NASA SBIR 2006 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 06-2 X4.01-8138
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Lunar Regolith Excavation and Material Handling
PROPOSAL TITLE: MPED: An ISRU Bucket Ladder Excavator Demonstrator System

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
sysRAND Corporation
15306 Foxglove Court
Parker, CO 80134 - 9589
(303) 840-0797

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Donald Arbuckle
3461 W. Milan Avenue
Sheridan, CO 80236 - 6130
(303) 797-2742

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Abstract: The Multi-Purpose Excavation Demonstrator (MPED) is a commercial effort and a third generation of technology, following Bucket Wheel Excavator and Bucket Ladder Excavator work by the Colorado School of Mines. The MoonrakerTM is an industrial instantiation, designed to be commercially viable. The proof-of-concept machine is currently under construction. A phase two SBIR consists of: 1) upgrades to the original design, including more appropriate materials improvements and maturation of point solutions, 2) development of a robotic tool arm/turret to cradle, position and manuever the the excavator blade within it's work volume, 3) development of a 'universal' modular tool interface between the excavator blade and the robotic tool arm, 4) physics-based modelling and simulation of the excavator/tool arm/mobility platform ensemble, 5) a simulation which continues to co-evolve into a control systems/human interface, 6) extensive laboratory and field testing of excavator prototypes, particularly forces on buckets, and 7) enhanced systems reliability. Field testing will include technology demonstrations at a Lunar Analogs site. Related contextual topics are undergoing continous examination, including a simplified tool arm manipulation and control method, operations 'in the dirt' at the worksite, exploitation of regolith fines (dust) as a high-yield component of ores, and mitigation of the adverse effects of dust on the excavation system through exclusion, passive electrostatics and other methods. This project draws extensively upon the expertise of CSM alumni who have prior experience in the earlier generations of Lunar Excavator prototypes.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Commercial and Industrial Space applications where the customers are multinationals and consortia. Lockheed has a BWE predecessor, (CSM Gen 1) and there is value to the ISRU community of the MPED Gen 3 device with all of it's applications-specific enhancements.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Trenching, mining, burying structures, erecting berms, etc. on Moon, Mars. Capable of as narrow as 10 cm trench for cables and much wider when sweeping, with depths to 61 cm. In pre-positioning and precursor missions the MPED could dig large trenches and cover emplaced habitats with protective regolith layers. Larger trenches are iteratively dug stepwise to accommodate cylinders. A very versatile, low-energy, unattended device.

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.

Computer System Architectures
General Public Outreach
Human-Computer Interfaces
In-situ Resource Utilization
Integrated Robotic Concepts and Systems
Mission Training
Operations Concepts and Requirements
Power Management and Distribution
Sensor Webs/Distributed Sensors
Spaceport Infrastructure and Safety

Form Generated on 08-02-07 14:39