NASA SBIR 2006 Solicitation


SUBTOPIC TITLE:Chemical and Propellantless Propulsion for Deep Space
PROPOSAL TITLE:Low Mass Aeroshell Deployment Mechanism

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Cornerstone Research Group, Inc.
2750 Indian Ripple Rd.
Dayton, OH 45440-3638
(937) 320-1877

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Stephen    Vining
2750 Indian Ripple Road
Dayton, OH  45440-3638
(937) 320-1877

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT ( Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Cornerstone Research Group Inc. (CRG) will develop new shape memory polymer (SMP) deployment mechanisms for actuating thermal protective systems (TPS) panels to create a deployable large surface area aeroshell. This innovation will utilize VeriflexTM -- CRG's high performance SMP material -- to create a low mass actuation system for a deployable the aeroshell design. VeriflexTM-based mechanisms will deploy the aeroshell without the use of motors, springs, or mechanical controls. These simple, self-deploying, self-aligning mechanisms will reduce the mass and the complexity of the aeroshell design. VeriflexTM-based deployment mechanisms will allow the use of panels made from existing TPS materials to create a large surface area aeroshells that will stow in a highly compact pre-launch and storage configuration and then self-deploy before reentry to the operational configuration. The TPS panels will deploy outward and increase the diameter of the aeroshell. For every 10 percent increase in the diameter, there will be a 21 percent increase in the total surface area of the aeroshell. The relative volume of space needed to stow the reentry vehicle would not increase.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS ( Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Supporting NASA's Exploration Systems Mission Directorate, this project's technologies directly address requirements for a low mass, large surface area deployable aeroshell for future missions, like the Phoenix Lander. This innovation will apply tailored VeriflexTM -- CRG's high-performance shape memory polymer material -- in mechanisms to provide inherently reliable low-mass driving force for activation. The resulting VeriflexTM-based mechanisms will deploy to increase the overall surface. These mechanisms will reduce the mass and complexity of the deployable aeroshell. Large surface area aeroshells with VeriflexTM-based deployment mechanisms will stow in a highly compact pre-launch configuration and then self-deploy on orbit.

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.
This technology's attributes for deployable SMP mechanisms for deployable aeroshells should yield a high potential for private sector commercialization for reentry of space vehicles by Lockheed Martin has documented their interest in this commercialization opportunity.

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.


Form Printed on 09-08-06 18:19