NASA STTR 2016 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 16-1 T4.02-9747
RESEARCH SUBTOPIC TITLE: Regolith Resources Robotics - R3
PROPOSAL TITLE: Robotic ISRU Construction of Planetary Landing and Launch Pad

NAME: Honeybee Robotics, Ltd. NAME: Michigan Technological University
STREET: Building 3, Suite 1005 63 Flushing Avenue Unit 150 STREET: 1400 Townsend Drive
CITY: Brooklyn CITY: Houghton
STATE/ZIP: NY  11205 - 1070 STATE/ZIP: MI  49931 - 1200
PHONE: (212) 966-0661 PHONE: (906) 487-3253

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Ph.D. Paul Susante
817 R.L. Smith Building
Houghton, MI 49931 - 1200
(906) 487-3253

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
Regolith Resources Robotics - R3 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 Apollo 15 Lunar Module rocket plume excavated regolith which sandblasted at speeds in excess of 1000 m/s the Surveyor 2 lander 200 m away. A Curiosity rover instrument was permanently damaged during SkyCrane landing on Mars. Any future human surface missions to planetary bodies covered in regolith (e.g. Mars, Moon) would need to address ejecta created during landing or takeoff.

The intent of this project is to develop a fully robotic system for building landing pads on planetary bodies. The system will excavate in-situ regolith, sort rocks according to needed particle sizes, and layout a carefully designed landing/launch pad apron to lock in the small regolith particles.

To that extent, Honeybee/MTU propose to design and build a robotic tool to perform the following 3 actions: Pick up or excavate rocks, sort the rocks in three size ranges, and deposit said rocks in three layers with the purpose to stabilize the fine regolith in the secondary apron zone of Lunar and Martian landing pads for repeated landings and take-offs.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
NASA applications include building landing pads on planetary surfaces covered in regolith such as for example Mars and the Moon. Rocket thrust during landing or take off can damage not only surrounding infrastructure, robots and astronauts but the launch vehicle itself.
Several subsystems developed under this project will also be beneficial to in Situ Resource Utilization (e.g. extraction of volatiles such as water for fuel H2/O2, drinking water, and Oxygen). In particular, a mining rover would be applied to mining resources, while sorting technology would be needed to remove (as opposed to collect) rocks above certain size. Size sorting for ISRU is extremely important since large rocks cannot be processed in the ISRU reactors nor cannot be used for 3D printing applications.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Non-NASA space related applications would include mining of resources for commercial gain. As such, companies such as Shackleton Energy, deep Space Industries, Planetary Resources, and even SpaceX would take advantage of this technology.
Non-NASA/non-space applications could include robotic fabrication of temporary helicopter pads and airplane landing strips in desert environments such as Somalia for bringing humanitarian aid. Robots could be air-dropped ahead of the resupply airplanes or helicopters to construct needed landing zones.

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.)
Hardware-in-the-Loop Testing
Heat Exchange
Robotics (see also Control & Monitoring; Sensors)
Simulation & Modeling
Verification/Validation Tools

Form Generated on 04-26-16 15:16