SBIR Phase I Solicitation  SBIR Select Phase I Solicitation   Abstract Archives

NASA 2014 STTR Phase I Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER:14-1 T1.01-9949
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Affordable Nano-Launcher Upper Stage Propulsion
PROPOSAL TITLE: High Performance Nanolauncher

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN: (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/ZIP, Phone)
Orbital Technologies Corporation
Space Center, 1212 Fourier Drive
Madison, WI 53717-1961
(608) 827-5000

RESEARCH INSTITUTION: (RI Name, Mail Address, City/State/ZIP, Phone)
Pennsylvania State University
110 Technology Center Building
University Park, PA 16802-7000
(814) 865-1372

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER: (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/ZIP, Phone)
Jonathan McCabe
mccabej@orbitec.com
1212 Fourier Drive
Madison,  WI 53717-1961
(608) 229-2832

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 5
End: 7

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)
The proposed Low Cost Nanolauncher (LCN) is an upper stage using a new, inexpensive propulsion system. The Phase I program will combine several technologies with a simple design strategy to produce a flight-weight propulsion system that is easy to fabricate and operate. Self pressurizing propellants will minimize complexity of the propulsion system and vortex cold-wall technology will be used to simplify the combustion chamber. An inexpensive, light weight nozzle is being developed by Pennsylvania State University using carbon phenolics. Commercially available components will be use where possible to further minimize costs. The Phase I LNC will demonstrate these technologies through ground testing of a flight-like propulsion system. A small launch vehicle second stage will be designed based on the experimental performance characteristics. This work will form the basis for a family of vehicle stages from smaller upper stages to a main booster stage. The low cost technologies and design methods employed in the LNC will reduce the cost of launching nanosatellites into orbit.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATION(S) (LIMIT 150 WORDS)
The propulsion system developed in Phase I will easily be transitioned to a sounding rocket. This sounding rocket would be low cost, reusable, and available on a flexible schedule. It will allow commercial customers fly payloads (5-10kg) on sub-orbital launches to 120km. This vehicle is expected to provide sub-orbital trips to space for $5,000/kg. Small businesses and research institutions would use this service to fly high altitude research equipment and test experimental hardware on sub-orbital launches to increase the TRL of their products. The educational system would be a new market made possible by low costs. From elementary school to college, educators and student groups could afford to make small payloads and have them launched. Such an experience would be an unparalleled tool for inspiring interest in applied math and science. All of these markets will benefit from flexible schedules and lower launch costs. During Phase II and Phase III a family of stages for an orbital vehicle will be developed. Such a vehicle will have a broad application. As a dedicated nanosatellite launch vehicle the Orbital Nanolauncher will be ideally suited to meeting expanding market demands. Without being tied to the launch of larger rockets, as most launches currently are, the Orbital Nanolauncher will provide flexible schedules and on-demand launch. The low vehicle cost and simple fabrication means production will easily scale to meet demand.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA APPLICATION(S) (LIMIT 150 WORDS)
The Low Cost Nanolauncher will have a variety of applications within NASA. The direct result of Phase I will be a design for an upper stage propulsion system that has been validated by subscale testing. It will be inexpensive to fabricate and operate, costing an estimated $70,000 per launch. This upper stage will compliment the Nano Launch 1200 project at NASA, Marshall. This vehicle is destined to allow NASA to deploy small payloads to orbit without the restrictions and delays associated with piggybacking on larger vehicles. The Low Cost Nanolauncher propulsion system is applicable to many vehicle sizes both smaller and larger than the proposed stage. The simplicity and low cost of the vortex engine, ablative nozzle, and self pressurizing propellants make it ideal for small rockets with small budgets. The propellants are also storable and relatively benign, which gives the system a huge advantage over some of the higher performance alternatives. These qualities may be useful in other NASA programs such as the NASA Launch Services Enabling eXploration & Technology (NEXT) program. The propulsion system developed in Phase I is sized appropriately for a sounding rocket. With the addition of an airframe and parachutes the Low Cost Nanolauncher will become an inexpensive sounding rocket for use in atmospheric and near space research. It will also provide a means of flight testing thrusters, nano-satellites, and small components to increase their TRL level.

TECHNOLOGY TAXONOMY MAPPING
Aerodynamics
Avionics (see also Control and Monitoring)
Spacecraft Design, Construction, Testing, & Performance (see also Engineering; Testing & Evaluation)
Telemetry/Tracking (Cooperative/Noncooperative; see also Planetary Navigation, Tracking, & Telemetry)
Spacecraft Main Engine


PROPOSAL NUMBER:14-1 T1.01-9966
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Affordable Nano-Launcher Upper Stage Propulsion
PROPOSAL TITLE: High Fidelity Tool for Turbulent Combustion in Liquid Launch Propulsion Systems Based on Spray-Flamelet Methodology

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN: (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/ZIP, Phone)
Streamline Numerics, Inc.
3221 North West 13th Street, Suite A
Gainesville, FL 32609-2189
(352) 271-8841

RESEARCH INSTITUTION: (RI Name, Mail Address, City/State/ZIP, Phone)
Stanford University
3160 Porter Drive, Suite 100
Palo Alto, CA 94304-8445
(650) 725-5966

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER: (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/ZIP, Phone)
Siddharth Thakur
st@snumerics.com
3221 North West 13th Street, Suite A
Gainesville,  FL 32609-2189
(352) 271-8841

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 3
End: 6

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)
The innovation proposed here is a high-performance, high-fidelity simulation capability for simulating liquid rocket spray combustion based on a novel spray-flamelet methodology which will be integrated into Loci-STREAM which is a CFD solver developed by the proposing personnel under funding from NASA over the last several years. A new spray-flamelet formulation will be incorporated into Loci-STREAM. The particular advantages of this formulation are (i) its consistency with the single-phase flamelet-formulation (already available in Loci-STREAM), (ii) its formulation in mixture-fraction space, overcoming the non-uniqueness of the classical mixture-fraction parameterization, and (iii) its applicability to finite Stokes-number, thereby accounting for particle evaporation, slip-velocity, and poly-dispersed spray-phase. The flamelet methodology already available in Loci-STREAM – in conjunction with Hybrid RANS-LES (HRLES) methodology – has facilitated an order of magnitude improvement in simulation turnaround times for NASA applications involving complex physics in 3D geometries. This project is aimed at extending this flamelet methodology to spray combustion resulting in a state-of-the-art design and analysis tool to enable accurate, fast and robust simulations of multiphase combustion in liquid rocket engines (involving liquid propellants such as LOX and LH2/LCH4/RP-1/RP-2), combustion stability analysis, etc. which constitute critical components of NASA's upper stage launch propulsion systems

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATION(S) (LIMIT 150 WORDS)
The computational tool resulting from this project will have wide-ranging commercial applications. The Hybrid RANS-LES methodology can be used for a wide variety of engineering applications involving unsteady turbulent flows. The reacting flow capability can be used for simulating combusting flows in various industrial applications, such as gas turbine engines, diesel engines, etc. The real-fluids methodology can be used in a large number of industrial flow situations involving both chemically inert and reacting flows. With additions of multi-phase spray combustion modeling capability, the applicability of this tool can be further broadened.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA APPLICATION(S) (LIMIT 150 WORDS)
The outcome of Phase 1 activities will be a powerful CFD-based design and analysis tool for propulsion engines of relevance to NASA. This tool is envisioned to be useful for full rocket engine simulations, injector design, etc. Specific applications at NASA of this capability include: (a) high-fidelity simulations of nano-launcher upper stage propulsion systems, (b) design improvements of injectors of J-2X and RS-68 engines as well as potential novel designs to be developed for NASA's proposed heavy lift vehicle, (c) modeling of multi-element injectors coupled with fuel and oxidizer feedlines and manifolds, (d) prediction of stability and stability margins, etc.

TECHNOLOGY TAXONOMY MAPPING
Software Tools (Analysis, Design)
Launch Engine/Booster
Spacecraft Main Engine


PROPOSAL NUMBER:14-1 T1.02-9931
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Small Launch Vehicle Propulsion Technology
PROPOSAL TITLE: The Application of 3D Additive Machining to Enhance the Affordability of a Small Launcher Booster Stage

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN: (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/ZIP, Phone)
Garvey Spacecraft Corporation
389 Haines Avenue
Long Beach, CA 90814-1841
(562) 498-2984

RESEARCH INSTITUTION: (RI Name, Mail Address, City/State/ZIP, Phone)
University of California, San Diego
9500 Gilman Drive, #0411
La Jolla, CA 92093-0411
(858) 534-3179

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER: (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/ZIP, Phone)
Christopher Bostwick
cbostwick@garvspace.com
389 Haines Avenue
Long Beach,  CA 90148-1841
(661) 547-9779

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 3
End: 6

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)
The technical innovation proposed here expands upon early research into the viability of additive machining (AM) for liquid rocket engine components and other emerging capabilities to initiate TRL 6 flight test evaluations of candidate applications that could enhance the affordability of a small launch vehicle (SLV) booster stage. University of California, San Diego (USCD) has achieved success in applying 3D AM to fabricate a 200 lbf-thrust LOX/kerosene engine. Concurrently, the Garvey Spacecraft Corporation (GSC) team continues to make progress in the development and flight testing of key elements for a future low-cost nanosat launch vehicle (NLV). These NASA-sponsored NLV designs, concept of operations (CONOPS) and cost metrics based on actual flight operations now serve as references for evaluating emerging technologies like UCSD's AM engine(s) to implement an SLV first stage that achieves the aggressive cost, performance and sizing goals specified in the T1.02 subtopic description. This is exactly the same approach that was followed under a previous NASA STTR that successfully demonstrated a TRL 6 for an advanced CMC-lined ablative engine chamber. Phase I flight testing features a subscale host vehicle, while Phase II then follows with an SLV-scale prototype booster.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATION(S) (LIMIT 150 WORDS)
The affordable launch system(s) could conduct dedicated missions for Planetary Labs, which recently had 28 of their "Flock 1" CubeSat-class spacecraft delivered as a secondary payload on an Antares rocket to the International Space Station (ISS) for eventual deployment. Skybox Imaging is another candidate commercial SLV customer. NSF, AF Space Command, Army Space and Missile Defense Command and NRO all represent government customers that could eventually engage in commercially-contracted SLV launch operations, much as NASA has pathfinded for ISS re-supply.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA APPLICATION(S) (LIMIT 150 WORDS)
An affordable SLV could be used to launch cubesat and nanosat payloads, either in clusters into low Earth orbit or into high energy trajectories typical of deep space exploration missions. Typical users include the CubeSat Launch Initiative and the Educational Launch of Nanosatellites (ELaNa) program. At the technology level, AM components could improve the subsystem affordability of engines and structural components for both launch systems and spacecraft.

TECHNOLOGY TAXONOMY MAPPING
Prototyping
Processing Methods
Metallics
Pressure & Vacuum Systems
Launch Engine/Booster
Hardware-in-the-Loop Testing


PROPOSAL NUMBER:14-1 T1.02-9996
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Small Launch Vehicle Propulsion Technology
PROPOSAL TITLE: ACE Booster

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN: (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/ZIP, Phone)
Gloyer-Taylor Laboratories, LLC
2212 Harton Boulevard
Tullahoma, TN 37388-5583
(931) 455-7333

RESEARCH INSTITUTION: (RI Name, Mail Address, City/State/ZIP, Phone)
University of Tennessee Space Institute
411 BH Goethert Parkway
Tullahoma, TN 37388-9700
(931) 393-7351

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER: (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/ZIP, Phone)
Paul Gloyer
paul.gloyer@gtlcompany.com
2212 Harton Blvd
Tullahoma,  TN 37388-5583
(931) 455-7333

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 3
End: 3

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)
GTL has been developing three transformational technologies that have the capability to disrupt the traditional launch vehicle paradigm. BHL composite cryotank technology provides a four times improvement over large Al-Li tanks, offering a 6 percentage point improvement in stage PMF. Superior Stability Engine is an innovative liquid rocket engine configured to maximize combustion stability margin while also maximizing engine performance. NORPS is a non-helium gas generator system that can be used to pressurize the propellant tanks for 1/3 the mass and 1/10 the volume of a comparable helium based system. The Advanced Cryogenic Expendable (ACE) Booster design uses these technologies to achieve high performance and low cost in a small vehicle. When implemented in an optimized design, the ACE technologies offer revolutionary performance. In the proposed Phase I effort, GTL will perform a conceptual design study to assess the impact of design constraints on the implementation of the ACE technologies. From this, an optimized design will be developed. A technology roadmap will be created to show how the capabilities can be achieved in the near term.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATION(S) (LIMIT 150 WORDS)
After flight validation, the ACE Booster could be used in a commercial small launch vehicle. The ACE Booster could also be reconfigured to serve as a military weapons platform and/or a hypersonic test bed. The technologies used in the ACE Booster could also be applied to larger vehicles, decreasing the overall cost to access space.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA APPLICATION(S) (LIMIT 150 WORDS)
The ACE Booster offers the potential for substantial performance gains and cost savings that will aid NASA's access to space. When developed and implemented in a launch system, the ACE Booster would reduce the cost of launching small payloads to orbit. The technologies used in the ACE Booster could also be applied to larger vehicles, decreasing the overall cost to access space.

TECHNOLOGY TAXONOMY MAPPING
Space Transportation & Safety
Characterization
Models & Simulations (see also Testing & Evaluation)
Composites
Pressure & Vacuum Systems
Structures
Vehicles (see also Autonomous Systems)
Launch Engine/Booster


PROPOSAL NUMBER:14-1 T3.01-9927
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Innovative Energy Harvesting Technology Development
PROPOSAL TITLE: Heat Harvesting by Artificial Muscles

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN: (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/ZIP, Phone)
Lynntech, Inc.
2501 Earl Rudder Freeway South
College Station, TX 77845-6023
(979) 764-2218

RESEARCH INSTITUTION: (RI Name, Mail Address, City/State/ZIP, Phone)
University of Texas Dallas
800 West Campbell Road
Richardson, TX 75080-3021
(972) 883-6530

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER: (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/ZIP, Phone)
Anuncia Gonzalez-Martin
anuncia.gonzales-martin@lynntech.com
2501 Earl Rudder Frwy S.
College Station,  TX 77845-6023
(979) 764-2200

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 2
End: 3

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)
NASA emphasizes the need to implement energy harvesting in its future mission activities. By harvesting energy from the ambient surroundings, there is less dependence on a primary power supply (e.g., combustion engines, fuel cells, batteries, solar cells, etc.). Overall power consumption is thereby reduced, equipment weight goes down and logistical supply needs are simplified. Future NASA missions will need innovative energy harvesting methods that are cost effective with reduced mass, reduced volume, and that accommodate extreme operating conditions. For this STTR application, Lynntech has teamed Dr. Ray Baughman (Director of NanoTech Institute, University of Texas at Dallas) to pioneer the use of artificial muscles (also known as coiled polymer actuators) as an advanced method for heat-to-electricity energy harvesting. Our primary application is to harvest waste heat from airplane engines, but it could be adapted for use in many other applications where waste heat is generated.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATION(S) (LIMIT 150 WORDS)
The proposed technology will provide a valuable supply of electricity obtained from harvesting waste heat from diverse sources such as jet engines, vehicle engines and exhaust pipes, microchips, solar cells, warm soils, power stations, boilers, oil refineries, steel manufacturing, glass manufacturing, gas pipelines, compressors, furnaces, ovens, incinerators, etc. This in turn will reduce the net power consumption. Market sectors with attractiveness for waste heat recovery include oil and gas extraction, petroleum and coal products manufacturing, chemical plants, pulp and paper mills, steel, metal, glass, and brick manufacturing, etc. Of special interest is heat waste harvested in remote locations, helping to provide independence from the electric grid.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA APPLICATION(S) (LIMIT 150 WORDS)
The expected results of the Phase I project will provide a strong technical base for Phase II follow-on research and development work, so as to apply this technology to NASA's roadmap in the discipline area of Space Power and Energy Storage (SPES) for Exploration Systems Mission Directorate (ESMD). In addition, the National Research Council has identified "Increase Available Power" as a NASA Top Technical Challenge. Also, a NASA Grand Challenge is "Affordable and Abundant Power" for NASA mission activities. As such, novel energy harvesting technologies are critical toward supporting future power generation systems to begin to meet these challenges. NASA has many unique needs for space power that require special technology solutions due to extreme environmental conditions. These missions would benefit from the advanced thermal energy harvesting technology proposed here. It will provide a valuable supply of electricity obtained from harvesting waste heat from diverse sources such as engines, solar cells, microchips, warm soils, as well as heat sources in extra-terrestrial locations.

TECHNOLOGY TAXONOMY MAPPING
Conversion


PROPOSAL NUMBER:14-1 T3.01-9987
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Innovative Energy Harvesting Technology Development
PROPOSAL TITLE: Compact Energy Conversion Module

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN: (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/ZIP, Phone)
Extreme Diagnostics, Inc.
6960 Firerock Court
Boulder, CO 80301-3814
(303) 523-8924

RESEARCH INSTITUTION: (RI Name, Mail Address, City/State/ZIP, Phone)
The Regents of the University of Michigan
3003 South State Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1274
(734) 764-7250

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER: (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/ZIP, Phone)
Robert Owen
rowen@extremediagnostics.com
6960 Firerock Court
Boulder,  CO 80301-3814
(303) 523-8924

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 4
End: 5

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)
This STTR project delivers a compact vibration-based Energy Conversion Module (ECM) that powers sensors for purposes like structural health monitoring (SHM). NASA customers include the ISS and the Orion deep space vehicle, both of which need wireless sensors to monitor and assess structural health. The ECM represents a significant advancement in the use of wireless and self-powered devices by enabling the miniaturization of vibration-based energy harvesting devices suitable for powering sensors. Implications of the innovation There exist two basic problems in reducing the size of vibration-based harvesters that plague all current commercially available devices—both are addressed here. The first is addressed by eliminating the problem of frequency matching in compact devices. The second is addressed by providing a broadband device capable of energy conversion across a range of frequencies. Technical objectives Our initial prototype is a TRL 4 unit that we used to demonstrate our ability to convert kinetic energy to useful electrical power. This prototype combines piezoelectric beam type transducers with artificially induced magnetic fields to force a nonlinear broadband behavior. Phase I shows feasibility through experimental tests and theoretical models that will establish that we can use this approach for compact sizing of low center frequency transducers. Research description Phase I transforms our prototype into a compact system and performs a variety of engineering feasibility tests under both typical ambient kinetic environments and the more high intensity environments that might be found in propulsion testing and launch facilities. Anticipated results Anticipated results include a reduction in the amount of battery waste generated by self-powered electronic devices that enables long-term wireless deployment. Phase I completes a TRL 5 prototype and validates system performance in relevant vibration environments. Phase II delivers a TRL 7 unit.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATION(S) (LIMIT 150 WORDS)
The current dependence on batteries to power pacemakers, defibrillators, cochlear implants, neurostimulators, and other medical devices raise numerous safety and reliability concerns. Energy harvesting promises to eliminate the need for bulky batteries and the risk of battery-related defects. Besides medical applications, commercial applications for wireless sensors include Homeland Security structural analysis to mitigate threats (preparedness) and assess damage (response), smart structures, and SHM of civil infrastructures, land/marine structures, and military structures. This broader impact includes practical and widespread monitoring with the potential for preventing catastrophic failures and saving lives. Civil infrastructure includes bridges, highway systems, buildings, power plants, underground structures, and wind energy turbines (alternative and renewable energy). Land/marine structures include automobiles, trains, submarines, ships, and offshore structures. Military structures include helicopters, aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) and others. The need for self-powered SHM sensors is driven by an aging infrastructure, malicious humans, and the introduction of advanced materials and structures. SHM applications are also driven by a desire to lower costs by moving from schedule-based to condition-based maintenance. Key commercial players include Energy Harvesting Sensors and Smart Materials. However, their harvesting products are neither compact nor broadband.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA APPLICATION(S) (LIMIT 150 WORDS)
Energy consumption is now often the most significant problem discussed whenever technology is considered. As the energy efficiency of computational devices drops, self-power via harvested energy becomes increasingly viable for a host of electronic devices for sensing and other applications. The ECM kinetic energy harvester provides self-power for a variety of wireless sensors that include those for in situ structural health monitoring (SHM) of NASA vehicles and infrastructure. ECM directly supports non-destructive evaluation (NDE) systems for safety assurance of future vehicles—especially those making heavy use of composite materials. There is a major effort within NASA, the FAA, and the military to develop integrated vehicle health management (IVHM) technology that uses SHM information for computer controlled recovery actions aimed at avoiding catastrophe. ECM provides enabling technology for this effort. ECM supports the NASA Engineering and Safety Center with tools for independent testing, analysis, and assessment of high-risk projects. NASA applications include self-health monitoring of future exploration vehicles and support structures like habitats and Composite Overwrapped Pressure Vessels (COPVs). ECM-powered sensors reduce maintenance, minimize crew interaction, and reduce spaceflight technical risks and needs. ECM is directly responsive to Topic T3.01, which calls for innovative and compact systems to harvest and convert kinetic energy sources.

TECHNOLOGY TAXONOMY MAPPING
Air Transportation & Safety
Space Transportation & Safety
Health Monitoring & Sensing (see also Sensors)
Condition Monitoring (see also Sensors)
Conversion
Generation
Quality/Reliability
Smart/Multifunctional Materials
Nondestructive Evaluation (NDE; NDT)
Diagnostics/Prognostics


PROPOSAL NUMBER:14-1 T4.01-9879
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Dynamic Servoelastic (DSE) Network Control, Modeling, and Optimization
PROPOSAL TITLE: Dynamic ASE Modeling and Optimization of Aircraft with SpaRibs

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN: (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/ZIP, Phone)
M4 Engineering, Inc.
4020 Long Beach Boulevard
Long Beach, CA 90807-2683
(562) 981-7797

RESEARCH INSTITUTION: (RI Name, Mail Address, City/State/ZIP, Phone)
Virginia Polytechnic Institute
300 Turner Street Northwest
Blacksburg, VA 24061-0203
(540) 231-4471

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER: (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/ZIP, Phone)
Myles Baker
mbaker@m4-engineering.com
4020 Long Beach Boulevard
Long Beach,  CA 90807-2683
(562) 305-3391

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 3
End: 4

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)
We propose development and demonstration of a dynamic aeroservoelastic modeling and optimization system based on curvilinear internal structural arrangements of variable topology. This will allow combined sizing and topology optimization of complete airplane configurations including aeroservoelastic performance.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATION(S) (LIMIT 150 WORDS)
This technology is expected to apply to design of new airplane configurations, including subsonic transports, supersonic transports, business jets, UAV's, fighters, bombers, and RLV configurations.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA APPLICATION(S) (LIMIT 150 WORDS)
This technology is expected to apply to design of new airplane configurations, including subsonic transports, supersonic transports, business jets, UAV's, and RLV configurations.

TECHNOLOGY TAXONOMY MAPPING
Air Transportation & Safety
Analytical Methods
Algorithms/Control Software & Systems (see also Autonomous Systems)
Models & Simulations (see also Testing & Evaluation)
Software Tools (Analysis, Design)
Structures


PROPOSAL NUMBER:14-1 T4.01-9909
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Dynamic Servoelastic (DSE) Network Control, Modeling, and Optimization
PROPOSAL TITLE: Distributed, Passivity-Based, Aeroservoelastic Control (DPASC) of Structurally Efficient Aircraft in the Presence of Gusts

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN: (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/ZIP, Phone)
Tao of Systems Integration, Inc.
1100 Exploration Way
Hampton, VA 23666-1339
(757) 220-5040

RESEARCH INSTITUTION: (RI Name, Mail Address, City/State/ZIP, Phone)
The Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station
400 Harvey Mitchell Parkway South, Suite 300
College Station, TX 77845-4375
(979) 845-6733

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER: (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/ZIP, Phone)
Arun Mangalam
arun@taosystem.com
1100 Exploration Way
Hampton,  VA 23666-1339
(757) 220-5040

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 1
End: 4

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)
Control of extremely lightweight, long endurance aircraft poses a challenging aeroservoelastic (ASE) problem due to significantly increased flexibility, and aerodynamic, structural, and actuator nonlinearities. To obtain the benefits of increased aerostructural efficiency, the controller needs to trim at a specified optimal shape while minimizing structural fatigue from gust disturbances. Tao Systems and Texas A&M University propose to develop a distributed, passivity-based, ASE controller (DPASC) using sectional aerodynamic and structural output-only feedback. This scalable, decentralized approach has the potential to minimize the impact of aerodynamic / structural uncertainties and control surface free-play / saturation, while guaranteeing global asymptotic stability.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATION(S) (LIMIT 150 WORDS)
For national security, the ability to cruise efficiently at a range of altitude, enabled by a substantial increase in cruise lift-to-drag (L/D) ratios over today's high-altitude reconnaissance aircraft, is vital, providing sustained presence and long range. Aerodynamic load/moment sensors would enable the efficient, robust active control of adaptive, lightweight wings to optimize lift distribution to maximize L/D. Cost-effectively improving the energy capture and reliability of wind turbines would help national renewable energy initiatives. A standalone aerodynamic load/moment sensor could provide output for control feedback to mitigate the turbine blade lifetime-limiting time varying loads generated by the ambient wind.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA APPLICATION(S) (LIMIT 150 WORDS)
The benefits of a distributed, passivity-based ASE system that we are proposing has a number of benefits: (1) addresses nonlinearities in aerodynamics, structures, and actuation, (2) increases controller robustness: reduces dependency on aerodynamic and structural uncertainties, (3) increases aerostructural efficiency, (4) enables mission persistence at a lower cost. For example, degradation due to atmospheric effects such as moisture and fatigue caused by constant wing stresses provides significant risk over the life of a HALE-type UAV, e.g., DARPA Vulture. Longevity of components is also a major technological risk. Using extremely high aspect ratios reduces drag. The system can utilize dynamic soaring for further aerodynamic efficiency. The system can adapted for using optimal control for efficient path planning or gaining aerodynamic advantages through formation flight.

TECHNOLOGY TAXONOMY MAPPING
Aerodynamics
Air Transportation & Safety
Relative Navigation (Interception, Docking, Formation Flying; see also Control & Monitoring; Planetary Navigation, Tracking, & Telemetry)
Autonomous Control (see also Control & Monitoring)
Algorithms/Control Software & Systems (see also Autonomous Systems)
Attitude Determination & Control
Models & Simulations (see also Testing & Evaluation)
Data Acquisition (see also Sensors)
Data Processing
Vehicles (see also Autonomous Systems)


PROPOSAL NUMBER:14-1 T4.01-9934
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Dynamic Servoelastic (DSE) Network Control, Modeling, and Optimization
PROPOSAL TITLE: Inflatable Wing Morphing Aircraft Aeroservoelastic Control and Design Demonstration

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN: (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/ZIP, Phone)
Intelligent Automation, Inc.
15400 Calhoun Drive, Suite 400
Rockville, MD 20855-2737
(301) 294-5221

RESEARCH INSTITUTION: (RI Name, Mail Address, City/State/ZIP, Phone)
University of Maryland
3179F Martin Hall
College Park, MD 20742-0001
(301) 405-6275

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER: (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/ZIP, Phone)
Peter Chen
pchen@i-a-i.com
15400 Calhoun Drive, Suite 400
Rockville,  MD 20855-2737
(301) 795-4463

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 3
End: 5

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)
The role of UASs in the DoD has been continuously growing and is expected to show much higher growth rates in operations in the near future. A pressing need for such platforms is the need to be able to satisfy multiple mission objectives, without "compromising" on efficiency. This need is further exacerbated by increasing fuel prices, that dictates higher aerodynamic efficiencies across the complete mission. Variable geometry aircraft, inspired by biological examples of high efficiency, are a natural choice for achieving this goal. This has become a particularly lucrative option with advances in smart materials and structures. However, there is much to be done in terms of actuation development and stable robust control to make such a concept practically feasible. To address this need, Intelligent Automation proposes an inflatable morphing wing aircraft concept based on pneumatic actuation mechanism to achieve several types of morphing. We also propose to develop novel adaptive control techniques that are provably stable in spite of transitions and aeroservoelastic interactions. These will be developed and demonstrated in flight tests to assure credibility of propose approach and enable rapid transition.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATION(S) (LIMIT 150 WORDS)
The design and demonstration of novel morphing concepts including actuation mechanisms and control concepts will be useful for several non-NASA clients. For the defense market, IAI's morphing UAV technology will be a TRL 5/6 hardware/software product that can be licensed for use by our strategic OEM partners, or a similar aircraft manufacturer, depending on the market being addressed. The technology is directly applicable to the Morphing Structures Program at DARPA, and will allow advancement of DoD's in-house technology. Also, with the increasing use of UASs by the DoD, several control system design technologies will be immensely useful. The Navy can also directly benefit from the compact UAVs developed in this effort and similar concepts can be scaled to larger programs, such as the X-47B. There is also a market for small UAV manufacturers who will be interested in building next generation UAV systems.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA APPLICATION(S) (LIMIT 150 WORDS)
The results of this effort will benefit several programs across NASA. The Subsonic Fixed Wing program will benefit from novel morphing aircraft concepts that have been flight tested and will enable highly aerodynamically efficient platforms in the future. The inflatable wing technology is also directly applicable to extra-terrestrial applications (such as Mars mission) and the Inflatable Wing Project. The novel system identification and adaptive control techniques will also benefit several control projects at NASA, particularly ones dealing with aeroservoelastic control.

TECHNOLOGY TAXONOMY MAPPING
Aerodynamics
Algorithms/Control Software & Systems (see also Autonomous Systems)
Microfabrication (and smaller; see also Electronics; Mechanical Systems; Photonics)
Composites
Smart/Multifunctional Materials
Actuators & Motors
Pressure & Vacuum Systems
Structures
Hardware-in-the-Loop Testing
Simulation & Modeling


PROPOSAL NUMBER:14-1 T4.02-9941
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Regolith Resources Robotics - R3
PROPOSAL TITLE: Free-Flying Unmanned Robotic Spacecraft for Asteroid Resource Prospecting and Characterization

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN: (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/ZIP, Phone)
Honeybee Robotics Spacecraft Mechanisms Corporation
398 W Washington Boulevard, Suite 200
Pasadena, CA 91103-2000
(626) 421-7902

RESEARCH INSTITUTION: (RI Name, Mail Address, City/State/ZIP, Phone)
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
600 South Clyde Morris Boulevard
Daytona Beach, FL 32114-3966
(386) 226-7953

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER: (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/ZIP, Phone)
Hever Moncayo
moncayoh@erau.edu
600 S Clyde Morris Blvd
Daytona Beach,  FL 32114-3966
(386) 226-7953

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 3
End: 4

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU) and Honeybee Robotics (HBR) proposes to develop an integrated autonomous free-flyer robotic spacecraft system to support the exploration and subsequent resource utilization of asteroids as well as other planetary bodies and moons. The proposed spacecraft will address the first step towards In Situ Resource Utilization from Near Earth Object bodies; namely it will prospect it with sample acquisition devices and characterize the NEO for ISRU potential. Embry-Riddle and Honeybee Robotics propose an innovative resource prospecting mission concept based on autonomous small marsupial free-flyer prospector spacecrafts. Such technologies are currently being developed at Embry-Riddle. The spacecraft will utilize unique technologies such as MicroDrills and Pneumatic Samplers previously developed under other SBIR projects by Honeybee Robotics. In particular, the proposal will focus on flight control and reconfiguration for guidance under extreme environments, vision-aided navigation approaches, and sampling systems design, testing and evaluation. The proposed system will be developed, simulated and evaluated during Phase I of the project, and experimentally validated and demonstrated during Phase II through flight testing on an autonomous research platform. The successful completion of the proposed research is anticipated to provide a theoretical and experimental framework to investigate the capabilities of a marsupial-based robotic system to explore and extract samples from terrains that would be inaccessible to traditional rover-type vehicles and where traditional flight guidance and navigation sensors, such as GPS receivers and magnetometers, are not functional.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATION(S) (LIMIT 150 WORDS)
Non-NASA applications for this technology include sampling of contaminated soils and liquid from hazardous environments (near nuclear reactors, oil spills, chemical spills etc.). Key subsystems such as the sampling probes, sensors could be re-purposed for sampling and investigating terrestrial sites. This would reduce the risk of sending personnel into contaminated environments.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA APPLICATION(S) (LIMIT 150 WORDS)
The acquisition of surface samples from small interplanetary bodies such as comets and asteroids, as well as small moons like Mars' Phobos, and Deimos holds great scientific interest. Under the NASA Authorization Act, Congress instructed NASA to "plan, develop, and implement a Near-Earth Object (NEO) Survey program to detect, track, catalogue, and characterize the physical characteristics of NEOs equal to or greater than 140 meters in diameter in order to assess the threat of such near-Earth objects to the Earth." In 2010, President Obama called for a new approach to space exploration, which would include human and robotic exploration of asteroids. Characterization of these objects would require novel approaches akin to what is here proposed. While the specifics of the subsystem design to be performed in the proposed effort are intended for a spacecraft-type platform, the general approach of marsupial robots for reconnaissance and sampling from bodies with very low gravitational fields can also be applied to other bodies such as the Moon.

TECHNOLOGY TAXONOMY MAPPING
Navigation & Guidance
Relative Navigation (Interception, Docking, Formation Flying; see also Control & Monitoring; Planetary Navigation, Tracking, & Telemetry)
Spacecraft Design, Construction, Testing, & Performance (see also Engineering; Testing & Evaluation)
Spacecraft Instrumentation & Astrionics (see also Communications; Control & Monitoring; Information Systems)
Tools/EVA Tools
Autonomous Control (see also Control & Monitoring)
Intelligence
Perception/Vision
Robotics (see also Control & Monitoring; Sensors)
Machines/Mechanical Subsystems


PROPOSAL NUMBER:14-1 T5.01-9895
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Autonomous Communications Systems
PROPOSAL TITLE: Low Cost Flexible Graphene-Based Digital Beam Forming Phased-Array Antennas

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN: (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/ZIP, Phone)
Omega Optics, Inc.
8500 Shoal Creek Boulevard, Building 4, Suite 200
Austin, TX 78757-7591
(512) 996-8833

RESEARCH INSTITUTION: (RI Name, Mail Address, City/State/ZIP, Phone)
Texas State University
601 University Drive
San Marcos, TX 78666-4684
(512) 245-1826

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER: (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/ZIP, Phone)
Harish Subbaraman
harish.subbaraman@omegaoptics.com
8500 Shoal Creek Blvd, Bldg 4, Suite 200
Austin,  TX 78757-7591
(872) 588-2689

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 3
End: 5

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)
Communication technologies support all NASA space missions, among which autonomous communication technologies are extremely beneficial to future missions. Communication technologies will expand mankind's understanding of planet earth and the universe. As the needs to gather more data, even more advanced antenna technologies will be essential to deliver orders of magnitude more data. Low cost high data-rate flexible active digital beam forming phased array antenna (PAA) is one of the enabling technologies. Graphene is one-atom-thick planar sheet of carbon atoms that has mobility of charge carriers in excess of 200,000 cm2V−1s−1. It is the lowest resistivity substance known at room temperature. The extremely low resistivity makes graphene the next generation conductor that we are going to use as interconnects and antenna elements. Graphene also has supreme mechanical properties extremely suitable for flexible electronics. It is lighter, stronger, harder and more flexible than steel. Furthermore, it is a recyclable and sustainably manufacturable product that is eco-friendly. Another advantage of graphene antennas is that due to the reduced wave propagation speed of graphene, the size of antenna can be reduced to a factor of 10, which is critical for the routing and power dissipation for large number element arrays. Prototype of a fully graphene-based 4-bit 4-element digital beam forming PAA on flexible substrate such as Kapton, including antennas, field effect transistor (FET) switches and phase shifters will be developed. Performance features of the flexible PAA will be characterized including frequency/bandwidth, gain/efficiency, and power consumption. The flexible high-speed electronics will enable active PAA deployment for NASA's lunar mission, including pressurized rovers, pressurized habitats, surface navigation, EVA, and etc.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATION(S) (LIMIT 150 WORDS)
The high operating frequency of the flexible graphene-FET is particularly useful in many Non-NASA applications requiring ultra-sensitive and standalone, including: (1) RF identification tags; (2) Sensors; (3) Smart cards; (4) Transparent conductors; (5) Electronic papers; (6) large area flat panel displays.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA APPLICATION(S) (LIMIT 150 WORDS)
(1) For autonomous communication systems Low power, low cost, reconfigurable digital beam forming antennas can increase capacity and enable more efficient high-data data handling and delivery. (2) For large inflatable PAA Among all large active PAA issues, the most serious is its cost (an electronic phase shifter costs between $200 and $5,000). Our technology will enable large-area inflatable active PAA deployment, due to the dramatically reduced cost (estimated cost/per element around $20 for large arrays). (3) For Lunar local networks Lunar local networks are expected to provide coverage for short (~10m) to medium range (~5-10km) communications at UHF/S/C-band, with date rates not to exceed 19 Mbps.

TECHNOLOGY TAXONOMY MAPPING
Entry, Descent, & Landing (see also Planetary Navigation, Tracking, & Telemetry)
Navigation & Guidance
Autonomous Control (see also Control & Monitoring)
Antennas
Routers, Switches
Transmitters/Receivers
Telemetry/Tracking (Cooperative/Noncooperative; see also Planetary Navigation, Tracking, & Telemetry)
Nanomaterials
Entry, Descent, & Landing (see also Astronautics)
Ranging/Tracking


PROPOSAL NUMBER:14-1 T5.01-9945
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Autonomous Communications Systems
PROPOSAL TITLE: Bio-Inspired Autonomous Communications Systems with Anomaly Detection Monitoring

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN: (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/ZIP, Phone)
EpiSys Science, Inc.
12234 Boulder View Drive
Poway, CA 92064-5339
(858) 805-5608

RESEARCH INSTITUTION: (RI Name, Mail Address, City/State/ZIP, Phone)
USC/ISI
4676 Admiralty Way
Marina Del Ray, CA 90292-6601
(310) 822-1511

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER: (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/ZIP, Phone)
Bo Ryu
boryu@episyscience.com
12234 Boulder View Dr
Poway,  CA 92064-5337
(858) 805-5608

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 3
End: 5

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)
We propose to develop and demonstrate BioComm, a bio-inspired autonomous communications system (ACS) aimed at dynamically reconfiguring and redeploying autonomous communication assets in accordance with both mission objectives and communication demands simultaneously. BioComm is embedded with ADaM (Anomaly Detection and Monitorin) capability, which enables human supervisors or operators to exploit, benefit from, and interact with BioComm systems with high confidence by alerting the operators of multiple, heterogeneous ACSs on anomalous system behaviors without requiring a deep understanding of the functions in the underlying systems. The proposed solution (BioComm-ADaM) is based on the unique combination of: (i) Digital Hormone Model augmented with Criticality-Sensitive Control with the goal of achieving rapid self-configuration and fully autonomous adaptive deployment, redeployment, and reconfiguration of NASA's autonomous communication assets under a broad range of mission scenarios; and (ii) Surprise-Based Learning capable of learning the expected or normal behavior of a wide range of autonomous systems, detect any behavioral anomalies or deviations from the norm, identify potential causes, recommend some feasible changes to a human supervisor, and execute the selected or recommended changes. The BioComm system adds a powerful new degree of freedom for self-adaptation, which is the "mobility" of autonomous communication assets based on their awareness of the "communication environment", thus allowing radios to adapt both their software parameters and physical locations or formations so as to best support space missions. Thus, BioComm will greatly expand the feasible dimensions of self-adaptation for communication parameters by further allowing the autonomous assets to "move" to "right" places when the autonomous adaptation of parameters alone is not sufficient in order to achieve much greater and powerful autonomous end-to-end communication capabilities.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATION(S) (LIMIT 150 WORDS)
Our non-NASA commercialization plan begins by completing our proof of concept prototypes of BioComm-ADaM and its components on the commercial-off-the-shelf software defined radios being developed for unmanned aerial systems (UAS). Currently, EpiSci is in active discussions with several large prime contractors (e.g., Boeing) as well as Air Force Research Laboratories and Office of Secretary of Defense to explore the most viable ways to transition and commercialize the Bio-AI technology. We anticipate that once Bio-AI find a suitable transition home, most likely the same agency or company will serve as the place for the BioComm-ADaM commercialization as well. With sufficient system testing conducted for the feasibility and reliability of the prototype systems, we will seek protection of our inventions by filing patents.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA APPLICATION(S) (LIMIT 150 WORDS)
We offer two NASA applications of the proposed BioComm-ADaM system. First, consider a scenario where the maximum-distance communication parameter profile configuration is not able to close the link between two autonomous assets, which forces them to initiate the Disruption Tolerant Networking (DTN) mode (store and forward). Without the mobility autonomy, they must wait until they are positioned to be able to communicate again. However, if BioComm's mobility autonomy is available for one or both assets, it (or both) may be able to autonomously adjust their positions (with the objective of minimum navigation) until they can communicate again. As a result, the mission will greatly benefit from potentially significant reduction of communication delay. Similarly, when a group of autonomous assets are flying in a large formation as a distributed "antenna" or "telescope," the physical scope of the formation can be dynamically enlarged or enhanced by autonomously moving the assets to the correct location without losing the radio communication while still maintaining the formation shape. These new capabilities can be inserted into NASA's future autonomous assets (unmanned ground robots, spacecrafts, aerial drones, etc).

TECHNOLOGY TAXONOMY MAPPING
Autonomous Control (see also Control & Monitoring)
Intelligence
Robotics (see also Control & Monitoring; Sensors)
Ad-Hoc Networks (see also Sensors)
Network Integration
Algorithms/Control Software & Systems (see also Autonomous Systems)
Command & Control
Telemetry/Tracking (Cooperative/Noncooperative; see also Planetary Navigation, Tracking, & Telemetry)
Prototyping
Simulation & Modeling


PROPOSAL NUMBER:14-1 T6.01-9951
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Synthetic/Engineering Biology for NASA Applications
PROPOSAL TITLE: An End-To-End Microfluidic Platform for Engineering Life Supporting Microbes in Space Exploration Missions

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN: (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/ZIP, Phone)
HJ Science & Technology, Inc.
2929 Seventh Street, Suite 120
Berkeley, CA 94710-2753
(408) 464-3873

RESEARCH INSTITUTION: (RI Name, Mail Address, City/State/ZIP, Phone)
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
One Cyclotron Road, 971-SP
Berkeley, CA 94720-0001
(510) 495-2833

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER: (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/ZIP, Phone)
Erik Jensen
erikjensen100@gmail.com
2929 Seventh Street, Suite 120
Berkeley,  CA 94710-2753
(925) 766-3997

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 4
End: 6

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)
HJ Science & Technology proposes a programmable, low-cost, and compact microfluidic platform capable of running automated end-to-end processes and optimization of cellular engineering and synthetic biology applications. In collaboration with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the Joint Genome Institute, we will establish the feasibility of the proposed microfluidic automation technology by engineering and screening cyanobacterial cells for enhanced production of free fatty acids (FFA), a metabolic crossroad for the synthesis of a suite of useful organic molecules including lipids, alkanes, and potential biofuels starting from carbon dioxide, a metabolic waste product. The ability to perform such automated synthetic biology experiments during NASA missions could enable the production of a broad range of materials on site, and optimization of bioregenerative systems in response to environmental changes. We will demonstrate the microfluidic automation capability for each of the key steps in cellular engineering: 1) construction of a plasmid containing genes for enhanced FFA production in cyanobacteria, 2) subsequent transformation into cyanobacterial cells/chromosomal integration, and 3) screening of expression products. As such, we can assess the FFA levels as a function of the gene variant in almost real time, thereby greatly enhancing our ability to control and optimize FFA production.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATION(S) (LIMIT 150 WORDS)
Synthetic biology offers significant advancements in a broad range of commercial applications including biofuel production, drug development, and agricultural development. The utility of our microfluidic technology in diverse fields is further enhanced by the development of automation procedures for a suite of organisms including cyanobacteria, E. coli, and yeast. As such, the proposed technology could be used in engineering biological processes such as mass producing effective medications, manufacturing specialty chemicals, engineering organisms and enzymes for better biofuel production, or developing crops that are more resistant to pathogens or drought. Generating and screening multiple combinations of genes, enzymes, and other biological parts is also vital to biotechnology research and development.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA APPLICATION(S) (LIMIT 150 WORDS)
Microfluidic automation technology for synthetic biology offers significant opportunities for the development of life sustaining biological systems for long term space exploration missions. Among the potential applications are enhanced production of food and fuels from photosynthetic organisms, processing of waste products such as CO2 or urea, atmosphere regeneration, and water re-utilization as a part of environmental control and life support on the International Space Station. By engineering with new or enhanced metabolic pathways for the production or processing of chemical resources or waste, photosynthesis using cyanobacteria can be a particularly effective mechanism for environmental control and life support.

TECHNOLOGY TAXONOMY MAPPING
Analytical Instruments (Solid, Liquid, Gas, Plasma, Energy; see also Sensors)
Biomass Growth
Essential Life Resources (Oxygen, Water, Nutrients)
Food (Preservation, Packaging, Preparation)
Waste Storage/Treatment
Sources (Renewable, Nonrenewable)


PROPOSAL NUMBER:14-1 T6.02-9883
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Metal Organic Framework Sorbents for Spacecraft Medical Applications
PROPOSAL TITLE: Novel Metal Organic Framework Synthesis for Spacecraft Oxygen Capture

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN: (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/ZIP, Phone)
Busek Company Inc.
11 Tech Circle
Natick, MA 01760-1023
(508) 655-5565

RESEARCH INSTITUTION: (RI Name, Mail Address, City/State/ZIP, Phone)
University of Utah
315 South 1400 East
Salt Lake City, UT 84112-0850
(801) 581-7309

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER: (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/ZIP, Phone)
Yu-Hui Chiu
ychiu@busek.com
11 Tech Circle
Natick,  MA 01760-1023
(508) 655-5565

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 1
End: 2

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)
Busek and University of Utah propose to develop novel metal organic framework (MOF) material to efficiently capture oxygen in spacecraft cabin environment. The proposed novel MOF is postulated to be capable of separating oxygen from ambient air with high efficiency, and at the same time, be stable to moisture and resistant to decomposition. In Phase I, our team shall synthesize the proposed MOF and a MOF of known oxygen capture capability as the benchmark. The MOFs will be tested for their oxygen capture capability, gas selectivity, and reversibility. The effects of water on capture capability will also be examined. The physical measurements will guide the syntheses. At the end of Phase I, a preliminary sub-scale proof of concept will be explored for configuration optimization with relevant air flows. In Phase II, we shall validate the subscale proof-of-concept device and further scale up toward a prototype MOF-based O2 capture system.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATION(S) (LIMIT 150 WORDS)
MOF-based oxygen concentrators could be adapted effortlessly in the medical and health industries. The reduction of weight and power feature would further benefit portable oxygen concentrators.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA APPLICATION(S) (LIMIT 150 WORDS)
The proposed synthesis scheme could potentially yield a new MOF capable of capturing oxygen effectively and of withstanding moistures. Such MOF-based system will not only improve the control of oxygen level in spacecraft during medical oxygen application, but also provide means to concentrate oxygen in the confined environment.

TECHNOLOGY TAXONOMY MAPPING
Essential Life Resources (Oxygen, Water, Nutrients)
Medical
Remediation/Purification


PROPOSAL NUMBER:14-1 T8.01-9913
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Technologies for Planetary Compositional Analysis and Mapping
PROPOSAL TITLE: Intelligent Spectrometry for Robotic Explorers

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN: (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/ZIP, Phone)
Mesh Robotics, LLC
142 Crescent Drive
Pittsburgh, PA 15228-1050
(412) 606-3842

RESEARCH INSTITUTION: (RI Name, Mail Address, City/State/ZIP, Phone)
Carnegie Mellon University
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3815
(412) 268-5421

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER: (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/ZIP, Phone)
David Wettergreen
dsw@ri.cmu.edu
5000 Forbes Ave
Pittsburgh,  PA 15213-3815
(412) 268-5421

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 2
End: 4

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)
Our aim in this project is to apply the state-of-the-art in science autonomy, including the PI's recent work at Carnegie Mellon in areas of automatic spectrometer targeting and spectra collection, science-guided path planning, and orbital terrain classification, to the creation of Intelligent Spectrometry for Robotic Explorers (ISRE). In our vision, ISRE will enable real-time, on-board analysis of spectroscopic data to guide spectrometer targeting. Spectrometer targeting involves both selecting rover navigational goals and directing a spectrometer foreoptic to accurately measure intended target rocks or soil. The expected result is that the most informative science targets will be automatically sampled and that quality of the science data return will improve while the required scientist effort and necessary communication bandwidth will be reduced. ISRE will employ algorithms to segment images into spectrally-similar regions using feature extraction and classification. These regions can be targeted for spectrometry and experiment-design techniques will be applied to determine the best sampling strategy for coverage and signal maximization without resource wasting oversampling. The rover-collected spectra can then be unmixed into endmembers that can be associated with orbital observations or geologically interpreted by scientists. Classified spectra can be aggregated into maps, used to detect spectral distinctions including outliers, and interpreted to plan spacecraft actions more likely to produce informative results. Our specific innovations are: feature extraction for image segmentation and spectral clustering; discovering exceptional (outlier) spectra, which may have significant scientific value; associating spectral endmembers with geologic terrain; rover path planning for science sample collection; and integration of algorithms into an open-source framework.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATION(S) (LIMIT 150 WORDS)
There are significant commercial opportunities for technologies like ISRE that can automatically classify and characterize the classes within large satellite data sets. Many applications in geology, hydrology, and agriculture could benefit from the advanced machine-learning techniques that ISRE will employ. In particular, we believe that ISRE represents a novel and commercially lucrative method of extracting information from satellite data in the following three ways: (1) The use of unsupervised learning dramatically reduces the manual effort required to train the information-extraction system; (2) Our planning algorithms can decide when and where to collect follow-up data (e.g,. by pointing a satellite or taking ground-truth measurements), which are typically expensive to collect, and so they should only be requested on the most useful samples -- a direct analogy to the challenge of returning science data from the surface of Mars; (4) ISRE's is designed to detect outlier data that fails to be well classified. This capability can focus the analysis of geologists onto map features or regions that are poorly understood.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA APPLICATION(S) (LIMIT 150 WORDS)
Distant planetary rovers communicate with scientists only intermittently because of limited visibility and availability of Earth-based antennas. As the number of spacecraft needing attention grows and spacecraft longevity increases, this bandwidth constraint will only get worse. It is therefore critical to maximize the information content in each transmission. Autonomy can improve productivity in intervals between communication opportunities and increase science data returned. In particular, science autonomy makes decisions affecting the scientific measurements that will be collected or transmitted. There is a need for smart software that intelligently targets, acquires, analyzes, and compresses imaging spectroscopy data. We will to apply the state of art in science autonomy, including the recent work at Carnegie Mellon in areas of automatic spectrometer targeting and spectra collection, science-guided path planning, and orbital terrain classification, to the creation of Intelligent Spectrometry for Robotic Explorers (ISRE). ISRE will enable real-time analysis of spectroscopic data to guide spectrometer targeting. This involves selecting rover navigation goals and directing a spectrometer foreoptic to measure the intended target rock or soil. In this way, the most informative science targets will be automatically sampled, the quality of the science data return will improve, abd the required scientist effort and necessary communication bandwidth will be reduced.

TECHNOLOGY TAXONOMY MAPPING
Perception/Vision
Image Analysis
Visible
Multispectral/Hyperspectral


PROPOSAL NUMBER:14-1 T8.01-9935
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Technologies for Planetary Compositional Analysis and Mapping
PROPOSAL TITLE: Compact Isotope Analysis System for In-Situ Biosignature Investigation

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN: (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/ZIP, Phone)
Opto-Knowledge Systems, Inc. (OKSI)
19805 Hamilton Avenue
Torrance, CA 90502-1341
(310) 756-0520

RESEARCH INSTITUTION: (RI Name, Mail Address, City/State/ZIP, Phone)
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL)
902 Battelle Boulevard, P.O. Box 999
Richland, WA 99352-1793
(888) 375-7665

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER: (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/ZIP, Phone)
Jason Kriesel
jason@oksi.com
19805 Hamilton Ave
Torrance,  CA 90502-1341
(310) 756-0520

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 3
End: 4

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)
We propose to develop a sensor for in-situ stable isotope analysis from a lander/rover on future planetary missions. The system will enable the collection of valuable information applicable to biosignature investigations, i.e., the search for evidence of life within the solar system. Current limitations to in-situ isotope measurements will be overcome by utilizing a hollow fiber optic based IR spectroscopy concept. This concept enables high precision measurements within the ultra-small sample volume (<<1ml) of the hollow fiber and has proven to be three orders of magnitude more sensitive in terms of required sample size than current state of the art isotope sensors. The proposed project will focus on transitioning the current lab-based technique to a small size, weight, and power (SWaP) device that can be operated unattended. Significant strides will be made in this direction through the use of optimized hollow fiber technology developed at OKSI. In Phase I, proposed concepts for improving the system performance, reducing the SWaP, and engineering a field-capable device will be proven and specific options down selected for full development in Phase II. A complete prototype will be produced to measure Carbon (C) and Sulfur (S) isotope ratios from solid rock samples in Phase II. The ability to generate simultaneous C and S isotope measurements from solid samples has great potential for assessing biosignatures relating to sulfate reducing organisms and organisms using simple C substrates (including methanogens, fermenters, and others). The sensitivity afforded by the proposed system would open up this capability to smaller samples than ever before measured as well as provide a potential device for remote deployment. This could be a significant development in the search for these biosignatures on other planets and near space objects as well as in the early Earth rock record.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATION(S) (LIMIT 150 WORDS)
The CAS sensor to be developed under this project will provide an extremely attractive alternative to both isotope ratio mass spectrometers (IRMS) and cavity ring down spectrometers (CRDS). The CAS will be relatively inexpensive, require only picomoles of material, and under this project, will be developed to be easily portable and operated unattended. Such a system will fill niche markets in forensic analysis, environmental sensing, human breath analysis, and industrial process control. Furthermore, the new capabilities and features of the CAS will enable new applications in isotope and gas sensing that simply were not possible before.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA APPLICATION(S) (LIMIT 150 WORDS)
The isotope sensor resulting from this project will be developed to support efforts to search for evidence of life on future NASA missions. The research is specifically relevant to NASA Objective 2.3 which is to "Ascertain the content, origin, and evolution of the solar system and the potential for life elsewhere," as well as NASA Astrobiology Roadmap Goal 7: "Determine how to recognize signatures of life on other worlds and on Earth." In fact, NASA Astrobiology Roadmap Objective 7.1 is to "Learn how to recognize and interpret biosignatures which, if identified in samples from ancient rocks on Earth or from other planets, can help to detect and/or characterize ancient and/or present-day life." The anticipated technology would also be useful for the exploration of the Moon and asteroids, since it is able to quantify local variations in &#948; 13C, which have been observed in primitive meteorites, comets, and interplanetary dust particles when investigated at the microscale. The capillary absorption spectrometer (CAS) at the heart of the system will also provide a new high precision, ultra-low-volume sensor relevant to a range of other NASA applications. These include atmospheric sensing of Earth and other planets (e.g., Uranus) environmental sensing from a small UAV, analysis of soil bacteria related to Carbon cycle, as well as full elemental analysis of various microscopic-sized samples and organisms.

TECHNOLOGY TAXONOMY MAPPING
Analytical Instruments (Solid, Liquid, Gas, Plasma, Energy; see also Sensors)
Lasers (Measuring/Sensing)
Biological Signature (i.e., Signs Of Life)
Chemical/Environmental (see also Biological Health/Life Support)
Optical/Photonic (see also Photonics)
Infrared


PROPOSAL NUMBER:14-1 T8.01-9937
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Technologies for Planetary Compositional Analysis and Mapping
PROPOSAL TITLE: Acousto-Optic Tunable Filter-Based Polarimetric Spectral Sensor With Progressive Algorithm For Material Analysis and Mapping

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN: (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/ZIP, Phone)
Brimrose Technology Corporation
P.O. Box 616, 19 Loveton Circle
Sparks, MD 21152-9201
(410) 472-2600

RESEARCH INSTITUTION: (RI Name, Mail Address, City/State/ZIP, Phone)
University Of Maryland Baltimore County
1000 Hilltop Circle
Baltimore, MD 21250-0001
(410) 455-1336

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER: (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/ZIP, Phone)
Sudhir Trivedi
strivedi@brimrosetechnology.com
19 Loveton Circle
Sparks,  MD 21152-9201
(410) 472-2600

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 5
End: 6

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)
The prevalence of off earth landing missions both proposed and undertaken has been steadily increasing. With the proposal of missions, not only to Mars, but also to comets, asteroids and outer planet moons, the ruggedness and robustness of equipment must meet the challenges of ever harsher environments. As a part of these missions, researchers wish to analyze the materials which make up the surface of these bodies and search for organic material. Brimrose proposes to develop a novel, compact, fast spectropolarimeter that will be capable of operating in the short wave infrared. The analysis of polarized light can help discriminate and classify materials and identify objects of. Measurement of polarization state can also provide various characteristics such as surface properties, shape, shading, and roughness, and can be used to identify unique features that will allow more accurate discrimination between various materials than spectral data alone. Development of space-ready hardware and algorithms for the detection and analysis of polarized light in space based analysis applications is needed to enable high confidence material discrimination. The development of proposed full-scope spectropolarimeter will offer a dramatically improved optical solution for material analysis by performing fast spectral profile acquisition with an additional feature of complete polarization information.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATION(S) (LIMIT 150 WORDS)
The spectropolarimetric system resulting from this work will primarily be important in anomaly detection, countermine research, and camouflage concealment and detection, and identification and discrimination of friend vs foe using taggants in military applications. Furthermore, such a fast system will have varied applications in atmospheric monitoring. Moreover, the instrumentation that will result from the proposed program will be immensely valuable for on-line process and feedback control and R&D in a wide variety of industries such as pharmaceuticals, chemicals, pulp and paper, biotechnology. Atmospherics. This device can help to facilitate the objectives of the Earth Science Enterprise (ESE) and the Earth Observing System (EOS). Chemical. For the identification of materials, blending / batching verification and reaction monitoring; Thin-Film. For bulk inspection of the consistency and quality of thin film manufacturing Pharmaceutical. For bulk inspection of capsules and tablets, chemical verification and purity testing; Food & Dairy. For monitoring of moisture, fat and protein content; Pulp & Paper &#150; for monitoring of moisture, cellulose, and lignin prior to harvesting; Mining. For the examination of mineralogy parameters, mineral mapping and soil sampling. Aircraft. For the identification and location of surface stress and fractures in aircraft hull.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA APPLICATION(S) (LIMIT 150 WORDS)
There are a number of potential NASA applications for spectropolarimetric imaging: Material Databasing. As more and more missions are undertaken involving landers, diverse and accurate databases of the spectral and polarimetric characteristics of various materials will be needed to quickly and accurately identify surface solid, liquid and gaseous materials Structural Validation. The spectral and polarimetric data obtained via 2-dimensional spectropolarimetric imaging can be used to view warping, small fractures and other deficiencies/issues that may occur in the structure of space based mission equipment. Various Missions. 1) In situ, non-destructive analysis of dust and icy surfaces. 2) Identification of organics. 3) Atmospheric radiometry 4) Rheology. Combustion Spectroscopy. The 2-dimensional nature of AOTF based hyperspectral imaging allows for area spectral data collection during combustion events. Non-destructive testing of space compliant parts. Spectropolarimetric imaging allows for the non contact, non destructive analysis of the surface of components. Qualification of time-sensative materials in space. Data models will allow the qualification of time sensitive consumable items in space. For instance, the potency of pharmaceuticals.

TECHNOLOGY TAXONOMY MAPPING
Image Processing
Data Acquisition (see also Sensors)
Data Modeling (see also Testing & Evaluation)
Data Processing
Detectors (see also Sensors)
Biological Signature (i.e., Signs Of Life)
Optical/Photonic (see also Photonics)
Infrared
Multispectral/Hyperspectral


PROPOSAL NUMBER:14-1 T8.01-9947
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Technologies for Planetary Compositional Analysis and Mapping
PROPOSAL TITLE: Ultrastable and Compact Deep UV Laser Source for Raman Spectroscopy

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN: (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/ZIP, Phone)
TIPD, LLC
1430 North 6th Avenue
Tucson, AZ 85705-6644
(520) 622-0804

RESEARCH INSTITUTION: (RI Name, Mail Address, City/State/ZIP, Phone)
University of Arizona
PO Box 210158 Room 510
Tucson, AZ 85721-0158
(520) 626-7934

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER: (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/ZIP, Phone)
Valery Temyanko
vtemyanko@optics.arizona.edu
1430 N. 6th Ave.
Tucson,  AZ 85705-6644
(520) 626-7934

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 4
End: 5

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)
Deep-ultraviolet (UV) Raman spectroscopy is a powerful method to collect chemically specific information about complex samples because deep-UV (?? < 250 nm) excitation shows an over 200-fold greater efficiency compared to commonly used 785 nm excitation and has the ability to avoid fluorescence background in the Raman spectra. The availability of compact, robust, and reliable deep-UV laser sources has been always considered a major bottleneck problem on implementing this spectroscopic technique for NASA's space-borne applications. TIPD proposes to develop an ultrastable, compact, and long-lived deep-UV laser source for Raman spectroscopy based on our substantial experiences and facilities in developing single-frequency fiber lasers and solid-state deep-UV laser sources. Cooperating with the University of Arizona, we will develop an ultrastable and compact high power single-frequency single-polarization fiber laser system at 976 nm. The deep-UV laser source at 244 nm will be generated through two successive frequency doubling systems. In this phase I program, we will demonstrate deep-UV generation though frequency quadrupling of a 976 nm single-frequency fiber laser. In phase II, a deep-UV laser prototype meeting all the criteria of NASA's applications will be developed.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATION(S) (LIMIT 150 WORDS)
Deep UV sources can be broadly used for Raman spectroscopy, laser cooling and trapping, laser inspection, optical data storage, metrology, biomedical applications, and laser lithography. Besides as ultra-stable narrow-linewidth laser sources for nonlinear wavelength converter, the single-frequency fiber lasers at 976 nm can also be used for low noise laser pumps for a variety of lasers at 1 ??m and 1.5 ??m. The 488 nm blue lasers have potential applications in submarine imaging, sensing, communications, data storage, undersea oil exploration, full color displays, and medicine.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA APPLICATION(S) (LIMIT 150 WORDS)
Deep-UV Raman spectroscopy is a powerful tool to identify a variety of gas, liquid, and solid materials in the universe. Compact and ultrastable deep-UV laser sources can be used for planetary compositional, geological, and mineralogical analyses, planetary sample acquisition and habitability assessment, the search for past life on Mars, and human protection in aerospace.

TECHNOLOGY TAXONOMY MAPPING
Lasers (Measuring/Sensing)


PROPOSAL NUMBER:14-1 T8.02-9980
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Next Generation Total Lightning Detection Sensor
PROPOSAL TITLE: 3D Geolocation of Current Pulses in Clouds Using a 6-Axis EB Vector Sensor

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN: (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/ZIP, Phone)
QUASAR Federal Systems, Inc.
5754 Pacific Center Boulevard, Suite 203
San Diego, CA 92121-4206
(858) 412-1839

RESEARCH INSTITUTION: (RI Name, Mail Address, City/State/ZIP, Phone)
University of Arizona
PO Box 210158 Room 510
Tucson, AZ 85721-0158
(520) 621-6831

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER: (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/ZIP, Phone)
Yongming Zhang
yongming@quasarfs.com
5754 Pacific Center Blvd. Suite 203
San Diego,  CA 92121-4207
(858) 412-1737

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 3
End: 5

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)
Lightning discharges within or near critical facilities can disrupt activities or result in damage. Although existing lightning locating systems can geolocate breakdown processes with accuracies of 10s of meters at heights above 1.5-2 km, they do not accurately report ground strike locations or provide estimates of current and charge transfer. In addition, conventional VLF/LF LLS networks do not currently report lightning channels descending towards or contacting ground with enough accuracy to address this problem. There is a need for a system that can improve location accuracy and detection efficiency. Under this NASA STTR program, QUASAR Federal Systems proposes to team with Professor Ken Cummins of the University of Arizona to develop a lightning detection sensor based on an SoA 6-axis EB vector sensor and unique location and characterization algorithm. In Phase I, we will perform a feasibility study of using a 6-axis EB sensor to address NASA "total lightning detection" needs in location accuracy and detection efficiency. This will include both analysis and limited field measurements. We will also identify a system architecture and key components for the Phase II prototype. In Phase II of the project, we will develop a scientific prototype to demonstrate the technology with field data.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATION(S) (LIMIT 150 WORDS)
Commercial and military airports, department of defense battlespace awareness applications, windfarms, nuclear power plants, outdoor sporting facilities such as golf courses and pools, weather stations and volatile substance manufacturing such as chemical plants are some possible commercial applications.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA APPLICATION(S) (LIMIT 150 WORDS)
Launchpad monitoring and facility protection are the main NASA applications. Lightning is a well known and ongoing challenge for NASA operations.

TECHNOLOGY TAXONOMY MAPPING
Electromagnetic
Sensor Nodes & Webs (see also Communications, Networking & Signal Transport)


PROPOSAL NUMBER:14-1 T10.01-9944
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Lightweight Structural Nanomaterial Concepts
PROPOSAL TITLE: Lightweight Structures Utilizing CNFs

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN: (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/ZIP, Phone)
AxNano, LLC
527 Bridge Street, Suite 301
Danville, VA 24541-1405
(540) 230-3881

RESEARCH INSTITUTION: (RI Name, Mail Address, City/State/ZIP, Phone)
North Carolina A&T State University
1601 East Market Street
Greensboro, NC 27411-0002
(336) 285-2875

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER: (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/ZIP, Phone)
Charles Gause
cgause@axnano.com
527 Bridge Street, Suite 301
Danville,  VA 24541-1405
(540) 230-3881

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 3
End: 4

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)
AxNano proposes a novel method for producing robust, high-volume, cost-effective carbon fibers in support of next-generation materials for structural composite space applications. AxNano will utilize a needle-less electrospinning method to form precise bundles of nano-fibers. The spinning and draw method will be designed to achieve the structural perfection needed for leaps in mechanical strength and stability of carbon fibers. This proposed work effort will establish an advanced manufacturing process, controlled at the nano/molecular scale. Efficacy will be shown by producing articles at the coupon scale, which are expected to possess better mechanical properties - double those for current epoxy CFRP technology. This new continuous carbon nano-fiber (CNF) manufacturing process will produce CNFs with reduced defects, increased uniformity, and much higher strength. This project aims at innovative nanomaterial based polymeric composites with potential to supplant conventional carbon fiber reinforced polymeric (CFRP) composites as lightweight aerospace structural materials for space applications. Specifically the project addresses fundamental challenges in mass-manufacturing continuous and high-strength carbon nanofiber yarns, weaves and next-generation carbon nanofiber yarn-reinforced polymeric composites (CNFYRP).

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATION(S) (LIMIT 150 WORDS)
An improved lightweight CFRP structure has multiple commercial applications where there is a cost associated with moving any type of good or person, lowering the weight of the underlying device that is moving the object results in a tremendous cost savings. Three specific markets where the technology presents the best opportunity are the 1) commercial space travel, 2) Air travel/cargo, and 3) passenger vehicles/ground shipping industries which represent multi-billion dollar markets individually. AxNano has assembled a world-class Team including recognized leaders in composite design, modeling, polymer chemistry and advanced CNF manufacturing to make sure the advancements made in this program will meet current and future composites application needs for the Aerospace, wind power, and transportation industries to reduce weight, drive down costs, and ultimately reduce end product environmental impact through lower emissions.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA APPLICATION(S) (LIMIT 150 WORDS)
As carbon fiber composites technology has improved, it has been envisioned that composites may be able to take the place of metal and hybrid alloys that have long been used in space applications. This is particularly true in carbon fiber composites for launch vehicles where a low-weight replacement must also be non-reactive, dimensionally stable and have the ability to withstand freeze/thaw cycles of re-fueling. Strength, low coefficient of thermal expansion and advanced macro scale architectures are necessary. The proposed production method is a key element to creating the carbon nanofibers needed. This project aims at innovative nanomaterial based polymeric composites with potential to supplant conventional carbon fiber reinforced polymeric (CFRP) composites as lightweight aerospace structural materials. Specifically the project addresses fundamental challenges in mass-manufacturing continuous and high-strength carbon nanofiber yarns, weaves and next-generation carbon nanofiber yarn-reinforced polymeric composites (CNFYRP).

TECHNOLOGY TAXONOMY MAPPING
Processing Methods
Composites
Nanomaterials
Polymers


PROPOSAL NUMBER:14-1 T10.02-9884
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Smart Structural Composites for Space
PROPOSAL TITLE: Multifunctional Shielding and Self-Healing HybridSil Smart Composites for Space

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN: (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/ZIP, Phone)
Nanosonic, Inc.
158 Wheatland Drive
Pembroke, VA 24136-3645
(540) 626-6266

RESEARCH INSTITUTION: (RI Name, Mail Address, City/State/ZIP, Phone)
Colorado