NASA STTR 2021-I Solicitation

Proposal Summary

Proposal Number:          21-1- T5.05-2304
Subtopic Title:
      Solar and Electric Sail Embedded Technologies for Communications, Control, or Ancillary Functions
Proposal Title:
      Embedded Fiber-Optic Sensing for Solar and Electric Sails

Small Business Concern

Luna Innovations, Inc.
301 1st Street Southwest, Suite 200, Roanoke, VA 24011 - 1921
(540) 769-8400                                                                                                                                                                                

Research Institution:

The University of Alabama in Huntsville
301 Sparkman Drive, VBRH E26, AL 35899 - 0001
(256) 824-2651                                                                                                                                                                                

Principal Investigator:

Dr. Steven Derek Rountree
3155 State Street, VA 24060 - 6604
(540) 558-1667                                                                                                                                                                                

Business Official:

Mr. John Forester
706 Forest Streeet, VA 22903 - 5231
(434) 220-9449                                                                                                                                                                                

Summary Details:

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) :                                                                                                                                                          
Begin: 3
End: 4
Technical Abstract (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words):

Luna, teamed with Ms. Sue O’Brien at The University of Alabama Huntsville, is proposing to utilize High-Definition Shape Sensing (HD-Shape) to optimize the control of solar and electric sails. Solar and electric sails use lightweight material with large cross-sections to transfer momentum of solar radiation into directional thrust. Control is performed by adjusting the center of mass (CM) with respect to the center of pressure (CP). Utilizing the technology proposed here, the shape of a sail can be controlled using feedback regarding its actual position to align CM and CP and achieve the desired direction of thrust. HD-Shape enables the position and orientation of a multi-core optical fiber to be measured independent of the structure it is attached to, with the advantage of being immune to the electromagnetic and radiation environment present in space.  During Phase I the team will demonstrate boom arm curvature measurements for providing active feedback to boom controls systems and begin designing an architecture for a low mass, low power system suitable for space deployment. Phase II will begin prototyping the electronics resulting in a system that can be tested by NASA.

Potential NASA Applications (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words):

The proposed solution will provide NASA with solar and electric sail embedded fiber-optic sensors for control and ancillary functions.  The fiber system used to measure curvature in this Phase I is expected to be advanced to provide full 3-D shape along the fiber length for Phase II.  This technology has many applications for NASA in tether management and endpoint identification for marsupial robots, non-destructive inspection, and human space walks.

Potential Non-NASA Applications (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words):

Under water tethered diving for both divers and unmanned underwater vehicles.

Tether management and endpoint identification for marsupial robots.

End point identification for automation of non-destructive inspection systems

Duration:     12

Form Generated on 03/23/2021 10:49:44