NASA SBIR 2004 Solicitation


SUBTOPIC TITLE:Advanced Communication Technologies for Near-Earth Missions
PROPOSAL TITLE:Self-Deploying Gossamer Support Structure

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Cornerstone Research Group, Inc.
2750 Indian Ripple Road
Dayton ,OH 45440 - 3325
(937) 320 - 1877

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Robert M Schueler
2750 Indian Ripple Rd.
Dayton, OH  45440 -3325
(937) 320 - 1877

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Phase I results demonstrated the feasibility of using shape memory polymer composites to deploy, tension and support gossamer antennas. Cornerstone Research Group, Inc. (CRG) has completed the critical initial development steps for a deployable support structure meeting NASA's requirements for a structure to deploy, tension, and support gossamer antennas. CRG proposes to further develop this lightweight, self-deploying VeritexTM strut for use as a supporting structure for gossamer antennas. VeritexTM composites are similar to other high-performance composites, except that CRG's shape memory polymer (SMP) resin, VeriflexTM, is used as the matrix resin. This allows for easy manipulation of the composite above the activation temperature, making it a unique material for use in dynamic structures and other applications requiring both load strength and "shape-shifting" modulus flexibility. In this Phase I program, CRG has developed and evaluated materials and related fabrication technologies based on VeritexTM, and produced a sub-scale working proto-type. This technical approach fulfills NASA's requirement for a very large, lightweight, on-orbit deployable RF antenna aperture structure by offering a practical, deployable, structural support that will address the short comings of current rigidified inflatables and mechanically deployed structures.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Supporting NASA's Earth Science Enterprise, this project's technologies directly address requirements for inexpensive, lightweight, highly compact launch configurations, and reliable precise deployment for large gossamer antenna support structure. Furthermore benefits of this technology could be widespread throughout NASA platforms including: interplanetary habitats, the International Space Station, unmanned air vehicles, and personal air vehicles.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
This project's technologies developed for NASA systems would directly apply to systems operated by other government and commercial enterprises. Government systems that would derive the same benefits would include but not be limited to space-based sensor and communication systems operated by Department of Defense. This technology's attributes for deployable antennas yield a high potential for private sector commercialization for RF applications by major spacecraft prime contractors.

CRG's demonstrated experience in adaptive structures development and strong relationships with several prime aerospace contractors positions this technology for rapid integration into future air and space platforms. Opportunities for integration may involve: morphing wing structures, fuselages, control surfaces for aircraft, and deployable shelters/habitats for military, space, and civilian applications.

Form Printed on 08-01-05 13:52