NASA SBIR 2022-I Solicitation

Proposal Summary

Proposal Information

Proposal Number:
22-1- Z14.01-2648
Subtopic Title:
Lunar Surface Excavation
Proposal Title:

Small Business Concern

OffWorld, Inc.
2031 East Foothill Boulevard, Pasadena, CA 91107
(415) 225-4398                                                                                                                                                                                

Principal Investigator:

Craig Leavitt
2031 E. Foothill Blvd, CA 91107 - 1111
(803) 565-6214                                                                                                                                                                                

Business Official:

Amaresh Kollipara
2031 E. Foothill Blvd, CA 91107 - 1111
(415) 225-4398                                                                                                                                                                                

Summary Details:

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) :                                                                                                                                                          
Begin: 2
End: 4
Technical Abstract (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words):

For this Phase I SBIR, OffWorld will deliver a conceptual design and tech demo that leverages our proven, rugged terrestrial robotic mining capabilities to develop a viable solution to extract icy regolith from beneath the dry overburden on the lunar surface. Our proposed innovation is distinguished by its heritage as an evolution of our existing, durable modular mining platform and associated machine learning framework.

The proposed Phase I project will:

  • Deliver a conceptual design that adapts current OffWorld terrestrial mining digger bot species for excavation operations on the surface of the Moon.
  • Propose a development plan for the maturation of the necessary technologies and the development of robot production capacity.
  • Calculate the scale of robotic squads necessary to successfully meet NASA lunar excavation production requirements as identified in the SBIR solicitation.
  • Consider the unique challenges presented by the lunar environment including temperature extremes, low gravity, radiation, dust, and vacuum.
  • Optimize the system to account for the current limited understanding of lunar regolith, considering variations and inconsistencies in the science of lunar geology.
  • Maximize reliability and durability of individual components and design a highly robust and resilient system architecture. 
  • Design autonomous maintenance and servicing strategies to account for component failure and to enable a minimum of 5 years of continuous swarm operation.
  • Minimize system mass to the maximum extent possible to reduce lunar mass delivery requirements.
  • Incorporate lessons learned and statistical analysis of current OffWorld terrestrial mining programs.
  • Define requirements for sensors and feedback mechanisms necessary for system optimization and to achieve fully automated icy regolith excavation.
Potential NASA Applications (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words):

OffWorld's lunar surface excavation approach (the proposed innovation) has several NASA applications. All applications are a result of the proposed innovation being a point solution, directly addressing a critical NASA need. These NASA applications include: ISRU, lunar surface overburden penetration, propellant production, propellant depot construction, lunar surface habitat development, landing pad development, and all other lunar surface related activities that require lunar regolith movement and excavation. 

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

The management team of OffWorld has been in discussions with commercial entities that have complementary missions to NASA's. These commercial companies, like Astrobotic and Masten, have funded lunar programs which will require: lunar propellant, landing pads, propellant depots, and other surface infrastructure requiring robust lunar surface excavation capability.

Duration:     6

Form Generated on 05/25/2022 15:47:15