Vacuum-Compatible Multi-Axis Manipulator/Machining Center for Long-Duration Space Missions

Period of Performance: 01/01/2008 - 12/31/2008

$554K

Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Beck Engineering
1490 Lumsden Road
Port Orchard, WA 98367
Principal Investigator

Abstract

NASA has many needs for maintenance and repair technologies for long-duration human space missions. We propose to continue developing a compact, portable, vacuum-compatible, multi-axis Manipulator/Machining Center (M/MC) to satisfy many of NASA's needs. Our M/MC will provide complex manipulation during: layer-additive manufacturing; collection of geometric data for reverse-engineering; real-time non-destructive evaluation; and non-destructive material property determination. Our M/MC will also finish-machine near-net-shape parts produced using layer-additive manufacturing. Design features of our M/MC will: minimize mass, volume, and power consumption while providing required capabilities; maximize life and reliability; and enable our M/MC to operate in space-based vacuum, microgravity, and partial-gravity environments. In Phase II, we will: generate alternative designs of M/MCs for space-based applications; and design, build, test, and zero-g-flight-test a prototype M/MC. In Phase III, we will design, build, and sell M/MCs to the government and private sector.