USA flag logo/image

An Official Website of the United States Government

Lightweight Robotic Excavation

Award Information

Agency:
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch:
N/A
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2011 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
094900
Solicitation Year:
2009
Solicitation Topic Code:
X6.01
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Astrobotic Technology, Inc.
4551 Forbes Avenue Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3524
View profile »
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
 
Phase 2
Fiscal Year: 2011
Title: Lightweight Robotic Excavation
Agency: NASA
Contract: NNX11CB55C
Award Amount: $599,971.00
 

Abstract:

Lightweight robotic excavators address the need for machines that dig,collect, transport and dump lunar soil. Robust and productive smallrobots enable mining rich and accessible deposits of ice and othervolatiles buried near craters at the lunar poles, delivering resources toproduce propellant, and thus making space exploration sustainable.Lightweight excavators bridge the gap between prospecting and full-scaleISRU.A lightweight robot is proposed that excavates and delivers regolith with production so superior to the state of the art as to enable realistic lunar and planetary applications. Demonstration of light weight will be achieved by operating a low mass robot in Earth gravity reduced 5/6 by offloading. The significance of the proposed innovation is an approach that not only performs the required tasks but is low in mass (30 kg to 150 kg). Mass constraints make productive excavation challenging. However, innovative designs incorporating transverse bucket-wheels, high payload composite dump beds, and high-speed driving are game changers, enabling regolith operations in low gravity. Phase 1 experimental results show that payload ratio and driving speed govern productivity of small robots. Phase 2 will elevate TRLs from 3 at the beginning to an estimated 4 or 5 at end of contract.

Principal Investigator:

David Gump
Principal Investigator
4126823282
david.gump@astrobotictech.com

Business Contact:

David Gump
Business Official
7037039616
david.gump@astrobotictech.com
Small Business Information at Submission:

Astrobotic Technology, Inc.
4551 Forbes Avenue Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3524

EIN/Tax ID: 262383764
DUNS: N/A
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No