NASA SBIR 2017 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 171 Z5.01-9712
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Payload Technologies for Free-Flying Robots
PROPOSAL TITLE: COBRA-Bee Carpal-Wrist Gimbal for Astrobee

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Tethers Unlimited, Inc.
11711 North Creek Parkway South, Suite D113
Bothell, WA 98011 - 8808
(425) 486-0100

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Dr. Nathan Britton
11711 N. Creek Pkwy S., D113
Bothell, WA 98011 - 8808
(425) 486-0100

CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Dr. Robert Hoyt
11711 North Creek Parkway South, Suite D113
Bothell, WA 98011 - 8808
(425) 486-0100

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

Technology Available (TAV) Subtopics
Payload Technologies for Free-Flying Robots 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)
TUI proposes to develop a carpal-wrist gimbal payload for the Astrobee free-flier, called ?COBRA-Bee? to satisfy Astrobee mission needs for a lightweight, integrated end-effector/tool/sensor positioning and pointing system. The COBRA-Bee is an evolution of TUI?s high-TRL, 3-DOF COBRA gimbal that will provide Astrobee end-effectors with the workspace dexterity of a full robotic manipulator (6-DOF via Astrobee fan system + 3-DOF via COBRA-Bee). COBRA-Bee will support target acquisition and tracking experiments for high performance optical communication. It can also support sensors which have limited field-of-view, such as cameras, as well as sensors/end-effectors requiring high pointing accuracy and/or independence from spacecraft attitude control. The 3-DOF (azimuth, elevation, and extension) of COBRA-Bee will support Astrobee experiments with pushing operations for fanless microgravity mobility. COBRA-Bee will provide this precise multi-purpose pointing and positioning capability in a small-scale tightly integrated COTS product, with an interface to support third-party sensors, end-effectors, and tools. The Phase I effort will define requirements for a detailed design, based upon a crew safety analysis and a survey of candidate Astrobee end-effectors. A demonstration will be performed with existing COBRA hardware, maturing the COBRA-Bee TRL to 4. The Phase II effort will develop, test, and deliver an engineering unit and control software.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
COBRA-Bee delivers benefit to NASA's human spaceflight and ISS operations by reducing the need for astronaut time to perform recording and documentation of spacecraft experiments and mission operations. Astronaut time is a finite, highly valuable resource, and reducing dependency on it increases NASA's mission capabilities and cost efficiency. NASA's ISS and future long-duration human spaceflight missions (ie Journey to Mars) represent direct applications for COBRA-Bee. In addition, guest scientist developers of end-effector technology will have access to an API for the COBRA-Bee payload to assist in the development of end-effector functions such as target deceleration, vibration mitigation, and angular-momentum management in their applications. This will enable them to focus on the specifics of their various payloads, some of which may be graduated to nominal Astrobee service operations. Additionally a power savings may be achieved with less reliance on Astrobee attitude control and mobility subsystems.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The COBRA-Bee payload will enable the Astrobee system to support evolving in-space manufacturing and assembly capabilities by providing cost-effective robotic monitoring capabilities. Additionally, it will enable Astrobee to support automated or teleoperated manipulation or monitoring of commercial experiments performed on the ISS through NanoRacks' NanoLab system and on Axiom Space's commercial ISS module.

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.)
Actuators & Motors
Machines/Mechanical Subsystems
Robotics (see also Control & Monitoring; Sensors)
Tools/EVA Tools

Form Generated on 04-19-17 12:59