NASA SBIR 2016 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 16-1 S1.06-8175
SUBTOPIC TITLE: In Situ Sensors and Sensor Systems for Lunar and Planetary Science
PROPOSAL TITLE: Lunar Borehole Seismometer

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Advanced Seismic Instrumentation and Research
1945 Delores Way
Carbondale, CO 81623 - 2235
(303) 709-5359

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Prof Peter Eric Malin
1945 Delores Way
Carbondale, CO 81623 - 2235
(214) 934-0752

CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Prof Peter Eric Malin
1945 Delores Way
Carbondale, CO 81623 - 2235
(214) 934-0752

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 2
End: 4

Technology Available (TAV) Subtopics
In Situ Sensors and Sensor Systems for Lunar and Planetary Science 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)
We propose to adapt a miniaturized borehole seismometer for deployment with a heat probe below the Lunar surface. The heat flow probe has already been designed and tested to reach a depth of 3m and will be installed underground by an existing gas jet drilling method. By burying an innovative, broadband, optical seismometer along with the heat flow probe, we can accomplish all of the goals of a high-mass, high-power surface seismic station with minimal mass and power. While this method currently allows installation at depths of 3m - we make maximum use of this environment - our sensor anticipates possible deployments at much greater depths.
In the proposed work we will build and test a full working prototype of this seismometer. We will test it under lunar environmental conditions (vacuum, temperature and simulated regolith), bringing this instrument concept (TRL2) to a tested prototype (TRL4).

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
This instrument is directly designed to address the NASA Planetary Science Decadal Survey call for a Lunar Geophysical Network (LGN) mission. We are working with colleague Clive Neal, of University of Notre Dame, on the proposal of a LGN for the next available New Frontiers mission opportunity. Such a mission will need to by necessity of cost be incredibly miniaturized in both mass and power. We do not believe current seismological equipment can provide the low mass, high signal-to-noise, and low power required for such a mission. Our system can meet the needs of this mission and will automatically accompany the geothermal heat probe elements of the geophysical network, which already need to access the subsurface.
A compact probe can be placed in the subsurface by proposed conventional auger drills (such as developed by partner Honeybee Robotics), which could enable global access to any solid surface solar system body (Mars,Europa, Titan...).
On icy bodies, such as Europa, subsurface melting devices (cryobots) should carry a small seismic and heat flow package. Placed into the subsurface aboard a melting probe, our system would provide information on the thickness and internal structure of an icy crust while simultaneously providing a nearly isothermal environment with protection from surface radiation. Such an instrument could also be sent to the Polar ice caps of Mars, where our high-frequency strengths would provide incredible detail on internal layering.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Energy Efficiency/Renewable Energy Related Research and Research and Development.Advanced Seismic Instrumentation Research Company (ASIR) is the new realization of the PI?s long-term commitment to seismic instrumentation and installation-technology development. In its previous realization as SONDI and Consultants LLC, this commitment lead to the contract for the 78 borehole seismographs now in use in the US Plate Boundary Observatory and the special downhole systems that were deployed in the San Andreas Fault Observatory at Depth (See: ). SONDI also constructed in 1991 and 2005 the seismic monitoring networks at the Coso and Puna Geothermal Fields, which are used for locating and controlling the locations and depth of returned geothermal waters ( and ). In 2006 SONDI installed and operated the induced seismicity regulatory-monitoring network for the City of Basel's Hot-Dry-Rock geothermal test. ASIR?s leadership team includes electrical engineer Paul R. Passmore, former owner of Refraction Technologies Inc, which was purchased in 2013 by Trimble Navigation Systems, and mechanical engineer M. Kevin Passmore, an experienced hardware designer and fabricator. The ASIR team has interacted with Silicon Audio in its development of the SiA Ultra Low Noise sensor for the past 5 years.

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.)

Form Generated on 04-26-16 15:14