NASA SBIR 2005 Solicitation

FORM B - PROPOSAL SUMMARY


PROPOSAL NUMBER:05 X6.02-9287
SUBTOPIC TITLE:Space Assembly Maintenance & Servicing
PROPOSAL TITLE:Electrostatic Clamp

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Loats Associates, Inc.
201 East Main St.
Westminster ,MD 21157 - 5201
(410) 876 - 8055

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
G. Samuel   Mattingly
loats@loats.com
201 East Main St.
Westminster, MD  21157 -5201
(410) 876 - 8055

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)
This proposal addresses Topic X6.02, Space Assembly Maintenance and Servicing. Spacecraft surface attachments, such as handholds, foot-restraints or tether points are often installed prior to flight, to aid planned EVA (Extravehicular Activity) operations. However, such aids are precluded where their pre-installation could compromise aerodynamic, or other important functions, of certain surfaces. Furthermore, unplanned EVA tasks are, at times, required to address in-flight emergencies or other unanticipated circumstances. For these situations, a versatile means of securing essential EVA assist attachments is needed. This study proposes to research and develop an electrostatic attachment system for rapid surface attachment of portable EVA assist devices, almost anywhere on the exterior (or interior) of a space-borne platform. The system will enhance the addressable scope and efficiency of EVA task performance and aid in astronaut (or material) maneuvering and transit, worksite restraint, and tool or equipment tie-down. The attachment system will incorporate a self-contained power source, capable of operating in a vacuum environment, to produce and maintain a surface conforming electrostatic charge of sufficient magnitude to induce a useful attractive Coulomb holding force between the device and the surface to which it is contacted, without damage or permanent alteration to the surface.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 150 WORDS)
The electrostatic attachment system envisioned by this proposal is applicable to a wide range of EVA and IVA tasks. The versatility and adaptability afforded by an electrostatic attachment system, as proposed herein, to rapidly and strategically position assistive surface attachments, and reposition them as needed, to best suit the specific and evolving maneuvering, transit, positioning and mechanical leverage requirements of each EVA/IVA task, without damage or permanent alteration of the surface, will both improve the efficiency with which such work tasks can be performed and expand the range of tasks that can be effectively addressed. It also has important applications for space-borne parts and material handling and for providing space based robotic systems with astrictive prehension capabilities.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 150 WORDS)
An electrostatic attachment system has numerous potential commercial applications. These include robotics and automated parts and material handling applications. It offers potential advantages of size, cost and reliability over current equipment as well as advantages in the handling of small, fragile or highly flexible materials. The electrostatic system to be developed in this project can also potentially be used to supply a robot with astrictive prehension capabilities, thus enabling wall walking capabilities.

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
Manipulation
Mobility
Tools


Form Printed on 09-19-05 13:12