NASA SBIR 2009 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 09-1 X4.02-8295
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Expandable Structures
PROPOSAL TITLE: Innovative Ground Habitats for Lunar Operational Outpost (IGLOO)

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
NextGen Aeronautics, Inc.
2780 Skypark Drive, Suite 400
Torrance, CA 90505 - 5341
(310) 626-8384

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
TORRANCE, CA 90505 - 7519
(310) 626-8360

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 2
End: 3

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
NextGen Aeronautics, Inc. is proposing an alternate architecture for inflatable lunar habitats that takes advantage of inflatable beam technologies currently being used in various military, aerospace, and commercial applications. Current technology uses a fiber-reinforced elastomeric composite capable of containing high gas pressure, giving the beams the strength needed to form a robust structure that can withstand being buried by regolith for radiation/micrometeorite protection. NextGen's novel approach is to join multiple beams, forming a continuous cellular arched structures or a series of connected rings to form cylinders. Key advantages of this approach include: ability of structure to maintain strength and stiffness independent of pressure in habitable volume, double wall construction preventing puncture of internal/external wall, ability to isolate leaks in affected elements without compromising habitat pressure or structural integrity, possible use of water or other radiation absorbing material to fill beams, and relative ease of creating a rigid structure by filling the beams with foam. We will achieve TRL of 2 in Phase I and technology transition to TRL of 5 in Phase II. NextGen team's strength lies in related prior work, and with investigators who have an exceptional background in inflatable structures and low-stowed volume designs.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Future manned lunar missions with surface stays of more then a few days will require structures to provide habitation and support in addition to that provided by lunar landing vehicles. These structures must provide a pressurized environment with protection from thermal effects, radiation, dust, micrometeorites, moonquakes, and other hazards while being lightweight, easy to transport, and easy to deploy. Direct applications of the proposed effort pertain to these lunar or other missions where habitable space is needed.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Can be used for any application where low weight/volume is needed in transit, but large environmentally isolated habitable space is desired at location. This type of structure has seen previous applications even on Earth for Antarctic structures.

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.

Airlocks/Environmental Interfaces
Multifunctional/Smart Materials
Radiation Shielding Materials

Form Generated on 09-18-09 10:14