Heliospace Corp. proposes to develop a process to fabricate Helical Booms that will allow a length increase of 85% over similar currently available booms at reduced cost, to greatly increase the speed of optimization and iteration of such boom designs, and to allow much more rapid manufacturing. This will lead to the ability to propose improved deployable mechanism solutions for NASA science missions and other applications requiring deployable booms and antennas. Our work under Phase I utilized an in-house prototype fabrication machine to develop a process of producing single coils with the necessary properties. In Phase II, enhancements to the fabrication process will enable production of Helical segments of sufficient length and quality to be integrated into functional deployable booms. After a successful demonstration of a Helical Boom, a production grade manufacturing machine will be constructed, and used to make deployable booms that then undergo testing to bring the technology to TRL 6. The results of this work are immediately applicable to S1.06 of Focus Area 9, as an enabling technology for particles and fields investigations on NASA Heliophysics missions.
Applicable NASA programs and missions benefiting from the technology include Sounding Rockets, Missions of Opportunity, Small and Mid-Class Explorer missions, and larger missions as the Geodynamics Constellation and others as part of the Living with a Star and Solar Terrestrial Probe programs. Additional applications in radar antennas are also candidates for mission infusion.
Additional applications include use on cubesats and other small spacecraft missions either planned or under development from startup space companies, Department of Defense and related military programs, and any terrestrial application requiring a deployable antenna or boom with an extremely compact stowing factor. Additional uses for Helical Booms include as actuators for other mechanisms.