NASA SBIR 2019-II Solicitation

Proposal Summary

 19-2- S2.02-2444
 Precision Deployable Optical Structures and Metrology
 In-Space Demonstration of Submicron Active Optomechanical Control
SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Extreme Diagnostics, Inc.
6960 Firerock Court
Boulder, CO 80301
(303) 523-8924

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Robert Owen
6960 Firerock Court
Boulder, CO 80301 - 3814
(303) 523-8924

BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Robert Owen
6960 Firerock Court
Boulder, CO 80301 - 3814
(303) 523-8924

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) :
Begin: 7
End: 9
Technical Abstract (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)

Extreme Diagnostics and the University of Michigan (UM) propose to fly the autonomous SmallSat we built under a Phase I/II SBIR supported by this NASA JPL technical topic. We are well experienced with nanosatellites and are confident in our flight readiness. Members of our team built the flight computer and power systems for the JPL MarCO Mars A and B deep-space CubeSats. We are ready to launch

Implications of the innovation

The MARIO (Measurement of Actuator Response In Orbit) project utilizes our existing 3U CubeSat in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) to demonstrate active submicron optomechanical control for autonomous robotic assembly of large telescopes. MARIO matures this technology to TRL 8/9 through closed loop control demonstrations based on Macro Fiber Composite (MFC) piezocomposite actuators. MFCs are rugged piezoelectrics developed at NASA Langley Research Center specifically for space.

Technical objectives

Phase II will mature active optomechanical control through these LEO activities:

  • Precision autonomous robotic deployment and manipulation of test beam structures;
  • Sub-micron precision closed-loop control of active structures in space; and
  • Evaluation and analysis of actuator response, stability and performance in LEO.

Phase I established the ability of MARIO to robotically deploy and control telescope modules. This set the stage for flying MARIO.

Research description

Phase I used MARIO technology to control mirror elements. Phase II conducts a 6–12 month LEO mission demonstrating active submicron optomechanical control. Phase II also leverages MARIO flight data by exploring multi-dimensional actuators using new 3D printing methods.

Anticipated results

Phase II provides new technology able to autonomously assemble, self-align and control a near-complete large structure deployed in space and subjected to quasi-static thermal effects. 

Potential NASA Applications (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)

MARIO provides space validation of optomechanical control using MFCs. Applications include control of large reflectors and other active structures. MARIO autonomous closed-loop control is an enabling technology for Lunar and deep-space exploration and supports NASA’s Small Spacecraft Technology Program. MFCs can be used for Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) and energy harvesting to enable power generation in active vehicles like rovers. MARIO provides risk reduction for Moon to Mars programs and supports human landings and sustainability.

Potential Non-NASA Applications (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)

Non-NASA control applications include adaptive optics for SmallSat space telescopes and hypersonic vehicle active jitter-suppression. SHM improves safety in re-useable space vehicles. Homeland Security structural analysis mitigates threats (preparedness) and assesses damage (response). MFCs enable wind turbine SHM (alternative and renewable energy), and energy harvesting for wireless sensors.

Duration: 24

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