Light Weight Low Force Rotary Percussive Coring Tool for Planetary Applications

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: N/A
Contract: FA8650-07-C-5917
Agency Tracking Number: 06 S1.01-8788
Amount: $1,166,930.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2008
Solicitation Year: 2006
Solicitation Topic Code: 06-1-S1.01
Solicitation Number: 2006.1
Small Business Information
1250 Lincoln Avenue, Suite 100, Pasadena, CA, 91103-2466
HUBZone Owned: Unavailable
Woman Owned: Unavailable
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: Unavailable
Principal Investigator
 Roy Nakagawa
 (626) 296-1373
Business Contact
Phone: (626) 296-1373
Research Institution
Current science for Mars and lunar exploration demands that fairly small diameter intact rock cores be acquired for geologic evaluation. Tools to acquire these cores must be light weight, draw minimal power, and induce low loads on their robotic platforms. Unfortunately no tools have yet been produced that meet these requirements and produce a viable core. Alliance Spacesystems, LLC produced a rotary percussive drill designed for space use under a NASA-funded Mars Instrument Development Program (MIDP) project ? the Low-force Sample Acquisition System (LSAS) ? that successfully drilled and acquired samples from a variety of rocks and soils including the hardest anticipated Martian rock (basalt) and frozen soil not only in ambient conditions but also in a thermal/vacuum chamber replicating Mars pressure and extreme temperatures. Alliance now proposes to adapt the design approach to rock coring, using the demonstrated performance and advantages of rotary percussive drilling to solve the problems currently being encountered with the state of the art coring approaches. BENEFIT: POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS ( Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words) The proposed rotary percussive coring tool (RPCT) could contribute directly to several NASA missions planned for the immediate future including the Mars Science Laboratory. Future mission applications include the Mars Sample and Return (MSR) mission, a number of proposed Mars Scouts, and any of the Discovery or lunar missions that entail geologic evaluations. While a purely commercial terrestrial application is not envisioned, the RPCT directly supports the current emphasis on robotic exploration and investigations of the geology of Mars and the Moon. POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS ( Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words) Currently no non-NASA applications are envisioned since terrestrial commercial applications are more concerned with the economics of time, and mass and power are typically free variables. NASA's technology taxonomy has been developed by the SBIR-STTR program to disseminate awareness of proposed and awarded R/R&D in the agency. It is a listing of over 100 technologies, sorted into broad categories, of interest to NASA. "

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

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