NASA STTR 2009 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 09-1 T6.02-9912
RESEARCH SUBTOPIC TITLE: Planetary Surface Analog Support Technologies
PROPOSAL TITLE: Scalable Gravity Offload System

NAME: Astrobotic Technology Inc. NAME: Carnegie Mellon University
STREET: 4551 Forbes Avenue STREET: 5000 Forbes Avenue
CITY: Pittsburgh CITY: Pittsburgh
STATE/ZIP: PA  15213 - 3524 STATE/ZIP: PA  15213 - 3815
PHONE: (412) 682-3282 PHONE: (412) 268-2000

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
William "Red" Whittaker

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

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
The proposed innovation is a scalable gravity off-load system that enables controlled integrated testing of Surface System elements such as rovers, habitats, and space suits in planet-relevant gravity which addresses T6.02 in the direct solicitation of a gravity off-load system. Phase I delivers a nominal design in the form of a final report, Phase II builds this design and delivers hardware, and Phase III commercializes the gravity off-load system as a commercial product/service of Astrobotic Technology.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Mobility systems tuned to lunar or Martian gravity are a fundamental need of all government and commercial endeavors on these bodies, both crewed and robotic. The scalable gravity off-load system will enable NASA-funded mobility research to test approaches under the reduced gravity that mobility systems they will experience during missions. Because it is inherently portable, this technology approach can be added to existing NASA infrastructure such as vacuum chambers and regolith stimulant test beds or transported to field locations.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Initially, Astrobotic will put this technology to commercial use in its own development program for private-sector lunar robots that gather data, perform services and emplace payloads for government and commercial customers. This early demonstration on the moon the first mission is scheduled for May 2011 will generate data to show how closely actual lunar mobility performance matches the results of simulated lunar gravity tests conducted on Earth. Validation with near-term lunar activity is a key step that enables others to confidently adopt the gravity off-load technology in their own test programs.

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.

Integrated Robotic Concepts and Systems
Testing Facilities

Form Generated on 09-18-09 10:14