NASA SBIR 2005 Solicitation

FORM B - PROPOSAL SUMMARY


PROPOSAL NUMBER:05 X2.02-8500
SUBTOPIC TITLE:Structures and Habitats
PROPOSAL TITLE:Modular Self-Rigidizing Lightweight Structures

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
United Applied Technologies, Inc.
11506 Gilleland Road
Huntsville ,AL 35803 - 4327
(256) 650 - 5120

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
LARRY J BRADFORD
l.bradford@unitedappliedtech.com
11506 Gilleland Road
Huntsville, AL  35803 -4327
(256) 650 - 5120

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)
An innovative structures concept has been developed that uses space qualified flexible thin film polyimide to produce ultra-lightweight inflation deployed self-rigidizing structural components with very small packaging volume and extremely high buckling/bending strength to accurately deploy and provide precision assembly of modular space systems. This membrane material can be thermally formed to virtually any shape to produce booms, elbows, tees, flanges, and flat or curved panels to support or connect space structure components and facilitate in-space assembly. Tube and panel specimens with various stiffener cross section geometries have been produced that demonstrated precision modular assembly and impressive stiffness. This Phase I effort is proposed to design and fabricate a representative sub-scale structure subassembly comprised of flat or curved structural panels, support tubes/struts, and associated connector/interface components to demonstrate the structural integrity and modularity of the technology and scalability of the manufacturing process. Phase II can produce and demonstrate a full-scale mission applicable inflatable space structure or habitat assembly that can be compactly packaged for launch, pressurized for deployment, and rigidized after deployment/assembly with no internal pressure required to maintain structural stiffness and shape. Emphasis will be placed on deployability, providing for modular assembly, and scalability of the manufacturing technology.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 150 WORDS)
The deployable self-rigidizing technology is of direct relevance to any future space mission under consideration that includes large structures. The optimized stiffener design and related manufacturing processes are applicable to lunar habitat and other lunar base structures, solar sail deployment/support, large space telescopes, satellite communications antennae, support structure for large solar reflectors for solar thermal propulsion, deployment/support of thin film solar photovoltaic arrays, large space deployable radiators, and many other as yet not envisioned large space structures where launch volume and weight is critical.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 150 WORDS)
Commercial space applications include support structures for large communications satellite antennas. Non-space commercial applications include: packaged mast/antenna to be deployed in remote areas for both military and civilian use (firefighters/law enforcement/rescue operations, etc); small packaged, deployable portable emergency shelters; wings/fuselage for both model airplanes and unmanned expendable aerial vehicles; emergency deployable life rafts; and other applications where small volume stowable/deployable articles have substantial merit.

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.

TECHNOLOGY TAXONOMY MAPPING
Aerobrake
Airframe
Composites
Erectable
Inflatable
Modular Interconnects
Multifunctional/Smart Materials
Solar
Structural Modeling and Tools


Form Printed on 09-19-05 13:12