Active Vibration Isolation System for Mobile Launch Platform Ground Support Equipment

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: NNX08CD56P
Agency Tracking Number: 070022
Amount: $99,885.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: T6.02
Solicitation Number: N/A
Solicitation Year: 2007
Award Year: 2008
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2008-02-07
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2009-02-06
Small Business Information
10532 Grand Oak Circle, Austin, TX, 78750-3851
DUNS: 806337460
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Joseph Beno
 Principal Investigator
 (512) 918-1496
Business Contact
 Joseph Beno
Title: President and CEO
Phone: (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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