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On-orbit Servicing, Assembly, and Manufacturing (OSAM)

Description:

NASA is seeking technological innovations that will accelerate development and adoption of advanced manufacturing and modular assembly technologies supporting a wide range of NASA Missions. NASA has an immediate need for more affordable and more capable materials and processes across its unique missions, systems, and platforms. Cutting-edge manufacturing technologies offer the ability to dramatically increase performance and reduce the cost of NASA’s programs. The ability to improve cost, launch mass, system resiliency and extended life time by advancing technologies to enable large structures that can be deployed, assembled/constructed, reconfigured and serviced in-space or on planetary surfaces is also imperative to NASA’s Missions. In the areas of manufacturing, this topic is focused on technologies for both the ground-based advancements and in-space manufacturing capabilities required for sustainable, long-duration space missions to destinations such as Mars. The terrestrial subtopic areas concentration is on research and development of advanced metallic materials, processes and additive manufacturing technologies for their potential to increase the capability and affordability of engines, vehicles, space systems, instruments and science payloads by offering significant improvements over traditional manufacturing methods. Technologies should facilitate innovative physical manufacturing processes combined with the digital twin modeling and simulation approach that integrates modern design and manufacturing. The in-space manufacturing focus area includes: a) manufacturing and recycling in an intravehicular environment (for production of spare parts and to achieve logistics reductions); b) manufacturing of large scale structures with dimensions exceeding current payload fairings with additive manufacturing in the external space environment; and, c) repair and assembly of structures using joining technologies. In addition, advances in lighter-weight metals processing (on ground and in-space) will enable the delivery of higher-mass payloads to Mars and beyond. In order to achieve necessary reliabilities and ensure parts meet requirements for intended use scenarios, development of in situ process assessment, feedstock control and monitoring, and volumetric inspection capabilities are urgently needed. This topic also includes autonomous assembly of structures in space, focused on four critical aspects including autonomy, system modularity, metrology, and modeling & simulation. The hardware and software components of an in-space assembled structure must be modular to facilitate servicing, component replacement, and reconfiguration of the spacecraft. Research should be conducted to demonstrate technical feasibility and prototype hardware development during Phase I and show a path toward Phase II hardware and software demonstration and delivering an engineering development unit for NASA testing at the completion of the Phase II that could be turned into a proof-of-concept system for flight demonstration. To understand the full technology needs and requests see the detailed topic and subtopic descriptions.

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