NASA SBIR 2012 SBIR Select 1
NOTE: The Solicitations and topics listed on this site are copies from the various SBIR agency solicitations and are not necessarily the latest and most up-to-date. For this reason, you should use the agency link listed below which will take you directly to the appropriate agency server where you can read the official version of this solicitation and download the appropriate forms and rules.
The official link for this solicitation is: http://sbir.gsfc.nasa.gov/SBIR/sbirselect2012/solicitation/index.html
Application Due Date:
Available Funding Topics
- E1: Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate Select Subtopics
- E2: Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate Select Subtopics
- E3: Science Mission Directorate Select Subtopics
Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate Select Subtopics
High Power Electric Propulsion Systems
Lead Center: GRC Participating Center(s): JPL, MSFC OCT Technology Area: TA02 The goal of this subtopic is to develop innovative technologies for high-power (15 kW -class) electric propulsion systems. High-power (high-thrust) electric propulsion may enable dramatic mass and cost savings for lunar and Mars cargo missions, including Earth escape and near-Earth space maneuvers. At very high power levels, electric propulsion may enable piloted exploration missions as well. Improved performance of propulsion systems that are integrated with associated power and thermal management systems and that exhibit minimal adverse spacecraft-thruster interaction effects are of interest. Innovations are sought that increase system efficiency, increase system and/or component life, increase system and/or component durability, reduce system and/or component mass, reduce system complexity, reduce development issues, or provide other definable benefits. Desired specific impulses range from a value of 2000 s – 3000 s for Earth-orbit transfers to and for planetary flagship missions. System efficiencies in excess of 50% and system lifetimes of at least 5 years (total impulse > 1 x 107 N-sec) are desired. Specific technologies of interest in addressing these challenges include: • Cathodes that address one or more of the following: o Long-life, high-current (100,000 hours). o Fast start. o Propellantless. o Operation on alternate propellants. • Innovated designs for improved thruster performance and life. • Electric propulsion systems and components for alternate fuels. • Electrode thermal management technologies. • Innovative plasma neutralization concepts. • High-efficiency, lightweight power converters for high power (>10kW) DC discharge. • Lightweight, low-cost, high-efficiency power processing units (PPUs) that accept variable input voltages of greater than 200V, including high temperature power electronics. • Direct drive power processing units. • Low-voltage, high-temperature wire for electromagnets. • High-temperature permanent magnets and/or electromagnets. • Advanced materials for electrodes and wiring. • Highly accurate or fast acting propellant control devices and miniature flow meters. • Superconducting magnets. Note to Proposer: Subtopic S3.03 under the Science Mission Directorate also addresses in-space propulsion. Proposals more aligned with science mission requirements should be proposed in S3.03. For all above technologies, research should be conducted to demonstrate technical feasibility during Phase I and show a path toward Phase II demonstration, and delivering a demonstration package for NASA testing at the completion of the Phase II contract. Phase I Deliverables - Identify and evaluate candidate technology applications to demonstrate their technical feasibility and show a path towards demonstration via bench or lab-level demonstrations. The technology concept at the end of Phase I should be at a TRL range of 3-4. Phase II Deliverables - Emphasis should be placed on developing and demonstrating the technology under simulated mission conditions. The proposal shall outline a path showing how the technology could be developed into mission-worthy systems. The contract should deliver a demonstration unit for functional and environmental testing at the completion of the Phase II contract. The technology concept at the end of Phase II should be at a TRL range of 5-6.
Nano/Micro Satellite Launch Vehicle Technology
Lead Center: KSC Participating Center(s): ARC OCT Technology Area: TA01 The space transportation industry is in need of low-cost, reliable, on-demand, routine space access. Both government and private entities are pursuing various small launch systems and architectures aimed at addressing this market need. Significant technical and cost risk exist in new system development and operations, reducing incentives for private capital investment in this still-nascent industry. Public and private sector goals are aligned in reducing these risks and enabling the development of small launch systems capable of reliably delivering payloads to low Earth orbit. The Nano/Micro Satellite Launch Vehicle (NMSLV) will provide the nation with a new, small payload access to space capability. The primary objective is to develop a capability to place nano and micro satellites weighing up to approximately 20 kilograms into a reference orbit defined as circular, 400 to 450 kilometer altitude, from various inclinations ranging from 0 to 98 °. This subtopic seeks commercial solutions in the areas of nano and micro spacecraft launch vehicle technologies, with particular focus on higher risk entrepreneurial projects for dedicated nano and micro spacecraft launch vehicles and components. Proposals should include, but not be limited to, the following areas: • Orbital booster designs of system/architectures capable of reducing the mission costs associated with the launching of small payloads to LEO. The designs should focus on the following: o Develop and implement technologies for small, lightweight, robust avionics packages for launch vehicle control, systems monitoring, autonomous flight termination, separation systems and TDRS transmitter to support the launch test. o Requirements (acceptable to range safety organizations) for Autonomous Flight Termination System(s) for Nano/Micro Launchers. o Develop and test the propulsion system for the NMLV by production reducing cost. o Development of a ground operations concept to show how the launch vehicle will be integrated, processed and launched. • Performance predictions, cost objectives, and development and demonstration plans for the NMSLV. • All proposed sub-orbital booster technologies should be traceable to an orbit-capable Small Launch Vehicle (SLV), whereby specific technologies are identified for Phase II development and test. The NMSLV would be a smaller vehicle than the Pegasus launch vehicle, which is considered an SLV. For all above technologies, research should be conducted to demonstrate technical feasibility during Phase I and show a path towards Phase II hardware/software demonstration with delivery of a demonstration unit or software package for NASA testing at the completion of the Phase II contract. Phase I Deliverables - Provide concept designs to include simulations and measurements, proving the proposed approach to develop a given product. Also required for all technologies are performance predictions, cost objectives, and development and demonstration plans for the NMSLV. Formulate and deliver a verification matrix of measurements to be performed in Phase II, along with specific quantitative pass-fail ranges for each quantity listed. The report shall also provide options for commercialization opportunities after Phase II. • The concept designs should focus on the following: o Nano/Micro Launch vehicle avionics systems for launch vehicle control. o Requirements (acceptable to range safety organizations) for Autonomous Flight Termination System(s) for Nano/Micro Launchers. o Nano/Mirco Launch vehicle TDRS Transmitters System(s). o Ground Processing concepts to include range locations. The technology concept at the end of Phase I should be at a TRL of 2 to 4. Phase II Deliverables - Working engineering model of proposed Phase I components or technologies, along with full report on development and measurements, including populated verification matrix from Phase I. Vehicle hardware shall emphasize launch cost reduction technologies, and possess sufficient design information to fabricate, integrate, and operate the selected high-risk component(s) for demonstration. Sub-orbital booster design is required as knowledge is gained through the critical component development process. • Perform a full duration engine firing testing of each type of engine to be used on the Nano/Micro Launch Vehicle (NMSLV). Second stage engines should be tested in a vacuum. • Conduct a guided sub-orbital booster flight test of the proposed NMLV. • Perform performance predictions for orbital flight, cost objectives, and development and demonstration plans for the NMSLV orbital flight. • Ground operation plan and support level for an orbital test flight to include range locations. • Development of the Nano/Micro Launch vehicle avionics suite to include launch vehicle control, systems monitoring, separation systems and TDRS transmitter. • Requirements (acceptable to range safety organizations) and design for Autonomous Flight Termination system(s) for Nano/Micro Launchers. • All proposed sub-orbital booster technologies should be traceable to an orbital capable NMLV, whereby specific technologies are identified for Phase III development and orbital test. The technology concept at the end of Phase II should be at a TRL of 7.
International Space Station Utilization
Lead Center: JSC Participating Center(s): ARC, GRC, KSC, MSFC OCT Technology Area: TA07 NASA is investigating the near- and mid-term development of highly-desirable systems and technologies that provide innovative ways either to leverage existing ISS facilities for new scientific payloads or to provide on orbit analysis to enhance capabilities. Current utilization of the ISS is limited by available upmass, downmass, and crew time as well as by the capabilities of the interfaces and hardware already developed. Innovative interfaces between existing hardware and systems, which are common to ground research, could facilitate both increased, and faster, payload development. Technologies that are portable and that can be matured rapidly for flight demonstration on the International Space Station are of particular interest. Desired capabilities include, but are not limited to, the below examples: • Providing additional on-orbit analytical tools. Development of novel instruments for on-orbit analysis of plants, cells and small mammals are desired. Instruments to support studies of bone and muscle loss, multi-generational species studies and cell and plant tissue are desired. Providing flight qualified hardware that is similar to commonly used tools in biological and material science laboratories could allow for an increased capacity of on-orbit analysis thereby reducing the number of samples which must be returned to Earth. Examples of tools that will reduce downmass or expand on-orbit analysis include: a mass spectrometer; an atomic force microscope (for biological and material science samples), non-cryogenic sample preservation systems; autonomous in-situ bioanalytical technologies; microbial and cell detection and identification systems; and fluidics and microfluidics systems to allow autonomous on-orbit experimentation and high throughput screening. • Technologies are desired to ensure that microbial content of the air and water environment of the crew habitat falls within acceptable limits and life support system is functioning properly and efficiently. Required technology characteristics include: 2 year shelf-life; functionality in microgravity and low pressure environments (~8 psi). The technologies require significant improvements in miniaturization, reliability, life-time, self-calibration, and reduction of expendables. Microbial Analysis should cover identification and quantification. • Providing a Magnet Processing Module (MPM) to enable materials research aboard ISS. Development of a Magnet Processing Module (MPM) for installation and operations in the Materials Science Research Rack (MSRR) would enable new and improved types of materials science investigations aboard the ISS. Essential components of the MPM include an electromagnet, which can provide a field strength up to 0.2 Tesla and a high temperature insert, which can provide directional solidification processing capability at temperatures up to 1500 °C. Efforts should focus on development of the following: • An electromagnet that can generate the required field with the following properties: o Two coils each receiving 120 Vdc @ 10A (power consumption /= 184 mm. o Length = 239 mm. o Heat dissipation via liquid coolant loop. o Shielding to limit emissions to 3.16 Gauss at a distance measured 70 mm from the outer surface of the magnet. • A high temperature insert with a maximum outer diameter < 184 mm that is capable of processing a sample 26 mm (diameter) by 200 mm (length) in a partial vacuum environment of 0.7 Pa . Areas to be addressed include: o The number of zones (hot, cold, gradient) required for processing. o Heating elements vs. power consumption. o Selection and placement of insulations. o Selection, type, quantity, and placement of temperature measuring devices suitable for the operating temperature range. Adjustable autonomous control software that supports safe operation with low-bandwidth, intermittent command communication loop with varying latencies > 10 sec. Proposals may address any one or a combination of the above or related subjects. The existing hardware suite and interfaces available on ISS may be found at the following link: (http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/science/experiments/Discipline.html). For all above technologies, 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 or software package for NASA testing at the completion of the Phase II contract that could be turned into a flight unit with minimal additional investment. Phase I Deliverables - Written report detailing evidence of demonstrated prototype technology in the laboratory or in a relevant environment and stating the future path toward hardware and software demonstration on orbit. The technology concept at the end of Phase I should be at a TRL of 5-6. Phase II Deliverables - Emphasis should be placed on developing and demonstrating hardware and/or software prototype that can be demonstrated on orbit (TRL 8), or in some cases under simulated mission conditions. The proposal shall outline a path showing how the technology could be developed into mission-worthy systems. The contract should deliver an engineering development unit for functional and environmental testing at the completion of the Phase II contract.
Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate Select Subtopics
Air Traffic Management Research and Development
Lead Center: ARC Participating Center(s): LaRC The Airspace Systems Program (ASP) seeks innovative and feasible concepts and technologies to enable significant increases in the capacity and efficiency of the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NEXTGEN) while maintaining or improving safety and environmental acceptability. The Concepts and Technology Development (CTD) Project develops gate-to-gate concepts and technologies for NextGen to enable significant increases in capacity and efficiency. The Systems Analysis, Integration and Evaluation (SAIE) Project facilitates R&D maturation of integrated concepts and technologies through evaluation in relevant environments, enabling transition to stakeholders. The research will result in evaluations of integrated automation technologies and procedures designed to address the following technical challenges: • Develop Tactical Automation Technologies for Complex Operational Choke Points Including Surface, Arrival/Departure, and Dense Terminal Operations. • Establish the basis for air/ground functional allocation for separation assurance including safe, graceful degradation of performance in response to off-nominal conditions. • Develop strategic automation technologies that integrate probabilistic weather information and flow management capabilities. • Conduct seamless integration of automation applications in a resilient, end-to-end Trajectory-Based Operations system. • For the highest levels of NextGen performance and beyond, develop concepts, technologies, and system-wide evaluation and validation approaches. In support of these technical challenges, ASP is seeking specific SBIR proposals in these two areas of interest: • Integrated arrival, departure, and surface traffic planning for reduced fuel consumption, noise, and emissions during congested flows through: o Balanced runway usage and runway configuration management. o Optimized taxi planning of departures and arrivals. o Precision departure release scheduling. o Reduced fuel/noise/emissions continuous descent arrivals with precision scheduling. o Maintaining safety in ground operations through the development of concepts and algorithms for both aircraft- and ground-based surface conflict detection and resolution (CD&R) and integration of the two approaches. o Developing pilot display requirements and technologies for 4D taxi clearance compliance, and taxi clearance conformance monitoring algorithms and procedures. o Dynamic wake vortex separation criteria. Environmental impacts will be considered as concepts are investigated. • Develop a tool for air traffic management cost assessment: o Aircraft line of flight impact to the airline and the NAS; o Quantify user costs on equipage and training along with benefits delivered by the related new concepts and capabilities; o Economic impact of policy decisions for new procedures on given concepts and technologies
Science Mission Directorate Select Subtopics
Laser Transmitters and Receivers for Targeted Earth Science Measurements
Lead Center: LaRC Participating Center(s): GSFC, JPL OCT Technology Area: TA08 Earth is a complex, dynamic system we do not yet fully understand. We need to understand the Earth's atmosphere, lithosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere, and biosphere as a single connected system. The purpose of NASA's Earth science program is to develop a scientific understanding of Earth's system and its response to natural or human-induced changes, and to improve prediction of climate, weather, and natural hazards. A major component of NASA’s Earth Science Division is a coordinated series of satellite and airborne missions for long-term global observations of the land surface, biosphere, solid Earth, atmosphere, and oceans. This coordinated approach enables an improved understanding of the Earth as an integrated system. NASA is completing the development and launch of a set of Foundational missions, new Decadal Survey missions, and Climate Continuity missions. This subtopic seeks innovative laser transmitters and receivers to allow accurate measurements of atmospheric parameters with high spatial resolution from ground and airborne platforms. These developments require advances in the state-of-the-art lidar technology with emphasis on compactness, efficiency, reliability, lifetime, and high performance. This subtopic is seeking only the innovative laser transmitter subsystem or complete receiver subsystem for the three listed areas, which upon delivery would be infused into a lidar system demonstration. (Individual lidar components are NOT solicited in this subtopic but can be submitted under theS1.01 Lidar Remote Sensing Technologies) With the larger funded effort, NASA seeks to have delivered a full transmitter or receiver subsystem with turnkey operation meeting the requirements of one of the three targeted areas below. The selected proposal(s) will be required to work closely with the NASA customers to understand performance requirements. • Tunable laser system development for water vapor DIAL systems for high altitude aircraft platforms - Need: climate, upper-troposphere, lower-stratosphere, cirrus cloud, and satellite validation studies. Application from high altitude platforms (35,000 to 65,000 ft). Water vapor in the high altitudes impacts climate, radiation, stratospheric /tropospheric exchange, and even impacts satellite validation activities. There is a critical need for high accuracy, high resolution water vapor measurement and its impact at the highest altitudes. The most critical unmet need for a high-altitude a water vapor DIAL system is a compact, rugged, and efficient tunable laser transmitter to operate on one of the strong H2O absorptions lines near 934.55, 935.43 or 944.11 nm (H2O line center). Tunability over the side of the line up to 100 pm is needed. Need to demonstrate the laser can operate locked at 0 pm, 25 pm, 50 pm, and 100 pm from line center position of the H2O line at low pressure. Frequency stability of <0.1 pm and linewidths of <0.2 pm are required. High spectral purity >99.9% need to be demonstrated. Ability to switch between wavelengths within 300 micro second is needed. Pulse energies in the range 5 to 100 mJ with output power of 2-5 W (low pulse energies will require higher average power to overcome background and detector noise issues). (Note for later spacecraft application 50 mJ – 500 mJ and output power ~ 10 W would be needed). • Compact, rugged laser transmitter for advanced ozone DIAL lidar systems - NASA and other agencies have a long-term interest in lidar profile measurements of atmospheric ozone from the ground and also from aircraft. A measurement goal would be ± 5 ppb ozone throughout the troposphere. Major technology advances are needed to allow multiple ozone lidar stations to make continuous ozone profile measurements over extended time intervals. Laser transmitters are needed that simultaneously (or interleaved) produce three eye-safe ultraviolet wavelengths (preferably tunable) between approximately 280 and 316 nm with approximately 1-nm linewidth. Laser pulses would typically be less than 100-nsec in pulsewidth with ~2 Watts power in each of 3 UV wavelengths. Both high (~1kHz) and low (~20Hz) repetition rate lasers will be considered. Such a system would be required to operate reliably for extended times with a minimum of expendable supplies and be easily transportable. The total instrument volume would be approximately one square meter. The laser system is targeted for infusion in a ground system demonstration. • Atmospheric Lidar with Cross-Track Coverage - A key measurement capability for NASA Earth Science applications is lidar remote sensing of atmospheric clouds and aerosols and, increasingly, cloud-aerosol interactions. The vertical resolution possible with lidar systems provides accurate identification of cloud and aerosol layer heights and structure. However, a primary limitation of existing lidar instruments is lack of horizontal (e.g., cross-track) coverage. Technologies are solicited for transmitter, transceiver, or receiver technologies that enable airborne lidar measurements of clouds and aerosols having both vertical and horizontal extent. Technologies are sought that demonstrate a capability that can be mounted on a relevant high-altitude aircraft platform (specifically, ER-2, Global Hawk, or Proteus). The ability of any proposed technology to be scalable to spaceborne application is highly desirable. The focus is on cloud and aerosols (and cloud-aerosol interaction); proposals specific to scanning/mapping surface altimetry will be considered nonresponsive. Funds available permit development of instrument subsystems. Depending on the approach chosen, the subsystem might be a novel transmitter, transceiver, or a scanner/receiver subsystem. Regardless of the subsystem developed, it is essential that the proposer demonstrate how their subsystem can be integrated into a complete instrument. That is, developing a novel scanning technology that cannot be easily or affordably coupled to a transmitter would be of little use. The successful proposal(s) will demonstrate consideration of the end-to-end instrument design, including demonstration that the system envisioned would be capable of obtaining sufficient signal over required averaging volumes (e.g., demonstrate simulation capability sufficient to convince reviewers that the resultant measurement will be useful). Although different approaches might be proposed, and different subsystems or types of subsystems are possible, general guidance on requirements include: • Profiling of cloud and aerosol backscatter, with emphasis on multiple wavelengths and depolarization measurement capability, if possible. • Horizontal coverage of at least ± 5 km, with horizontal resolution < 1 km. Therefore, the system design should have at least 10 cross-track points, and more if possible. • Along-track resolution will be driven by the specific technology proposed, but in general, along-track integration times of < 2 seconds is preferred. • Vertical resolution can be driven by the detector(s) and data system, but nominal vertical resolution of < 100 m is desirable. System designs should be sized appropriately to obtain sufficient signal over these vertical and horizontal resolutions. • It is desirable to utilize solid-state (e.g., photon-counting) detection if possible. Data systems can be readily obtained to interface with photon-counting detectors, thereby lowering the cost and complexity of a completed instrument. • Size, mass, power constraints need to be considered and should be commensurate with accommodations of the NASA ER-2, Global Hawk, or Proteus aircraft. In general, the airborne platforms will limit the transceiver aperture size. Thermal, pressure, and other environmental constraints of these high-altitude airborne platforms should also be considered. Successful proposals will demonstrate an understanding of the relevant science need, and present a feasible plan to work with a NASA sponsor to use follow-on funding opportunities to develop a complete airborne instrument. Follow-on opportunities include, but are not limited to Instrument Incubator Program (IIP), Airborne Instrument Technology Transition (AITT), Earth Venture - Instrument (EV-I), or Phase III SBIR funding. The Phase I research activity should demonstrate technical feasibility during and show a clear path to a Phase II prototype. The Phase II deliverable should be packaged in such a manner that it can be directly infused into follow-on opportunities to develop a complete lidar instrument.
Advanced Technology Telescope for Balloon Mission
Lead Center: MSFC Participating Center(s): GSFC, JPL OCT Technology Area: TA08 The purpose of this sub-topic is to mature demonstrated component level technologies (TRL4) to demonstrated system level technologies (TRL6) by using them to manufacture complete telescope systems. Examples of desired technological advances relative to the current state of the art include, but are not limited to: • Reduce the areal cost of telescope by 2X such that larger collecting areas can be produced for the same cost or current collecting areas can be produced for half the cost. • Reduce the areal density of telescopes by 2X such that the same aperture telescopes have half the mass of current state of art telescope. Less mass enables longer duration flights. • Improve thermal/mechanical wavefront stability and/or pointing stability by 2X to 10X. Technological maturation will be demonstrated by building one or more complete telescope assemblies which can be flown on potential long duration balloon experiments to do high priority science. Potential missions can cover any spectral range from X-rays to far-infrared/sub-millimeter. Potential telescopes include, but are not limited to: • High-Energy Telescope. • Ultra-Stable 1-meter Class UVOIR Telescope. • Low-Cost CMB Telescopes. • Low-Cost Far-Infrared Telescopes. • Cryogenic Far-Infrared Telescope. • 5 to 10 meter Segmented Far-IR Telescope. • Heliophysics UVOIR Telescope. Deliverable for Phase I is a reviewed preliminary design demonstrating feasibility. Deliverable for Phase II is a fully integrated and tested telescope assembly, ready to be incorporated into a potential balloon mission payload. In all cases, the telescopes must be designed to survive balloon environments, including 150K to 330K temperature range and 10G shock. The mass budgets for each telescope are nominal. Successful proposals will demonstrate an understanding of how the engineering specifications of their telescope meets the performance requirements and operational envelop of a potential balloon science mission; and presents a credible plan to build the proposed telescope. Please note, for this sub-topic a telescope is defined as a complete integrated system of optical and structural components which collects and concentrates electro-magnetic photons/waves for detection by a scientific imaging and/or spectroscopic instrument. See Technical Challenges for baseline technical requirements for potential telescopes. The 2010 National Academy Astro2010 Decadal Report recommended increased use of sub-orbital balloon-borne observatories. Two specific needs include: • Far-IR telescope systems for Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) studies. • Optical/NIR telescope systems for Dark Matter and/or Exo-Planet studies. Additionally, Astro2010 identifies optical components as key technologies needed to enable several different future missions, including: • Light-weight X-ray imaging mirrors for future very large advanced X-ray observatories. • Large aperture, light-weight mirrors for future UV/Optical telescopes. The 2012 National Academy report “NASA Space Technology Roadmaps and Priorities” states that one of the top technical challenges in which NASA should invest over the next 5 years is developing a new generation of larger effective aperture, lower-cost astronomical telescopes that enable discovery of habitable planets, facilitate advances in solar physics, and enable the study of faint structures around bright objects. To enable this capability requires low-cost, ultra-stable, large-aperture, normal and grazing incidence mirrors with low mass-to-collecting area ratios. To enable these new astronomical telescopes, the report identifies three specific optical systems technologies: • Active align/control of grazing-incidence imaging systems to achieve < 1 arc-second angular resolution. • Active align/control of normal-incidence imaging systems to achieve 500 nm diffraction limit (40 nm rmswavefront error, WFE) performance. • Normal incidence 4-meter (or larger) diameter 5 nm rms WFE (300 nm system diffraction limit) mirrors. Technical Challenges Technological developments at the telescope system level are required to enable higher capability measurements, longer duration flights and more affordable missions. The purpose of this sub-topic is to mature demonstrated component level technologies (TRL4) to demonstrated system level technologies (TRL6) by using them to manufacture complete telescope systems. Examples of desired technological advances relative to the current state of the art include, but are not limited to: • Reduce the areal cost of telescope by 2X such that larger collecting areas can be produced for the same cost or current collecting areas can be produced for half the cost. • Reduce the areal density of telescopes by 2X such that the same aperture telescopes have half the mass of current state of art telescope. Less mass enables longer duration flights. • Improve thermal/mechanical wavefront stability and/or pointing stability by 2X to 10X. Successful proposals shall provide a credible plan to deliver for the allocated budget a fully assembled and tested telescope assembly which can be integrated into a potential balloon mission to meet a high-priority NASA science objective. Successful proposals will demonstrate an understanding of how the engineering specifications of their telescope meets the performance requirements and operational envelop of a potential balloon science mission. Phase I delivery shall be a reviewed design and manufacturing plan which demonstrates feasibility. While detailed analysis will be conducted in Phase II, the preliminary design should address how optical, mechanical (static and dynamic) and thermal designs and performance analysis will be done to show compliance with all requirements. Past experience or technology demonstrations which support the design and manufacturing plans will be given appropriate weight in the evaluation. Phase II delivery shall be a completely assembled and tested optical telescope assembly ready to be integrated into a potential balloon mission. Testing shall confirm compliance of the telescope assembly with its requirements. High Energy Telescope A high-energy telescope is desired which includes the collecting optic, the structure which connects the collecting optic to the detecting instrument, and any mechanisms needed to maintain alignment and pointing stability of the collecting optic relative to the detecting instrument. Collecting optic should be able to collect and concentrate high-energy photons (above 10 keV). Collecting optics can be grazing incidence reflective, refractive or diffractive with a potential focal length ranging from 4 to 10 meters. Other ‘optical’ elements such as coded apertures can be considered. Angular resolutions should be significantly less than 1 arcminute for grazing-incidence optics, and ideally in the arcsecond range. Active control of the optic figure may be necessary. For refractive /diffractive optics, lower resolutions are acceptable, depending on energy. Effective collecting area should be greater than 10’s cm2 at 10 keV to enable useful data from typical balloon observing times. Higher energy ‘optics’ should provide enough area for a significant signal during flight. Optical assemblies must ideally be light weight to satisfy future mission demands. Total telescope mass budget goal is 200 kg. Ultra-Stable 1-meter Class UVOIR Telescope Potential Exoplanet balloon studies require a complete optical telescope system with 1 meter or larger of collecting aperture to characterize exoplanets and dust disks over the range of wavelengths from 300 to 1100 nm, and ideally as long as 1600 nm. The telescope should be diffraction limited at 500 nm (< 36 nm transmitted wavefront) over a total field of view subtending at least 10 arc-seconds and over a field of regard extending from 20 to 70 ° elevation angle with respect to the gravity vector. The wavefront error power spectral density should monotonically decrease with increasing spatial frequency i.e., have no strong harmonics, from 0 to 30 cycles per aperture. Dynamic wavefront stability must be < 0.3 nm rms over timescales of 100s seconds and < 1 nm rms over timescales of 100s minutes. Sources of wavefront instability include thermal variations with boresight angle, thermal drift, coupling of residual vibration from reaction/momentum wheels, residual wind effects above 100,000 ft, and pointing induced beam shear. The telescope can achieve the stability requirement via either passive design or an actively controlled mirror (i.e., secondary mirror, fine steering mirror, deformable mirror, etc.). Possible telescope configurations include, but are not limited to, two mirror Cassegrain and Gregorian configurations, and 3 mirror anastigmat designs. Ideally the telescope is an unobscured off-axis system that can function with several different types of coronagraphs. But on-axis systems with simple secondary support spiders are allowed for a subset of possible high-contrast instruments. The telescope should form a centimeter scale real pupil image after the primary mirror vertex. The total telescope mass budget goal is 300 kg. Low-Cost CMB Telescopes Potential balloon measurements of CMB linear polarization desire complete 3 to 4 meter class off-axis telescope systems which are 2X lower areal cost and 2X lower areal mass than the current 2 meter class state of the art (as represented by the BLAST telescope) with the following optical, mechanical and operational requirements. Optical requirements: • 3 meter to 4 meter diameter primary mirror. • Diffraction-limited performance at 500 micron wavelength at 250 K. • Wavefront stability of 15 micrometers rms per K. • F/1 to F/1.5 primary mirror. • 70 arc-minute field of view at 500 micron wavelength. • Strehl ratio > 0.95 at edge of field of view. Mechanical and operational requirements: • Telescope to operate at ambient temperature 250 K (200 to 300K range). • Telescope and mount to survive 10G shock (vertical). • Telescope and mount to survive 5G shock (tilted 45 °). • Mass of telescope to be 200 kg or less. • Recurring production cost < $200 K per telescope. Successful proposals will deliver a complete preliminary design for the telescope at the end of Phase I and two to four complete telescope systems at the end of Phase II. Low-Cost Far-Infrared Telescopes Potential balloon Far-Infrared missions desire complete off-axis telescope systems which are 2X lower areal cost and 2X lower areal mass than the current state of the art with the following optical, mechanical and operational requirements. Optical requirements: • 2.5 meter to 4 meter diameter primary mirror. • Diffraction-limited performance at 100 micron wavelength at 250 K. • Wavefront stability of 2.5 micrometers rms per K. • F/1 to F/1.5 primary mirror. • 15 arc-minute field of view at 100 micron wavelength. • Strehl ratio > 0.95 at edge of field of view. Mechanical and operational requirements: • Telescope to operate at ambient temperature 250 K (200 to 300K range). • Telescope and mount to survive 10G shock (vertical). • Telescope and mount to survive 5G shock (tilted 45 °). • Mass of telescope to be 200 kg or less. • Recurring production cost < $200 K per telescope. Successful proposals will deliver a complete preliminary design for the telescope at the end of Phase I and two to four complete telescope systems at the end of Phase II. Cryogenic Far-Infrared Telescope Potential Far-Infrared balloon missions achieve significant improvements in sensitivity using cryogenic optics. Anticipated missions require a complete telescope system with larger collecting apertures and lower areal mass than the current state of the art. A cryogenic telescope is desired with 3 meter on-axis collecting aperture maintained at temperatures below 20 K. Low mass and long cryogenic hold time are particularly important. Optical requirements: • Diffraction-limited performance at 300 micron wavelength at 20 K. • F/1 to F/1.5 primary mirror. • Field of view 20 arc-minutes minimum, 40 arc-min desired. • Strehl ratio > 0.95 at edge of field of view. Cryogenic requirements: • Maintain entire telescope at 20 K or colder. • Hold time 48 hours or longer, with goal of 21 days. Mechanical requirements: • Telescope and cryostat to survive 10G shock (vertical). • Telescope and cryostat to survive 5G shock (tilted 45 °). • Mass of telescope + cryostat to be < 1000 kg (goal 500 kg). Successful proposals will deliver a preliminary design for the complete telescope and cryostat at the end of Phase I. Successful proposals will deliver the complete telescope and cryostat at the end of Phase II. 5 to 10 meter Segmented Far-IR Telescope Potential Far-IR balloon studies required a complete optical telescope system with a 5 to 10 meter segmented aperture; 250 to 500 micrometer diffraction limited performance; wavefront stability of less than 10 micrometers rms; and a total mass of 400 (5m) to 800 kg (10m). Heliophysics UVOIR Telescope Potential Heliophysics studied require a complete optical telescope and/or camera system with: 1 to 2 meter collecting aperture, 20 ° field of view, 0.001 ° angular resolution and UV to Visible (120 to 700 nm) spectral range.
Extreme Environments Technology
Lead Center: JPL Participating Center(s): ARC, GRC, GSFC, LaRC, MSFC OCT Technology Area: TA08 The present state of practice for building space systems for exploring our solar system planets is based on the placing space craft subsystems into environmentally protected housings that are power inefficient and bulky. The goal of the subtopic is to develop technologies that dramatically change this practice resulting in the development of highly power efficient and light weight space subsystems by developing space subsystems that would be capable of operating directly in the extreme environment of the planets of our solar systems. High Temperature, High Pressure, and Chemically Corrosive Environments - NASA is interested in expanding its ability to explore the deep atmosphere and surface of Venus through the use of long-lived (days or weeks) balloons and landers. Survivability in extreme high temperatures and high pressures is also required for deep atmospheric probes to giant planets. Proposals are sought for technologies that enable the in situ exploration of the surface and deep atmosphere of Venus and the deep atmospheres of Jupiter or Saturn for future NASA missions. Venus features a dense, CO2 atmosphere completely covered by sulfuric acid clouds at about 55 km above the surface, a surface temperature of about 486 degrees Centigrade and a surface pressure of about 90 bars. Technologies of interest include high temperature and acid resistant high strength-to-weight textile materials for landing systems (balloons, parachutes, tethers, bridles, airbags), high temperature electronics components, high temperature energy storage systems, light mass refrigeration systems, high-temperature actuators and gear boxes for robotic arms and other mechanisms, high temperature drills, phase change materials for short term thermal maintenance, low conductivity and high-compressive strength insulation materials, high temperature optical window systems (that are transparent in IR, visible and UV wavelengths) and advanced materials with high specific heat capacity and strength for pressure vessel construction, and pressure vessel components compatible with materials such as steal, titanium and beryllium such as low leak rate wide temperature (-50 degrees Centigrade to 500 degrees Centigrade) seals capable of operating between 0 and 90 bars. Low Temperature Environments - Low temperature survivability is required for surface missions to Titan (-180 degrees Centigrade), Europa surface (-220 degrees Centigrade), Ganymede (-200 degrees Centigrade), near earth objects and comets. Also the Earth's Moon equatorial regions experience wide temperature swings from -180 degrees Centigrade to +130 degrees Centigrade during the lunar day/night cycle, and the sustained temperature at the shadowed regions of lunar poles can be as low as -230 degrees Centigrade. Mars diurnal temperature changes from about -120 degrees Centigrade to +20 degrees Centigrade. Also for the baseline concept for Europa Jupiter System Mission (EJSM), with a mission life of 10 years, the radiation environment is estimated at 2.9 Mega-rad total ionizing dose (TID) behind 100 mil thick aluminum. Proposals are sought for technologies that enable NASA's long duration missions to low temperature and wide temperature environments. Technologies of interests include low-temperature resistant high strength-weight textiles for landing systems (parachutes, air bags), low-power and wide-operating-temperature radiation-tolerant /radiation hardened RF electronics, radiation-tolerant/radiation-hardened low-power/ultra-low-power wide-operating-temperature low-noise mixed-signal electronics for space-borne system such as guidance and navigation avionics and instruments, radiation-tolerant /radiation-hardened power electronics, radiation-tolerant/ radiation-hardened high-speed fiber optic transceivers, radiation-tolerant/ radiation-hardened electronic packaging (including, shielding, passives, connectors, wiring harness and materials used in advanced electronics assembly), low to medium power actuators, gear boxes, lubricants and energy storage sources capable of operating across an ultra-wide temperature range from -230 degrees Centigrade to 200 degrees Centigrade and Computer Aided Design (CAD) tools for modeling and predicting the electrical performance, reliability, and life cycle for low-temperature electronic/ electro-mechanical systems and components. Research should be conducted to demonstrate technical feasibility during Phase I and show a path toward a Phase II hardware/software demonstration, and when possible, deliver a demonstration unit at TRL 5 or higher upon the completion of the Phase II contract.