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Feedback Sensors for Closed Loop Additive In-Space Manufacturing

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: 80NSSC18P1986
Agency Tracking Number: 182933
Amount: $124,957.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: H7
Solicitation Number: SBIR_18_P1
Solicitation Year: 2018
Award Year: 2018
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2018-07-25
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2019-02-15
Small Business Information
3741 Plaza Drive
Ann Arbor, MI 48108-1655
United States
DUNS: 197187602
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Glenn Beach
 Senior Research Engineer
 (734) 668-2567
Business Contact
 Margaret Press
Phone: (734) 668-2567
Research Institution

This solicitation calls for online quality control to be applied to In-Space Manufactured (ISM) additive manufactured parts.  Our proposed approach is integrated precision scanning of the additive manufactured (AM) parts and feedback of that data back into AM layer by layer process control.  The goal is to augment Space Manufacturing AM process controls with verifiable feedback enabling improved process stability and part quality to significantly reduce the risk associated with complex AM parts, especially those with critical hidden internal geometries or other features not readily measured with non-destructive tests/measurements.The proposed approach proposes to leverage and productize technology disclosed by the Marshall Space Flight Center in reference number MFS-TOPS-70 case number MFS-33013-2, a method that determines geometric differences (flaws) between the designed model and the printed part/component by employing IR cameras to collect accurate temperature data that can be validated against valid thermal models.  We will add to that approach by also employing mature but improved NIR optical measurement to implement an additional function on the moving AM extrusion head.  We then will employ the 3D data acquired by this embedded scanning sensor to (a) provide dimensional verification of part geometry after each deposition pass, and (b) when employed real time to modify machine control – likely requiring modification of the AM machine’s X, Y, Z, and feed rate controlling mechanisms that have to be different depending on ambient conditions (temp, humidity, and gravity) and deposited materials (plastic and plastic emulsion material differences).

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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