NASA SBIR 2011 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 11-1 O3.02-9753
PROPOSAL TITLE: ISS Additive Manufacturing Facility for On-Demand Fabrication in Space

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Made in Space, Inc.
427 N Tatnall St, # 56666
Wilmington, DE 19801 - 2230
(209) 736-7768

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Michael P Snyder
S. Akron Rd., Building 20, MS 20-1
Moffett Field, CA 94035 - 0001
(727) 808-9936

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 5
End: 6

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
The ability to manufacture on the International Space Station will enable on-demand repair and production capability, as well as essential research for manufacturing on long-term missions.

Having an Additive Manufacturing Facility (AMF) on the ISS will allow for immediate repair of essential components, upgrades of existing hardware, installation of new hardware that is manufactured, and the manufacturing capability to support commercial interests. Additive manufacturing is the process of building a part layer-by-layer, with an efficient use of the material. The process leads to a reduction in cost, mass, labor and production time.

As part of this proposal, Made in Space, Inc., combined with the mission experience of Arkyd Astronautics, Inc. and NanoRacks, LLC, will develop an Additive Manufacturing Facility for the ISS that will enable on-board manufacturing capability. The crew would be able to utilize the AMF to perform station maintenance, build tools, and repair sections of the station in case of an emergency. The AMF will use an extrusion-based "3D printing" method, which Made in Space has already tested in zero-gravity with successful results (Summer 2011), and is scheduled to do sub-orbital testing in 2012 as part of NASA's Flight Opportunities Program.

The first-generation AMF will be contained and operated in an 8U of the NanoRacks® payload system. It will be capable of producing components from a variety of space-rated composites. Later generations will have the ability to produce parts with space-grade metals. This versatility will allow for a variety of components and devices to be manufactured, enabling the mentioned uses to be applicable as well as unforeseen uses to be developed.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The commercial product foreseen from this SBIR proposal is a novel, low risk approach to fabricating in space, enabling the creation of spare parts, tools, and upgrades for the International Space Station. The Additive Manufacturing Facility proposed is capable of significantly reducing launch costs and improving space utilization. Currently the ISS is fully dependent on Earth. Re-supply missions make extended stay on station possible. If a production facility were to exist on the ISS the crew would demand less on re-supply missions and could have increased redundancy due to the ability to produce goods when needed.

The facility will allow NASA, other government agencies, and companies the ability to build what they need on-demand—whether it be hardware, spare tools, a small CubeSat, or even in-space fabricated 3D art. Key initial NASA applications include:
* Safety and emergency repair solutions, giving astronauts a much-needed contingency plan,
* ISS repair and life extension,
* Ability to build broken parts on demand, increasing reliability and capability to legacy experiments,
* Hardware on-demand, including the capability to build spare parts, tools, laboratory equipment such as syringes, modular laboratory configurations, and more,
* Science experiment building and repairing,
* Exploration research, building the research needed for such a facility to be used on long duration space flight missions,
* Spacecraft assembly and check-out.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
With the Additive Manufacturing Facility, commercial companies and non-NASA government agencies will be able to pay-to-build what they need on the ISS. Although it is anticipated that the full use of this facility won't be completely realized until completion, the commercial applications apply to three broad areas: (1) Inside the ISS (including spares, tools, science experiments, parts for astronauts, and hardware for other entities inside the ISS), (2) Outside the ISS (specifically spacecraft and satellites that are built on-demand, while also saving money, mass, and volume; customers include satellite companies, research institutes, defense agencies, and more), (3) Ground-based applications (for fabricating a range of products that could only be fabricated in zero-g).

TECHNOLOGY TAXONOMY MAPPING (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 Manufacturing
Spacecraft Design, Construction, Testing, & Performance (see also Engineering; Testing & Evaluation)
Tools/EVA Tools

Form Generated on 11-22-11 13:43