NASA SBIR 2017 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 17-2 S4.02-9202
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Robotic Mobility, Manipulation and Sampling
PROPOSAL TITLE: Extended Length Marsupial Rover Sensing Tether

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Luna Innovations, Inc.
301 1st Street Southwest, Suite 200
Roanoke, VA 24016 - 1921
(540) 769-8400

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Emily Templeton
3155 State Street
Blacksburg, VA 24060 - 6604
(540) 753-4259

CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Michael E Pruzan
301 1st Street Southwest, Suite 200
Roanoke, VA 24016 - 1921
(540) 769-8430

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 3
End: 5

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)

Luna proposes to continue the development of extended length capabilities for its marsupial rover sensing tether (MaRS Tether).  Luna’s revolutionary technology measures the distributed tension and curvature of a tether that connects a rover to its base station and can identify pinch points, snags, or high tension. Previous SBIR programs with NASA JPL have demonstrated the capabilities of a 50m tether to identify a snag location with JPL’s Axel Rover, and proved the feasibility of future miniaturization of the tether’s acquisition system.  During this multiphase effort, Luna is building upon these successes to extend the sensing length to 1000m, to enable NASA to pursue more complex exploration missions, such as navigating a large crater to study features on the crater wall. During Phase I, Luna demonstrated the feasibility of sensing tension up to 800m, and curvature up to 400m, and added a spot scan mode to enable fast update rates over a short section of the tether.  In addition to increasing the sensing length for curvature measurements, during this Phase II Luna will increase the system robustness and deliver a prototype acquisition system, 1000m extended length tether, and a shorter 50m tether for testing at JPL.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The NASA market for self-sensing tethers is focused on missions featuring robotic exploration, especially using the Axel rover. NASA is planning specific missions including Mid-Size Rovers, Astrobiology Field Lab, Network Landers, Europa Explorer, and Titan-Enceladus Explorer to bring back samples from comets, asteroids, and the lunar south polar basin, and Mars. Market opportunities for tethered rovers within NASA often coincide with Mars exploration missions that are launched every 26 months. Prime contractors supporting NASA?s rover missions include Lockheed Martin Astronautics. Extending the range of the sensing technology will increase the scope of missions where these sensing tethers can be used. For example, missions to explore the large Martian craters that show evidence of liquid water through recurring slope lineae will require tether lengths of several hundreds of meters.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Sensing tether technology has particular application in robotics, where tethered robots range from search and rescue rovers to underwater vehicles, and from tethered military robots to energy sector inspection robots. This technology has the potential to transform tethers from a necessary but cumbersome umbilical cord into a dynamic sensor that can aid in monitoring the health and position of the robot. Extending the length of this technology will increase the types of robot missions where this technology can be applied. The underwater sensing community could similar sensing cables to precisely locate marine sensors.

In addition to sensing tethers, extending the length of Luna?s strain sensing technology will transfer to increased length for temperature sensing, curvature sensing, and full 3-D distributed position sensing, expanding Luna?s penetration of those markets. Extended length strain sensing will increase the market in aerospace distributed strain sensing to be applicable to larger aircrafts.

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.)
Autonomous Control (see also Control & Monitoring)
Fiber (see also Communications, Networking & Signal Transport; Photonics)
Lasers (Measuring/Sensing)
Nondestructive Evaluation (NDE; NDT)
Positioning (Attitude Determination, Location X-Y-Z)
Telemetry (see also Control & Monitoring)

Form Generated on 04-26-18 12:25