NASA STTR 2017 Solicitation
FORM B - PROPOSAL SUMMARY
|PROPOSAL NUMBER:||171 T4.02-9821|
|RESEARCH SUBTOPIC TITLE:||Regolith Resources Robotics - R^3|
|PROPOSAL TITLE:||Planetary LEGO|
|SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (SBC):||RESEARCH INSTITUTION (RI):|
|NAME:||Honeybee Robotics, Ltd.||NAME:||Pacific International Space Center for Exploration Systems|
|STREET:||63 Flushing Avenue Unit 150||STREET:||99 Aupuni Street Suite 212-213|
|STATE/ZIP:||NY 11205 - 1070||STATE/ZIP:||HI 96720 - 4273|
|PHONE:||(212) 966-0661||PHONE:||(808) 494-5553|
PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Dr. Rodrigo Romo
99 Aupuni St. Suite 212-213
Hilo, HI 96720 - 4273
CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
63 Flushing Avenue Unit 150
Brooklyn, NY 11205 - 1070
Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Technology Available (TAV) Subtopics
Regolith Resources Robotics - R^3 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)
Prior to human arrival to the Moon or Mars, a certain amount of infrastructure will be required in order to ensure success of the overall goals of the mission. Such infrastructure will include some type of landing pads.
In order to reduce the volume/mass of construction materials to be transported from Earth, it will be critical to utilize in-situ resources as the main construction material. Regolith seems to be the most logical choice given its abundance and easy access. The proposed technology would allow for the robotic construction of critical structures in-situ using native resources.
In Phase I we therefore propose to:
Determine the ideal shapes for the building blocks that will allow mechanical jointing and construction of horizontal (landing pads, roads, etc.) and vertical (habitat, shelter, etc.) structures.
Manufacture the molds to fabricate these building blocks.
Fine tune the sintering process (thermal profile) to ensure repeatability of the fabrication of the material.
Produce prototype building blocks and test their structural properties and strength of the joints.
Develop the robotic concept for making the horizontal and vertical structures.
Design a horizontal and a vertical structure for fabrication during Phase II.
POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
NASA applications would encompass Lunar and Mars human habitation missions. Development of a suitable construction grade material, or materials, derived directly from Lunar/Mars regolith without utilizing any additives could significantly advance ISRU options for the construction of infrastructure, equipment protection or habitats while reducing the amount of raw materials required to be transported from Earth.
A significant advantage of the processes suggested in this proposal relies on the simplicity of the concept. The raw material can go directly from the ground and into the production line without having to go through any separation, refinement or synthesis process.
Different grades of sintered basalt can be utilized for a variety of purposes including: tools, structural components, spare parts, VT/VL tiles, roads, indoor pavers, thermal re-entry tiles, radiation protection, thermal wadis, and shelter/habitat construction.
POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
It is estimated that approximately 5-6% of all CO2 greenhouse gases generated by human activity originate from concrete production . While it is not realistic to consider that basalt derived products could eliminate the use of cement, there are some locations (such as Hawaii) where all cement for construction must be shipped in.
While creating cement alternatives for such locations may not have a significant impact on the reduction of greenhouse emissions by decreasing concrete manufacturing (global demand remains high), it would reduce emissions created by shipping this critical material overseas. In addition to environmental benefits, it could create a new industry to diversify the local economies where it would be useful.
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
Isolation/Protection/Radiation Shielding (see also Mechanical Systems)
Isolation/Protection/Shielding (Acoustic, Ballistic, Dust, Radiation, Thermal)
Joining (Adhesion, Welding)
Robotics (see also Control & Monitoring; Sensors)