NASA SBIR 2017 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 17-2 Z4.01-8593
SUBTOPIC TITLE: In-Space Structural Assembly and Construction
PROPOSAL TITLE: Reversible Adhesion Concept for In-Space Assembly

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
ATSP Innovations
60 Hazelwood Drive
Champaign, IL 61820 - 7460
(217) 778-4400

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Jacob Meyer
60 Hazelwood Drive
Champaign, IL 61820 - 7460
(217) 778-4400

CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
David Carroll
60 Hazelwood Dr
Champaign, IL 61820 - 7460
(217) 778-6461

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

Technology Available (TAV) Subtopics
In-Space Structural Assembly and Construction 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)

ATSP Innovations will develop a reversible adhesion concept for use in reconfigurable space frame construction. This reversible adhesion concept is based on application of aromatic thermosetting copolyester (ATSP) to selected adhesive contact points. By virtue of a class of reversible solid-state chemical reactions (called interchain transesterification reactions - ITR) intrinsic to the polymer, ATSP was shown to bond and debond with itself for >50 cycles during the Phase I with high mechanical strength allowing load values >6 the requirement of the solicitation in an very small contact area.

In Phase II of this project we will apply this reversible adhesive concept to assembly and reconfiguration of truss structures composed of tubular beams and we will do electrical, thermal and mechanical characterizations of  the reversibly joined tube segments. Based on the reversible adhesion concept developed and demonstrated in Phase I, a self-aligning attachment mechanism for tubular beams and hub joints with integrated heating is proposed. Designed attachment mechanisms and developed processes will be applied to assembly and reconfiguration of truss unit cell. Polymeric reversible adhesive will be subjected to outgassing and radiation experiments (to determine applicability to space environment) in simulation of low earth orbit with additional bond/debond cycles following radiation exposure implemented via a toolkit developed in Phase I. The high mechanical strength provides design flexibility for space in the joints for electrical contacts, thereby allowing multifunctionality of the space structures; with full scale dimension of the real truss structure, the joint would be able to reach a bond strength of 56,760N (113 times the required 500N).

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Reconfigurable space frames will enable future NASA facilities in remote locations in our solar system where a servicing or new/replacement mission may be infeasible or cost-prohibitive to have its mission profile adapted for new applications. Future space missions are envisioned towards both sustainment of long-term on-mission space stations (e.g. ISS) and construction of on-site habitable structures beyond low-Earth orbit (e.g. Human Exploration of Mars), which requires innovative concepts for reconfigurable and reusable designs in response to changing mission needs. Specifically, NASAs Solar Electric Propulsion (SEP) project is sought to develop electrically propelled spacecraft having on-board multiple solar arrays (e.g. MegaFlex and Mega-ROSA concept designs). Likewise, Orbital Replacement Units (ORUs) are utilized to repair/replace malfunctioning segments of on-mission space systems (e.g. ISS) at present and will be soon be employed to build on-site space structures.

Use of a high strength, highly stable thermally driven polymeric reversible adhesive will enable minimization of mass, volume, electrical and labor inputs to assemble and reconfigure truss and other structures. Multifunctional design will accommodate capacity for electrical transmission within reconfigurable space frame structures - thereby simplifying and reducing required distinct components for adapting structures to changing mission profiles.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Industry wide reversible adhesive: Thermally stable, high strength reversible adhesives are potentially usable in the construction, automotive, electronics, and the wider aerospace industry. Additionally, reconfigurable microfluidic devices and reconfigurable medical devices are other potential concepts derivative from this work.

Structural material: ATSP has a high glass temperature (170C to 310C for different chemical compositions) and an excellent profile of mechanical properties from cryogenic to high temperatures; thus ATSP bulk material or ATSP composites are excellent materials for broad temperature structure applications.

Tribological applications: ATSP-based coatings used here as reversible adhesives (with thickness of ~ 10s of microns) and bulk ATSP also have excellent tribological performance under extreme working conditions, including high temperature, cryogenic temperature, high contact pressure, high chamber pressure, starved lubrication, abrasive wear, etc. ATSP-based coating showed: zero wear at temperatures from -160C to 260C with dry sliding, extremely low wear coefficient (4.15x10-8 mm3/Nm) under starved lubrication condition, stable coefficient of friction (COF) and low wear rate under sand abrasive condition, and extreme low COF for oil and gas drilling application. The broad temperature use profile also suggests potential use as bearings in space applications.

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
Joining (Adhesion, Welding)
Processing Methods
Smart/Multifunctional Materials

Form Generated on 03-05-18 17:24