NASA SBIR 2016 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 16-1 S3.06-7551
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Terrestrial and Planetary Balloons
PROPOSAL TITLE: Adaptable Multi-Segment Altitude Control (AM-SAC) Balloon for Planetary Exploration

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Thin Red Line USA, dba of MKF Interests, LLC
1322 Space Park Drive, Suite B150
Houston, TX 77058 - 3400
(281) 910-5257

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Brian Aiken
1417 Pine Leaf Drive
Las Vegas, NV 89144 - 1648
(702) 328-7080

CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Mr Gary Lantz
1322 Space Park Dr, Suite B150
Houston, TX 77058 - 3400
(281) 910-5257

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)
Thin Red Line USA (TRL-USA) proposes a unique, multi-segment balloon with low-power, rapid mobility altitude control cycling capability that is applicable to both Venus and Titan atmospheric exploration missions as well as other planetary bodies. The innovation creates a single architecture that allows reliable, low power, virtually unlimited altitude cycling capability; overcoming the pitfalls of all other known options for lighter-than-atmosphere exploration at both Venus and Titan. The Phase I effort lays a strong foundation for a Phase II effort that will include the construction and demonstration of an at-scale system using materials suitable for a Venus or Titan mission. The proposed innovation and following Phase II work can, in just 2 years, enable a viable Venus or Titan exploration mission with a low risk LTA system.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The Thin Red Line USA proposed innovation enables NASA to conduct long duration atmospheric observations at both Venus and Titan with payloads >100kg with a new, low power, highly reliable, long life, lighter-than-atmosphere architecture that can be customized for multiple planetary missions with extensive non-recurring-engineering. The proposed balloon technology has immediate application in the exploration of atmospheric planets and moons. This technology improves upon the platform objectives of the Venus Climate Mission (VCM), one of five flagship missions called for by the National Research Council 2013 Decadal Survey. The VCM mission includes a gondola/balloon system with a 21 day life at a 55.5km altitude in 2021. Its objectives are to characterize the greenhouse atmosphere of Venus, its origin and evidence of climate change. This mission can be significantly enhanced by staying aloft for five or more years and navigate the planet utilizing altitude cycling. To meet a 2021 launch, preliminary design and technology completion for the VCM must occur in 2017-18 and can incorporate proposed innovation. The technology could also play a vital role in the Titan Saturn Mission which is expected to have a balloon-navigated sensor platform that operates in conjunction with an orbiter and lake-lander.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The Thin Red Line USA (TRL-USA) proposed innovation advances a technology with significant terrestrial applications. The robust TRL-USA multi-segment altitude control balloon can provide rapid mobility altitude cycling capability, long life, and recoverability to many systems currently using short-lived, difficult to recover balloons. These markets include weather balloons, remote sensing, and remote communication systems for commercial, civil, and military use, with flights numbering in the 10s of thousands per year. The TRL-USA balloon will improve capability, mission assurance, and reduce costs; making it a highly competitive option for these industries.

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.)
Airship/Lighter-than-Air Craft

Form Generated on 04-26-16 15:14