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Metal Advanced Manufacturing Bot-Assisted Assembly (MAMBA) Process

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: 80NSSC18C0168
Agency Tracking Number: 174290
Amount: $749,890.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: H7
Solicitation Number: SBIR_17_P2
Timeline
Solicitation Year: 2017
Award Year: 2018
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2018-06-28
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2020-06-27
Small Business Information
11711 North Creek Parkway South, Suite D113, Bothell, WA, 98011-8808
DUNS: 877425330
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Rachel Muhlbauer
 (425) 486-0100
 muhlbauer@tethers.com
Business Contact
 Robert Hoyt
Phone: (425) 486-0100
Email: hoyt@tethers.com
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract

Tethers Unlimited, Inc. (TUI) proposes to develop the Metal Advanced Manufacturing Bot-Assisted Assembly (MAMBA) Process, a robotically managed metal press and milling system used to create precision parts on orbit.  This manufacturing process provides an alternative to 3D printing metals in space, which is difficult due to space environment, feedstock safety concerns, and print quality issues.  Instead, the MAMBA-Process relies on an ingot forming technology to create a metal ingot.  This ingot can then be milled and machined to form a precision part using a standard CNC milling technique.  In order to minimize astronaut time and exposure to the process, the MAMBA-Process will be highly automated and outfitted with a robotic assistant, capable of removing the ingot from the press and placing the ingot in the mill.  Automated tool changes are also possible for the mill, enabling complex shapes with fine edge finishes.  Testing of the process technologies led to a lab demonstration of ingot formation and milling in the Phase I effort, maturing the MAMBA Process to TRL-3.  In the Phase II effort, a full scale engineering unit will be built and tested, maturing the various the payload subsystems to TRL-5 and preparing the work needed to validate this technology for flight.   

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

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