NASA SBIR 2016 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 16-1 S4.02-7456
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Robotic Mobility, Manipulation and Sampling
PROPOSAL TITLE: Planetary Vacuum Cleaner for Venus and Mars

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)
Dr Kris Zacny
Building 3, Suite 1005 63 Flushing Avenue Unit 150
Brooklyn, NY 11205 - 1070
(510) 207-4555

CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Dr Kris Zacny
Building 3, Suite 1005 63 Flushing Avenue Unit 150
Brooklyn, NY 11205 - 1070
(510) 207-4555

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 2
End: 4

Technology Available (TAV) Subtopics
Robotic Mobility, Manipulation and Sampling 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 majority of planetary bodies of interest to exploration are covered with a layer of granular material called regolith. These bodies include the Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Asteroids, Comets and moons of Mars, Jupiter, Uranus, and Neptune. Surface missions to these bodies, would most probably require some type of a sampling system to capture samples and deliver them to in-situ instruments or sample return containers.

Honeybee Robotics, therefore, proposes to develop a robust on-demand sample acquisition and delivery system enabled by a high efficiency blower. The system will be akin to conventional vacuum cleaners on Earth, but adapted for Venus conditions. As such, the main technology areas will include development of the following four subsystems: Blower, Cyclone, Nozzle and Tubing; with the Blower being most critical.

The target mission will be Venus In Situ Explorer (VISE), however, the technology could be adopted to Mars missions. We will use CFD FLUENT to perform blower and cyclone analysis simulating Venus' atmosphere and gravity, as gravity affects cyclone performance. We will fabricate and test a blower under relevant pressure conditions in a high pressure chamber. We will also fabricate a cyclone and suction tubes. The system will be assembled to allow end to end testing. Further, we will develop a TRL 5/6 design for the pneumatic system, which would be fabricated and tested in Phase 2

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
There are several missions to Mars and Venus that could take advantage of this technology. The missions in the New Frontiers class could include Venus In Situ Explorer and in the Flagship class could include the second mission in the Mars Sample Return Program, Mars Ascent Vehicle. It is prudent to have a backup sampling system adjacent to the MAV, and the proposed technology could serve as a back up sampler.

In the HEOMD directorate, In Situ Resource Utilization missions to Mars could also use this technology.

In addition, certain subsystems could be used to augment traditional sampling systems such as drilling. For example, a blower could be used to clean holes of cuttings during drilling and in turn not only improve drilling efficiency several fold, but the same system could be used to capture and transfer cuttings in real time.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The sampling technology system could be used by commercial companies that are interested in mining and in-situ resource utilization. The ultimate goal of SpaceX is to establish human presence on Mars. As such, SpaceX would directly benefit from mature sampling and mining technologies.

Other non-NASA applications include robotic acquisition of volatiles as well as soil and liquid samples from hazardous environments, chemical spills, nuclear waste, oil spills. Examples include samples from nuclear waste sites as well as disaster sites (Fukushima nuclear reactor).

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.)
Analytical Instruments (Solid, Liquid, Gas, Plasma, Energy; see also Sensors)
Hardware-in-the-Loop Testing
Pressure & Vacuum Systems
Robotics (see also Control & Monitoring; Sensors)
Simulation & Modeling

Form Generated on 04-26-16 15:14