NASA SBIR 2007 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 07-2 O1.04-8808
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Antenna Technology
PROPOSAL TITLE: Surface Optimization Techniques for Deployable Reflectors

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Composite Technology Development, Inc.
2600 Campus Drive, Suite D
Lafayette, CO 80026 - 3359
(303) 664-0394

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Robert Taylor
2600 Campus Drive, Suite D
Lafayette, CO 80026 - 3359
(303) 664-0394

Expected Technology Readiness Level (TRL) upon completion of contract: 5 to 6

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Under this and several other programs, CTD has developed TEMBOREG deployable solid-surface reflectors (TEMBOREG Reflectors) to provide future NASA and Air Force missions and commercial communications satellites with large RF apertures that can operate at very high operational frequencies (Ka band and above). TEMBOREG Reflectors incorporate non-tensioned graphite composite membranes that are formed using conventional construction techniques and stiffened using CTD's TEMBOREG shape-memory composite panels to allow practical packaging and deployment without complex mechanisms. The simplicity of the design provides a significant cost advantage when compared to existing deployable reflector technologies, (4-fold cost reduction over mesh antenna and 2-fold reduction in manufacturing time) and the continuous graphite surface enables high frequency antenna operations at Ka band and above. CTD can stow either a Cassegrainian (center-fed) or Gregorian (offset-fed) 5m TEMBOREG Reflectors in a Falcon 1e launch vehicle. To moderate cost and fabrication time, the TEMBOREG reflector is supported by a deployable backing structure. In the proposed Phase II effort, CTD will further refine innovative backing structure developed in Phase I as well as to develop additional precision capability to enable both the high frequency (Ka band and above), large aperture (5 to 8 meters) performance required for near-term and future NASA programs.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
NASA Earth surveying missions such as the Soil Moisture Active/Passive (SMAP) mission and DESDynI, are specific near-term NASA missions with needs for large aperture reflectors to provide L-band radar and radiometers. Although these missions are within the frequency capability of mesh reflectors, JPL has expressed concern that the poor side-lobe performance of mesh reflectors may significantly degrade the performance of the L-band radiometer. This poor side-lobe performance on the mesh reflectors is believed to be due to edge infringements inherent in the mesh reflector design. The TEMBO solid-surface deployable reflectors being developed by CTD, , exactly meet this need.
Also, Space Science missions, such as the proposed Europa Lander CADMUS and a Venus Radar instrument being developed by JPL will need large aperture deployable antenna reflectors. CTD's TEMBOREG Reflector could also be key to the success of these missions by providing increased deployed aperture and high-frequency capability at low cost and risk.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
CTD has been working with the Air Force and the Missile Defense Agency to develop and implement components and subsystems based on CTD's Elastic Memory Composite materials. For example, CTD has delivered EMC hinge/actuators to MicroSat Systems, Inc. to deploy an experimental solar array on the Air Force's TacSat-2 mission, which is currently scheduled for launch in late 2006. Enhancements to CTD's Solid Surface TEMBOREG deployable reflectors are of interested to Operationally Responsive Space for lower frequency applications and in the future for other DoD applications.
CTD has begun to identify several commercial terrestrial markets where nano-particle-reinforced TEMBOREG materials show great promise. In one case, we have received $325K of funding from a customer to develop a prototype product, which is planned for field-testing in 2007. This prototype represents the first of many possible applications for this customer, and we are currently negotiating development agreements for additional prototypes. Our customer is the leader in the target market of interest. Their 2002 sales of products that could incorporate some TEMBOREG products was $481M. If TEMBOREG materials were used on only 25 percent of these products, and CTD received only 5 percent of these revenues as sales of TEMBOREG materials, this would result in $6M in annual sales. We believe this is but the tip of the iceberg for the commercial potential for TEMBOREG polymers and composites.

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.

In-situ Resource Utilization
Large Antennas and Telescopes
Multifunctional/Smart Materials
Operations Concepts and Requirements
Testing Requirements and Architectures

Form Generated on 10-23-08 13:36