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Strategic Monitoring of Spacecraft Mechanical Parts Assemblies

Award Information

Department of Defense
Missile Defense Agency
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2004 / STTR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Sentient Corporation
850 Energy Drive Suite 307 Idaho Falls, ID -
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2004
Title: Strategic Monitoring of Spacecraft Mechanical Parts Assemblies
Agency / Branch: DOD / MDA
Contract: FA8650-04-M-5051
Award Amount: $99,911.00


Lubrication problems in rolling element bearings are the leading cause of failure in spacecraft momentum/reaction wheels, control moment gyros, gimbals, and similar applications. Condition monitoring technologies developed for terrestrial or aircraft applications are not adequate due to unique spacecraft conditions and the need to prevent rather than just detect damage. Sentient Corporation, in collaboration with Purdue University and The Aerospace Corporation, will develop and implement a Spacecraft Bearing Health Management (SBHM) system that will identify early stage lubrication problems, administer corrective actions (quantity and timing of lubricant application), and accurately predict remaining life. During Phase I, innovative sensing technologies developed for a closely related project will be utilized alongside traditional sensing parameters to identify optimal combinations for monitoring lubrication effectiveness. An extensive experimental program will be conducted using an existing bearing test rig that emulates a satellite momentum/reaction wheel. During Phase II, a prototype SBHM system will be installed on the test rig along with a working lubricant micro-applicator to demonstrate proper control of lubrication under all conditions. Opportunities for space flight testing and evaluation will also be explored.

Principal Investigator:

Sean Marble

Business Contact:

Sean Marble
Small Business Information at Submission:

850 Energy Drive, Suite 307 Idaho Falls, ID 83401

EIN/Tax ID: 820533423
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Research Institution Information:
Purdue University
Mechanical Engineering, 585 Purdue Mall
West Lafayette, IN 47907
Contact: Farshid Sadeghi
Contact Phone: (765) 494-5719
RI Type: Nonprofit college or university