Quadrus Advanced Manufacturing, LLC (QAM) is pleased to present this proposal to continue the development of an additively manufactured, highly dexterous mechanism that enables the safe, leak-free transfer of the storable hypergolic oxidizer (nitrogen tetroxide, NTO, with mixed oxides of nitrogen, MON). Our Additively manufactured Dexterous Leak-proof Interface (ADLI) is a radically simple design that uses four additively manufactured (AM) parts configured to interface with custom bellows formed from Nitinol, which is a ~50:50 alloy of nickel and titanium known for its superelastic behavior, using a proven commercial hydroforming process. Importantly, our design uses no seals and no soft goods, yet still interfaces with propellant service valves along any vector within a full hemisphere about the hinge for the pitch axis. In short, ADLI provides the flexibility to transfer propellant from a servicing satellite, which is in a huge range of orientations relative to a client satellite with virtually any propellant service valve configuration.
We will work to insert ADLI into planned orbital servicing missions, such as a future follow-on to NASA’s OSAM-1 (On-Orbit Servicing, Assembly and Manufacturing-1).
Second, the Mars Sample Return has one mission architecture that places an empty launch vehicle on the Martian surface, then transfer propellants to it from a rover brought on a second flight. We plan to market ADLI to MSR architects at Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and Headquarters to help position ADLI for use in that flagship mission.
First, we plan to extend the marketing and planning effort for ADLI to the commercial space community, which is aware of the tremendous market potential for reclaiming those satellites, so we will begin to use our existing contacts at Virgin Orbit and Blue Origin (we have additively manufactured components for both companies) to create a true commercial pull for ADLI.