NASA STTR 2007 Solicitation

FORM B - PROPOSAL SUMMARY


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 07-2 T6.02-9978
PHASE 1 CONTRACT NUMBER: NNX08CD56P
RESEARCH SUBTOPIC TITLE: Active Vibration Control for Ground Support Equipment
PROPOSAL TITLE: Active Vibration Isolation System for Mobile Launch Platform Ground Support Equipment

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (SBC): RESEARCH INSTITUTION (RI):
NAME: Balcones Technologies LLC NAME: University of Texas - Center for Electromechanics
STREET: 10532 Grand Oak Circle STREET: P.O. Box 7726
CITY: Austin CITY: Austin
STATE/ZIP: TX  78750 - 3851 STATE/ZIP: TX  78713 - 7726
PHONE: (512) 785-6728 PHONE: (512) 471-6424

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Joseph Beno
j.beno@balconestech.com
10532 Grand Oak Circle
Austin, TX 78750 - 3851
(512) 232-1619

Expected Technology Readiness Level (TRL) upon completion of contract: 6 to 7

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
During our Phase I STTR effort, Balcones Technologies, LLC and The University of Texas Center for Electromechanics (CEM) successfully achieved all Phase I objectives and developed a concept design for an active Vibration Isolation System (VIS) that fully meets all requirements defined or implied in STTR 2007-1 Subtopic T6.02. Now the Balcones Technologies - CEM team proposes to develop, test, and deliver a prototype version of our active VIS. Furthermore, the delivered prototype system, coupled with our proposed Phase II commercialization activities, will be substantially advanced from a proof-of-principle system and will embody the critical aspects of pre-production systems, ready to quickly transition to the NASA qualification process and finished product.

Our Phase I effort yielded a high performance, cost effective, highly reliable, actively controlled Vibration Isolation System (VIS) for ground support electronics racks or groups of racks on the Mobile Launch Platform (MLP). Some features are listed below.
? does not rely on predictable vibration input
? applies across broad range of ground support electronics or other sensitive systems
? does not depend on detailed knowledge or testing of the components being protected
? is compatible with operation from a self-contained power supply if desired by NASA
? offers up to 18x reduction in payload peak accelerations compared to passive approaches and up to 5x reduction compared to semi-active approaches
? can be configured to isolate electronics racks individually, in small groups, or via an isolation system for an entire floor
? is modular in both hardware and software, exploiting COTS and previously developed CEM technology to facilitate rapid development and commercialization
? exploits approximately $24M of highly successful active suspension R&D at CEM for military vehicles for the controls, architecture, and actuator development technology.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Our active VIS system and the general VIS technology being designed for the Mobile Launch Platforms for the shuttle, ARES I and ARES V, will be useful in a variety of applications, either directly or through scaling of components. The system applies to single racks of electronics, groups of up to five 500 kg racks of electronics or can be distributed in an array of actuators under an entire floor on launch platforms. In addition to the MLP application, our active VIS technology will be applicable for vibration isolation for any sensitive payloads in harsh vibrational environments. Some immediately apparent applications include other NASA ground support equipment or systems on launch platforms, sensitive payloads on NASA and military spacecraft during launch, transport of sensitive NASA equipment, vibration isolation for sensitive NASA experiments and vibration isolation of sensitive NASA manufacturing processes.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Our active VIS will initially focus on niche applications that exploit its high performance, modularity, and scalability. This includes a wide range of military and non-military applications. Military applications focus on equipment on ships, vehicles, and aircraft and some ground equipment and have potential for growth to more general military equipment that can yield very large markets, especially for ship borne applications. Although ships are in constant motion, which is sometimes harsh during high sea-states, the most stringent requirements are during combat which lead to severe shock rating requirements of 50 g's or more. Non-military applications involve commercial applications where our VIS could provide sufficient vibration isolation to allow use of commercial instrumentation in applications which heretofore have required specialized hardware. Customers we have initially identified include oilfield service groups such as Baker Hughes, Dresser, Schlumberger, Weatherford, Welltec, and WesternGeco. The electronics industry, with a large base in Austin, Texas, also has a need for vibration isolation for some of their process and possibly using our VIS actively controlled/programmable actuators in a shaker table role to induce vibrations into electronics equipment that must be tested for vulnerability to vibration. A sampling of the large electronics companies with a significant presence in Austin includes, National Instruments, IBM, AMD, Samsung, and Motorola.

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
Autonomous Control and Monitoring
Launch and Flight Vehicle
Mobility
Operations Concepts and Requirements
Perception/Sensing
Testing Facilities
Testing Requirements and Architectures


Form Generated on 02-10-09 12:09