Sample Acquisition for Materials in Planetary Exploration (SAMPLE)

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: NNJ05JB86C
Agency Tracking Number: 041525
Amount: $70,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2005
Solicitation Year: 2004
Solicitation Topic Code: X1.02
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
Orbital Technologies Corp
Space Center, 1212 Fourier Drive, Madison, WI, 53717-1961
DUNS: 196894869
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Eric Rice
 Principal Investigator
 (608) 827-5000
 koffarnusl@orbitec.com
Business Contact
 Eric Rice
Title: President & CEO
Phone: (608) 827-5000
Email: koffarnusl@orbitec.com
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract
ORBITEC proposes to analyze, design, and develop a device for autonomous lunar surface/subsurface sampling and processing applications. The Sample Acquisition for Materials in Planetary Exploration (SAMPLE) allows a sample to be quickly and completely encapsulated, minimizing vibrational effects and sample disruption (e.g., loss of volatiles). Subsequent analysis or processing can then be performed on the acquired sample from within the device, which is completely sealed from the surrounding environment. SAMPLE interfaces with a robotic arm that allows versatile sample selection at a chosen site. Sample disposal involves no additional hardware, operating in an analogous manner to acquisition. The SAMPLE is capable of housing various sensors, small instruments, and utilities, providing a processing "chamber" in which numerous solid analyses and experiments can be performed. Because of the sampling mechanism employed, the SAMPLE will provide NASA with a reliable means of acquiring planetary surface material and support of process/analysis hardware. SAMPLE could be designed to operate anywhere on the surface of the Moon, Mars or various asteroids. This would include operation in the cold traps that exist at the north and south poles of the Moon. Phase I will involve definition of system requirements, prototype design and testing, and preliminary space flight design.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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