NASA SBIR 2014 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 14-1 Z20.01-9516
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Deep Space Cubesat Technology
PROPOSAL TITLE: Solar Electric Propulsion CubeSat Bus for Deep Space Missions

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
ExoTerra Resource, LLC
9754 Las Colinas Drive
Lone Tree, CO 80124 - 4206
(303) 565-6898

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Michael VanWoerkom
9754 Las Colinas Drive
Lone Tree, CO 80124 - 4206
(303) 565-6898

CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Michael VanWoerkom
9754 Las Colinas Drive
Lone Tree, CO 80124 - 4206
(303) 565-6898

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 3
End: 4

Technology Available (TAV) Subtopics
Deep Space Cubesat Technology is a Technology Available (TAV) subtopic that includes NASA Intellectual Property (IP). Do you plan to use the NASA IP under the award?

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
As electronics continue to shrink in size, the capabilities of CubeSats continues to expand. CubeSats can now perform a wide range of sensing and telecommunications applications. However, CubeSats have been limited in their ability to conduct propulsive maneuvers and to withstand deep space environments. This limits them to the orbits they are deposited in from their rideshare flight. ExoTerra's Solar Electric Propulsion CubeSat Bus opens a whole new set of mission opportunities to CubeSats by providing over 1 km/s of dV for CubeSats through its 6U bus. The bus expands the CubeSat state of the art by implementing 3x higher power solar arrays, high efficiency power distribution and a low power, high efficiency Hall Thruster. To meet deep space mission requirements, we add guidance and navigation systems, incorporate radiation tolerant electronics and integrate thermal control systems into the bus. The SEP CubeSat project demonstrates a first of its kind propulsive capability by building, qualifying and flying the SEP CubeSat. The mission launches from the SLS opportunity in 2017. After Translunar Injection, the Cubesat uses its SEP system to perform lunar orbit insertion and spiral in, becoming the first Cubesat to successfully perform a capture maneuver at another celestial body.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The low launch cost of CubeSats makes them a highly attractive option for a number of remote sensing missions. By adding the ability to provide >1 km/s dV to a CubeSat we open a wide range of additional missions for NASA. The system can provide sufficient dV to perform lunar orbit insertion, allowing a constellation of low-cost CubeSats to be sent to the Moon to provide global coverage at a fraction of current costs. Similarly, NASA can affordably send a number of CubeSats to rendezvous with multiple asteroids to perform precursor missions leading to an eventual asteroid capture or manned landing mission. Finally, the dV capability allows NASA to disperse a series of CubeSats launched on a single flight to form constellations that work together to provide global sensing around Earth.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The dV capability has potential commercial applications as well. By enabling dispersion of a constellation of satellites, commercial operators can provide global coverage with Cubesats for telecommunications or remote sensing applications at a cost below today's monolithic systems. In addition, the system allows for orbit adjustment from the rideshare drop-off orbit. This allows operators to move into inclinations or altitudes that are more advantageous for their mission and eliminating the reliance on finding a rideshare going to their preferred orbit. At the extreme, scaling the system to 12U can result in sufficient dV to transfer Cubesats to Geosynchronous Orbit, opening up Geosynchronous mission opportunities. As CubeSat capabilities continue to expand, the mission opportunities afforded by a 1 km/s propulsion system expand as well.

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.)
Navigation & Guidance
Spacecraft Main Engine
Vehicles (see also Autonomous Systems)

Form Generated on 04-23-14 17:37