Precision Mobile-Joint and Latching Technologies for Deployable Optical Systems

Period of Performance: 01/01/2014 - 12/31/2014


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

MMA Design LLC
Boulder, CO 80301
Principal Investigator
Firm POC


Planned future NASA missions in astrophysics will push the state of the art in current opto-mechanical technologies. Specifically, precision deployable structures will be required to facilitate large aperture deployable optical telescopes given current and foreseeable payload volumes. Fundamental to these deployable structures are enabling components that are capable of precise, repeatable deployments and that are stable in the orbital environment.MMA Design LLC proposes to advance the state of the art in highly reliable and cost effective deployable optical systems by developing precision mobile-joint and latching technologies that are integral to a deployable optical telescope. This proposal focuses on research and development of innovative precision deployment technologies that initially target a 6U CubeSat to ESPA-class optical platform but that are highly scalable to 16 meter class or larger optical systems.The primary innovations in the development of the proposed precision deployable technologies include:? Scalable System Design?The deployable system and components can be proportionally scaled to accommodate larger aperture systems.? Repeatable Multiple Degree-of-Freedom Joints?Use of flexible elements and preloading of movable parts enables deployment repeatability and precision.? High Performance at lower cost?The proposed approach utilizes innovative concepts for latching and joint mobility that will yield significant improvements in performance at lower system cost.