Active Vibration Isolation System for Mobile Launch Platform Ground Support Equipment

Award Information
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Award Year:
Phase I
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
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Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Balcones Technologies LLC
10532 Grand Oak Circle, Austin, TX, 78750-3851
Hubzone Owned:
Minority Owned:
Woman Owned:
Principal Investigator:
Joseph Beno
Principal Investigator
(512) 918-1496
Business Contact:
Joseph Beno
President and CEO
(512) 785-6728
Research Institution:
University of Texas- Center for Electromechanics
Joseph Beno
10100 Burnet Road Bldg. 133
Austin, TX, 78758
(512) 918-1496
Domestic nonprofit research organization
Balcones Technologies, proposes to adapt actively controlled suspension technology developed for high performance off-road vehicles to address NASA's requirement for Active Vibration Control for Ground Support Equipment (GSE). This innovative approach to meeting NASA needs exploits approximately $23M of highly successful R&D since 1993 at the University of Texas Center for Electromechanics (CEM) on active suspension systems for off-road military vehicles. STTR subtopic T6.02 indicates that previous experience on NASA's Mobile Launch Platform (MLP) shows that passive vibration isolation systems are inadequate and that actively controlled vibration isolation systems to supplement or replace existing passive systems will most likely be required. Initial modeling of this system by CEM indicates that our team's proposed actively controlled Vibration Isolation System (VIS) provides more than an order of magnitude improvement in vibration isolation compared to conventional approaches (see proposal Part 4 for details). Our actively controlled VIS offers unique benefits compared to conventional passive systems because it mimics compliant attachment to inertial reference systems rather than attachment to local reference systems on the vibrating MLP; eliminates resonant peaks associated with passive systems (i.e., our system has flat response at low frequencies); and provides 10 to 16 times better vibration isolation over most of the frequency range of interest than conventional systems. Based on our vehicular active suspension results and preliminary modeling described in proposal Part 4, our proven design approach will yield robust solutions that are not sensitive to variations in GSE electronics racks or MLP excitations during shuttle launch. This approach fully meets all requirements defined or implied in STTR 2007-1 Subtopic T6.02.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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