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Biomimetic Fabricated Solar Sail Technologies

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: N/A
Agency Tracking Number: NASA958
Amount: $69,994.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Solicitation Year: N/A
Award Year: 2001
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): N/A
Award End Date (Contract End Date): N/A
Small Business Information
500 Discovery Drive
Huntsville, AL 35806
United States
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Chris Talley
 Principal Investigator
 (256) 971-7081
Business Contact
 Dr.Harold L Pastrick
Title: Corp. V.P. and Gen. Mgr.
Phone: (256) 971-7000
Research Institution

Solar sails have been recognized by NASA as a key technology for enabling many future NASA missions to explore the solar system and beyond. Sailcraft of 250m and above, for outer planetary and extra solar missions, are not feasible with current technology and will require both a paradigm shift away from ground-based fabrication and the development of new innovative sail technologies. The current paradigm of ground-based fabrication followed by space-based deployment could be replaced by in-space fabrication of sails up to a kilometer in size. The Phase I technical objective is to demonstrate the feasibility of the concept of in-space fabrication of a biomemetic, bird-feather-like sail structure based on vacuum flash foaming from spinnaret-terminated tubes. The end result of this research will be the development of a lab scale process for in-space fabrication and metallizing of solar sails with very low areal density. This process would be readily scalable to a larger demonstration of a prototype sail segment under a Phase II effort.

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

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