NASA SBIR 2014 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 14-2 S2.02-9261
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Precision Deployable Optical Structures and Metrology
PROPOSAL TITLE: Optical Precision Deployment Latch

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Physical Sciences, Inc.
20 New England Business Center
Andover, MA 01810 - 1077
(978) 689-0003

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Dr. Peter A. Warren
20 New England Business Center
Andover, MA 01810 - 1077
(978) 738-8181

CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Dr. B. David Green
20 New England Business Center
Andover, MA 01810 - 1077
(978) 689-0003

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 4
End: 6

Technology Available (TAV) Subtopics
Precision Deployable Optical Structures and Metrology 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)
Virtually all optical information gathering instruments benefit from greater aperture. For space-based instruments whose geometries are constrained by the launch vehicle, increasing the aperture requires deployment of some aspect of the optical train and then the precise and dynamically stable latching of the deployed components into defined positions. Existing latching technology is either too inaccurate, unstable, or expensive for use in many NASA small satellite missions.
Physical Sciences Inc. (PSI) has developed a simple, scalable latching technology by applying precision engineering approaches from previous developments that carefully manages the friction and strain energy stored internal to the latching mechanism. This latch was shown to have better than 350 nm repeatability and stability. During the Phase I activities, PSI has also shown that an alternative locking flexure approach could meet the needs of certain deployable optics applications. Both approaches provide a small, low-cost latching system with sub-micron positional repeatability and dynamic stability.
During the Phase II efforts, PSI will further explore the performance of the mechanism and flexure approaches and then down-select to one approach for complete development. PSI will integrate the precision deployment lock into a complete set of flexures and mechanisms to provide NASA and other customers with a complete deployment system for a 6U cubesat. In addition to the precision latching components, the team will also address launch restraint, deployment actuation & rate control, and the associated deployment of the sun shade and light baffles that are critical to the operation of any high performance optical spacecraft instrument.
The results of the Phase II will be an integrated system that will provide all of the deployable aspects needed for NASA and others to launch, deploy, and operate high performance optical instruments from cubesats, ESPA-sats, and other small spacecraft platforms.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Precision latching of deployed, robotically-emplaced, or astronaut-assembled optical components has long been a challenge for NASA observatories ranging in size from cubesat to Terrestrial Planet Imager. A family of low-cost but precise latch systems would have application to stellar and planetary observatories as well as atmospheric transmission measurement systems. In addition to data gathering, optical systems are also used for high bandwidth communications. Deployed, large area laser communications optics would increase data throughput from interplanetary missions as well as earth orbiting systems.

A ready-to-go, integrated deployable cubesat telescope system would provide a capability available to many NASA scientists, enabling them to fly a wide range of planetary and stellar science instruments using a common, low-cost front end.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
There are many Department of Defense and Intelligence Community applications of earth observing telescopes. The quality and quantiy of information gathered by these instruments would be greatly increased by larger, deployed apertures. As with the NASA instruments, these deployed telescope components must be precisely and stably locked into place when deployment is complete.

The ground military also uses optical devices both for observation and communications. The proposed latch technology would also apply to rapidly erected telescope systems for ground soldiers, either for observations or for secure laser communications.

In addition to government users, there are a wide range of commercial applications for precision restraint of optical components. As one example, PSI fabricates and sells ophthalmological diagnostic tools for retinal imaging. As different patients use the device, different headsets must be fitted to the front end of the device. A low cost means of precisely securing the different headsets would reduce the blurring of the retinal image and improve clinical outcomes.

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.)
Hardware-in-the-Loop Testing
Machines/Mechanical Subsystems
Models & Simulations (see also Testing & Evaluation)
Telescope Arrays

Form Generated on 04-14-15 17:14