NASA SBIR 2017 Solicitation

FORM B - PROPOSAL SUMMARY


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 17-2 H7.02-9710
PHASE 1 CONTRACT NUMBER: NNX17CM58P
SUBTOPIC TITLE: In-Space Manufacturing of Precision Parts
PROPOSAL TITLE: Metal Advanced Manufacturing Bot-Assisted Assembly (MAMBA) Process

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. Rachel Muhlbauer
muhlbauer@tethers.com
11711 North Creek Parkway South, Suite D113
Bothell, WA 98011 - 8808
(425) 486-0100 Extension :267

CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Dr. Robert Hoyt
hoyt@tethers.com
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: 4
End: 5

Technology Available (TAV) Subtopics
In-Space Manufacturing of Precision Parts is a Technology Available (TAV) subtopic that includes NASA Intellectual Property (IP). Do you plan to use the NASA IP under the award?
No

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)

Tethers Unlimited, Inc. (TUI) proposes to develop the Metal Advanced Manufacturing Bot-Assisted Assembly (MAMBA) Process, a robotically managed metal press and milling system used to create precision parts on orbit.  This manufacturing process provides an alternative to 3D printing metals in space, which is difficult due to space environment, feedstock safety concerns, and print quality issues.  Instead, the MAMBA-Process relies on an ingot forming technology to create a metal ingot.  This ingot can then be milled and machined to form a precision part using a standard CNC milling technique.  In order to minimize astronaut time and exposure to the process, the MAMBA-Process will be highly automated and outfitted with a robotic assistant, capable of removing the ingot from the press and placing the ingot in the mill.  Automated tool changes are also possible for the mill, enabling complex shapes with fine edge finishes.  Testing of the process technologies led to a lab demonstration of ingot formation and milling in the Phase I effort, maturing the MAMBA Process to TRL-3.  In the Phase II effort, a full scale engineering unit will be built and tested, maturing the various the payload subsystems to TRL-5 and preparing the work needed to validate this technology for flight.   

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The innovations proposed in the MAMBA-Process would allow NASA to create precision parts on-orbit as needed. Rather than fly a storage room of potential spare parts, the MAMBA-Process could be used to make these components when a need arises, limiting the initial launch volume. In addition, the acceptance of used parts into the Positrusion-Press sub-technology allows for the recycling of used or failed parts, minimizes stored waste, and enables a closed loop ecosystem for metal fabrication. The ability to re-use mass taken on mission, dependent on the mission stage, would greatly increase capability per budgeted mass. In addition, the MAMBA-Process would enable the flexibility to replace critical components when resupply is impossible or improbable.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The MAMBA-Process was designed specifically for in-space use, which limits a traditional terrestrial commercial pathway. Similar to NASA, the MAMBA-Process technologies could be used by any commercial spaceflight companies with a focus on manned space travel. It also could be used in commercial space labs, such as the one currently under development by Bigelow Aerospace. Additionally, this type of process would have utility aboard submarines where resupply is similarly limited.

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.)
In Situ Manufacturing
Metallics

Form Generated on 04-26-18 12:25