the in-space refueling work going on at NASA Goddard and the Phoenix robotic servicer/tender going on at DARPA, leads to the capability to assembled large structures on-orbit, connect multiple modules to a common structure, and create very large space systems that are not possible with today's methodology.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
There exist multiple defense and commercial applications for the SAS including:
- Large deployable aperture arrays to address the exponential increase in global mobile data consumption
- GEO hosted payload platform to provide less expensive access to space for science, defense, and commercial customers

DARPA is interested in the development of a persistent platform in GEO that would provide common resources (e.g. power, communications, attitude control) to a large number of hosted payloads. Scientists, commercial entities, or defense customers many times desire an on-orbit capability, but the required investment to develop and launch the asset simply outweigh the benefits or do not mesh with budgetary constraints. What if on the payload needed to be developed and there was inexpensive access to GEO via commercial payload delivery systems such as DARPA's Payload Orbital Delivery (POD) architecture? A GEO hosted payload platform could provide significant value to numerous payloads. This GEO platform is likely to be a networked space frame structure ? and the proposed SAS is key to realizing that architecture. This concept has significant scientific, defense, and commercial value both for payload providers (customers) as well as the GEO host provider from a revenue perspective.

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.)
Robotics (see also Control & Monitoring; Sensors)
Spacecraft Design, Construction, Testing, & Performance (see also Engineering; Testing & Evaluation)

Form Generated on 04-26-16 15:14