Proceedings of the Fourteenth SSI/Princeton Conference on Space Manufacturing
May 6-9, 1999
Published by Space Studies InstituteLinked titles go to full papers
[More to come]
More Princeton Conferences on Space Manufacturing
- Keynotes and Conference Summary
- I. Asteroids and Nonterrestrial Materials
- II. International, Legal, and Economic Considerations
- III. Wireless Power
- IV. Structures
- V. Biomedical and Social Considerations
- VI. Robotics
- VII. Transportation
- Poster Session
A Survey of Resource Utilization Processes for Mars and Its Moons. Robert D. Waldron. [PDF 3.5 MB]
Abstract: Although information on the compositions and mineralogies of Mars or its moons is fragmentary at best compared to the moon, sufficient information is available to formulate processing options for propellants and by-products for Cis-Mars applications. There are four (4) generic classes of accessible source materials: A) Mars atmosphere, B) damp soil/rock, C) Mars dry soil/rock, and D) Phobos, Deimos dry soil/rock. (The last two (2) classes are separately listed since very little is known about the compositions of the martian moons.) Class B could refer to either Mars or its moons and would constitute a viable resource if about 1% or more water content is locally recoverable. We have generated a list of 17 propellant combinations grouped into four (4) functional classes: 1) cryogenic, 2) H-Containing storables, 3) CNO storables, and 4) non-combustion storables, and identified their applicability for manufacture from 6 combinations of the four (4) resource classes listed above. Where manufacture is possible, we have identified one or more processing (synthesis) methods and will discuss available options for both propellant selection and production.
Molecular Nanotechnology and Space Resources, II: Implications for Desired Raw Materials. Stephen L. Gillett, Dept. of Geological Sciences, Mackay School of Mines, University of Nevada.
Abstract: Molecular nanotechnology (MNT) promises to make essentially defect-free materials technologically accessible, such that materials strengths can approach the limits set by chemical bonds. Such ultrastrong materials will revolutionize transportation vehicles and space structures. Realizing these extreme strengths, however; will render structural metal obsolete. Carbon is the most desirable structural material; hence asteroids with carbonaceous-chondrite composition, which have been commonly proposed as sources of C and volatiles for life support, are also likely to become desirable as sources of structural material, whereas Ni-Fe asteroids may become far less attractive. Furthermore, the thick CO2 atmosphere of Venus may have extraordinary long-term value, as it represents the largest off-Earth inventory of carbon in the inner Solar System. Carbonate rocks on Earth, which form the chief terrestrial C reservoir, are comparable in magnitude to the Venus atmosphere and will also become considerably more valuable than traditional metal ores. More unexpectedly, silicates, compounds characterized by Si-O bonds, may also prove extremely useful as a basis for MNT. Silicates make up the bulk of rocky bodies such as the Earth and Moon as well as of stony asteroids. For bodies such as the Moon that are essentially devoid of C, a silicate-based MNT may be critical for establishing an infrastructure beyond the level of a small scientific outpost.
Spacewatch Search for Material Resources Near Earth. Robert S. McMillan, Lunar & Planetary Laboratory, University of Arizona. [PDF 1.7 MB]
Abstract: Since 1989 the Spacewatch Project has discovered more than 192 Near-Earth Objects (NEOs). By virtue of a fainter limit of detection compared to other surveys, Spacewatch finds a higher proportion of small asteroids (less than 300 meters in diameter). One of these, 1998 KY26, is the most accessible to spacecraft among asteroids with well-known orbits. Spacewatch has provided the first — and so far the only — empirical information on the critical specific energy and tensile strength of asteroid material. These parameters are relevant to the mechanics of large-scale mining. Our new 1.8-meter telescope will reach a magnitude fainter than the venerable 0.9-m Spacewatch Telescope. It will help NEOs discovered on previous apparitions to be recovered years later, thus improving knowledge of their orbital elements well enough that they will not be lost. A second major enhancement to Spacewatch is a mosaic of CCD detectors covering ten times as much sky as the present detector. It should detect 300 Earthapproachers per year. The combination of the wide field coverage of the 0.9-m telescope and the high sensitivity of the 1.8-m telescope will provide Spacewatch with a most comprehensive capability for thorough exploration of space near Earth’s orbit.
Developing a Near Earth Object Observatory and Its Role in Education. Robert E. Strong, West Liberty State College SMART-Center & Sir Arthur C. Clarke Near Earth Object Observatory. [PDF 2.2 MB]
Abstract: This paper will trace the evolution and development of ideas, serendipitous encounters, and dead ends that have led to the realization of a Near Earth Object Observatory having the dual functions of astronomical research and education. Emphasis will be placed on the history of this particular Near Earth Object Observatory. Reasons for choosing the telescope make, type, and size will be discussed in detail. Selection criteria for CCD cameras versus photographic cameras, software, and auxiliary hardware will be discussed in more general terms. Observatory site selection will be outlined and the general pitfalls and good ideas highlighted associated with the entire process will be included in a question and answer period at the end of this presentation. The astronomical research side of a Near Earth Object Observatory is fairly obvious to most persons. Given the term ‘observatory’, we at once envision a stark building of sorts next to or supporting a huge white domed structure housing a large telescope poised against the night sky, ready to make discoveries and measurements of celestial bodies and events. Of course it goes without saying that the observatory must be perched atop a mountain or highest point to ensure an unobstructed view of the whole sky. The education side of a Near Earth Object Observatory is not so obvious. The term ‘education’ evokes ideas of classrooms, children, blackboards, and chalk. Education should not just be the memorization of facts from dusty antiquity, real education involves discovery and engaging the minds, hands, and imaginations of the student. The discovery aspect for the student is also a major focus of the Near Earth Object Observatory. The Near Earth Object Observatory will be utilized for both classroom instruction and informal science education for pre-school through college students and the public at large.
Asteroid Resource Development – Business Case. Thomas C. Taylor, Global Outpost, Inc.
Abstract: Mankind is at risk of extinction from large object impact, but the threat can have a positive aspect. The technical community has the responsibility to develop a positive alternative for survival of the species and explain it in such a manner that society can understand and support it. The technical aspects and the financial support are easier than the development of support from society. This paper proposes a conceptual development scenario for the recovery of asteroid resources in a business fashion. This results in a biodiverse subset of mankind’s culture and technology, safe from large object impact, which insures mankind’s survival. The selling of the Survival Scenario to the global society is a nearer term plan starting with Space Tourism, evolving through Solar Power Satellites and accelerating the settlement of mankind by putting a 10,000 person community inside a NEO burned out comet.
Business Scenarios for Space Development. Mike H. Ryan, Ph.D., Bellarmine College, W. Fielding School of Business. [PDF 4.4 MB]
Abstract: Examining a scenario in which the initial objective is a business opportunity may help develop new approaches to space-based activity. The described scenario illustrates the inherent strategic advantages of creating a revenue-based mass driver, a low earth orbit facility design for a specific commercial application, and the desirability of backward integration leading to the construction of commercial space power facilities. The discussion is based on two common and inherently useful commercial applications — waste disposal and electric power generation. Each has the advantage of significant markets, long production cycles, and known revenue patterns. By following the simple expedient of looking for revenue potential first and then extending the operation into space, it is possible to explore each opportunity further. Both garbage disposal (particularly high-level waste) and electric power production develop some unique competitive advantages when these operations become space-based.
Disposal of High Level-Nuclear Waste in Space. Jonathan Coopersmith, Texas A&M University. PDF 2.0 MB]
Abstract: This paper discusses the key technological and non-technological issues involved in disposing of high-level nuclear waste by launching it into space. Space disposal has two major benefits. First, it will permanently remove the burden and responsibility of high-level radioactive waste from future generations. Second, the guarantee of large payloads for decades will create a market for launch systems that could truly provide inexpensive access to space. Disposal in space consists of solidifying the wastes, embedding them in an explosion-proof vehicle, launching it into earth orbit, and then away from the earth. A wide range of technical choices exists for launch systems, including electromagnetic launchers, gas guns, laser propulsion, and solar sails. The range of possible destinations include solar orbits inside Venus, Earth-moon libration points, lunar landings, and outside the solar system. This project will not succeed until supporters and opponents are thoroughly convinced about its safety and efficiency. Key demonstrations, such as exploding a launch vehicle with a mock cargo and sending a test capsule to reenter the atmosphere, will be necessary to prove the project’s safety.
Privatization…Commercialization…Competition: Is It Time to Recognize a New Space Order at Unispace III? Amanda L. Moore, Ph.D., United Nations Representative, National Space Society.
Abstract: The past two decades have seen tremendous changes in the world’s political and economic order. Space activities have also experienced dramatic change. Space applications have been privatized, commercialized and open to competition on a global scale. International space law and institutions are struggling for new relevancy. On the immediate horizon is the Third United Nations Conference on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space — Unispace III — to be in held in Vienna, Austria from July 19-30, 1999. This paper will investigate the goals and objectives of Unispace III in light of: (1) the definition of such terms as “privatize” and “commercialize” in the context of space applications; (2) the new relations between governments, the private sector and space activities; and (3) the models evolving for traditional international space-related institutions and space industry. The goal is twofold: (a) to identify the elements of a new space order reflecting the new realities and (b) to reflect on the potential impact of such new space order on the development of space habitats and manufacturing in the 21st century.
The Impact of International Treaties on the SBL Program. Thor H. Hogan, Analytical Services, Inc. (ANSER).
Abstract: Recent developments regarding the proliferation of ballistic missile technology to several nations around the world have resulted in renewed interest in ballistic missile defense within the United States government. The Clinton Administration and the Republican Congress have committed to fielding a limited national missile defense system early in the next century. One potential component of that system is the Space-Based Laser. Three international agreements could potentially limit the ability of the United States to place such a weapon system in outer space — the Outer Space Treaty, the Environmental Modification Convention, and the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty. This paper analyzes the impact of those agreements on the Space-Based Laser program.
Jus in Bello Spatialis. Michel Bourbonnierre, Associate Professor, Royal Military College of Canada, and Louis Haeck, Adjunct Professor, Royal Military College of Canada. [PDF 4.5 MB]
Abstract: This note analyses the need to enhance the security of astronauts and of national space assets. It is argued that security issues are a prerequisite for both space industrialisation and for the human settlement of space. The technological capacity to engage in acts of war in outer space presently exists. The control of space is now an important part of military doctrine. This note analyses how space dominance can be legaly achieved by questioning the manner in which laws of war can be applied during an international armed conflict where the theatre of military operations is located in outer space. It is argued that the presenr rugulatory matrix of international armed conflicts must be amended to properly manage this new reality. New treaties must also protect the space environment itself from being severely damaged during military operations. Humanitarian assistance in outer space during times of armed conflict must also be insured.
Space Solar Power: A Prospective Future Energy Source? John C. Mankins, NASA Headquarters. [PDF 4.2 MB]
Abstract: This paper provides a brief review of past studies of SSP and solar power satellites (SPS), beginning with the 1970s and concluding with NASA’s 1998 SSP Concept Definition Study (CDS). The paper also summarizes the 1999-2000 US SSP exploratory research and technology (SERT) program, including studies of prospective SSP applications for both government and commercial space systems. Finally, there is a discussion of the potential for SSP to become an option to meet global power needs, with an emphasis on technical approaches that might be achievable within the next 20 years.
Architecture Options for Space Solar Power. Seth D. Potter, Harvey J. Willenberg, Mark W. Henley, and Steven R. Kent, The Boeing Company, Downey, CA.
Abstract: The recent NASA Space Solar Power (SSP) Concept Definition Study considered an architecture known as the Middle Earth Orbit (MEO) Sun Tower. This architecture presents both promise and challenge. Some of the technological challenges of the Sun Tower are specific to that design, rather than to the SSP concept in general, and can be mitigated with alternatives. Promising alternative system configurations are assessed here. The architectures were chosen for their potential to produce economical power in a manner that reduces some of the difficulties associated with the MEO Sun Tower. For each architecture, general system requirements, key technology development requirements, and space transportation requirements are considered. Our assessment suggests that a practical Space Solar Power architecture may evolve over time.
Grand-Bassin: A Step on the Ladder to Energy from Space. Buy Pignolet and Didier Vassaux, CNES Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales, and Alain Celeste, Universite de La Reunion.
Abstract: Solar energy seems to be the best environmental solution to the global energy problem and Space Solar Power may play a major role in our sustainable future. However, SSP systems are still way beyond the current horizons of our Economies and Politics. Intermediate steps have to be found to build a strategic ladder that will eventually take us to SSP implementation. Wireless Power Transportation by microwave is a key SSP technology, and the next step seems to be the realization of point to point WPT on the ground. Such a project is underway in the village of Grand-Bassin, in France, under the leadership of the University of La Reunion. Environment integration comes first along the priorities of the project and public acceptance is also considered to be a basic issue. In December 1998, a small permanent display was open to the public of tourists and visitors with presentations of WPT technology, study for Grand-Bassin and future SSP projects. A functional demonstrator implemented on the display actually beams a minute flow of energy between a microwave source and a set of collectors.
A Business Analysis for Commercial Space Development and Solar Power Satellite Systems. Yanai Zvi Siegel, Esq.
Abstract: There are only two viable commercial uses for outer space at this time: satellites for communications and remote sensing. A product is needed that is higher quality, lower cost or otherwise unavailable from ground-based competition, and the potential profits must justify the business risk of producing this product from space. A SWOT analysis of comsats, 5 gW SPS systems and 5 mW modular mini-SPS systems indicate that the modular mini-SPS approach has better commercial prospects than the 5 gW SPS. An estimate of the market value of SPS electricity production, however, indicates poor revenue potential. Nonetheless, breakeven could effectively be achieved in five years if the U.S. Energy Credit, a tax credit for investment in solar energy equipment, is extended from one year to five or more years. The opportunity cost of SPS-based electricity could make SPS systems attractive to companies that produce electricity for their own use or for sale (i.e. power utilities) regardless of profitability and breakeven, when oil, coal and nuclear fuel costs are considered. Lastly, the development of orbital industrial capability may not be profitable by itself, but may enable other space-based commercial uses to become sufficiently profitable to warrant further development.
Education and Manufacturing in the Next Millennium. E. McShane, K. Shenai, T. DeFanti, and A. Johnson, University of Illinois at Chicago, Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. [PDF 2.0 MB]
Abstract: The vitality of the Internet has demonstrated the economic and scientific potential of a world-wide multimedia communications network. When issues such as network bandwidth and real-time sequencing of transmitted data are overcome a new wave of virtual reality (VR) and electronic visualization (EV) applications will soon appear. These technologies have the potential to significantly impact global manufacturing, commerce, education, and medicine. Similar applications will appear in aerospace research and exploration. This paper describes our work in the fields of EV/VR and the underlying electronics necessary to support these systems. Our research includes investigation of low-power wireless communications technologies and EV/VR technologies for remote visualization, immersive collaboration, and tele-presence. By combining these thrusts we are developing a visualization technology that is tailored for access via wireless communications, but which still retains the capability for integration with existing global wired communications. A key element of this work is defining the EV/VR requirements of a space exploration and manufacturing program, and creating the necessary infrastructure to support EV/NR access by terrestrial researchers, industry personnel, and students. It makes use of existing Internet/WWW networks for global distribution, but proposes a distributed microsatellite network for near- and deep-space connectivity.
The Moon as a Solar Power Satellite. Gerald Falbel, Optical Energy Technologies Inc. [PDF 3.5 MB]
Abstract: Abstract This paper discusses a modified version of the Satellite Solar Power System, (SPS), originally proposed in 1968 by Dr. Peter Glaser of MIT, as a series of large, photovoltaic solar collector satellites orbiting at geosynchronous (22,500 mile) altitude. The solar energy collected would be beamed to the earth surface 24 hours a day, using microwave energy (which can pass through cloud cover). This system was studied extensively by several large aerospace companies under the joint sponsorship of the D.O.E and NASA between 1977 and 1980. The proposed modifications to this concept presented herein uses the moon as the “satellite”. This allows a much larger system to be built at lower cost, because it allows the use of materials making up the lunar surface to be used to construct the solar power system, thereby eliminating the requirement for lifting them up from the earth. In addition, this approach results in a much greater ease of assembly because of the gravity of the moon. Two configurations of such a system are described: (1.) A series of photovoltaic collectors situated near the lunar poles, which can generate a net electrical energy on the earth of 60 billion Kwatt-hours per year. (2.) A series of concentrating trough collectors using lunar gravity to shape a catenary cylindrical concentrator, driving Stirling Cycle electric generators, situated at the lunar equator, which can generate a net electrical energy on the earth of greater than 5.3 trillion Kwatt-hours per year. Both systems are described in detail, and their advantages and disadvantages relative to the original geosysnchronous SPS are discussed. The expected performance of these systems is analyzed based upon direct extrapolations from the analyses presented in the 1980 D.O.E. and NASA study reports, combined with recent performance measurements obtained with Stirling Cycle electric generators by NASA Lewis Research Center and others. A method of funding this proposed project by the U.S. Government is also discussed which would cause no increase in any current U.S. taxes. Furthermore, by distributing the electrical energy generated by this system on to existing electrical power grids as a “World TVA”, the receipts from electrical energy consumers at the current rate of 10 cents per Kwatt-hour could be used to retire the U.S. National Debt, and/or reduce income taxes. Finally, the implementation of such a system, which could be accomplished within a period of than 10 years, would reduce the world emission of greenhouse gases, not to the Kyoto-desired level of 1990, but to the level of 1890.
Solar Powered Satellite Engine. Franklin K. Chen, Chen Aerospace Company.
Abstract: Abstract An engine designed to convert solar energy to useful work is presented in this paper. This engine is called Solar Powered Satellite Engine (SPSE). It consists of three principal subsystems: The first subsystem includes a network of earth satellites called Satellite Reflectors (SR) used to reflect solar rays to specific locations. The media of reflected solar ray path absorb a portion of reflected energy thus alter the media’s thermodynamic characteristic, dynamic parameters and composition. The work done to the media can be directed to perform useful tasks selected by the SPSE operators. The second subsystem includes a large network of Remote Sensing Devices (RSD). These sensors are used to measure local media compositions, dynamic parameters and thermodynamic properties. Sensor measurements are fed back to the third subsystem, which includes a network of Ground Control Station (GCS) computers. GCS provides solar ray guidance by estimating each reflected solar ray’s future aim point trajectory as function of time before transmitting these data to their respective SR. Integration of these three subsystems establishes a sensor feedback energy beam guidance and control loop. This resulted in converting solar energy to useful work on a local or global scale controlled by the SPSE operators. The Solar Powered Satellite Engine (SPSE) has the potential for providing a multitude of useful applications at adaptively selected locations. Some of these applications are: to modify air mass movement, to modify precipitation, to improve harvest, to reduce weather damages, to modify jet stream path, to light, heat or cool specific locations of the earth, to supply energy to ground electricity generating stations using solar, wind, or hydro energies, to power solar powered airplanes as communication platforms, etc. All these different SPSE applications, at different global locations, can be accomplished using the same hardware by selectively switching to different GCS software. SPSE can use off the shelf hardware and some weather forecasting software. SPSE will cost less than the replacement cost due to damage done annually by bad weather. SPSE can produce benefits that most people can understand and support. By simultaneously developing airplanes powered by Sun and SPSE and using SPSE to reduce weather damage at few selected locations, etc., these applications can gradually transform SPSE from an engineering concept to a financially profitable business.
Concept for Continuous Inter-Planetary Communications. Stevan M. Davidovich, Lockheed Martin, Western Development Laboratories, and Joel Whittington, Harris Corporation. [PDF 5.2 MB]
Abstract: A concept for inter-planetary communications is proposed. The concept employs three polar orbiting satellites around the sun and a combination of geosynchronous and polar orbiting satellites around planets of interest in the solar system. The key aspect of this concept is that it assures a continuous communication connection between two objects within the solar system, be it a spacecraft or a planet. The orbital aspects of this concept are described, estimates of the propagation delays are provided and a protocol for exchanging and maintaining solar time is discussed. In addition, a RF communications link budget assessment is made and the expected performance presented. Performance areas where design trades need to be performed and a few enabling technologies are briefly discussed.
Hyperboloid Space Structures. Terrance J. Waters, Architect, and Michael Terrance Waters, Ecotect.
Abstract: In the double curved hyperboloid structure (HyperRing) all forces are transformed into axial forces only which is a new principle. Ruled line truss members serve two simultaneous purposes; namely vertical support and also bracing. Shear and torsion are eliminated leaving only equal and opposite tension and compression. Members deploy joining the points where the ruled lines cross to make the structural principle operate. This geometry works with natural forces instead of against them.
Partial Gravity Habitat for Space Tourism. Thomas C. Taylor, Global Outpost, Inc.
Abstract: Efforts are emerging to scrap the space shuttle in favor of newer launch vehicles. The opportunity for external tank (ET) salvage and use in orbit will be lost. The ET is a basic building block for space habitats and other projects. One space tourism habitat is proposed from the space shuttle external tank and a research plan is suggested for the environmental control life support, architecture and commercial aspects of a large torus. It can be financed, constructed, and used to stimulate mankind. The ET can be taken to orbit with little additional energy and salvaged by an acceptable technical method using the shuttle. An orbital Torus Space Tourism Facility is capable of being built near term and pulling in the commercial hotel interests, the government and Advanced Environmental Control Life Support System (ECLSS) industries and the space tourism industries into existence. Further, low earth orbit is one to two decades away from becoming a tourist attraction and reusable aerospace vehicles will shortly transport passengers to orbit for a variety of reasons. The design can be ready for the hotel industry to create, build and operate capital intensive facilities in orbit at a profit.
Functional Neuromuscular Stimulation of Hand Muscles for Telerobotic Position Feedback. David S. Odrobina, Dr. Darold Wobschall, Dr. Dale Fish, Department of Electrical Engineering, Department of Physical Therapy, Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, University at Buffalo.
Abstract: Position feedback has been demonstrated by electrically stimulating the appropriate human flexor and extensor muscles until the finger position matches the corresponding remote manipulator position. Force feedback has also been demonstrated by electrically stimulating the appropriate human flexor muscle while the human consciously contracts the appropriate extensor muscle to maintain a desired finger position. Master-slave position-position control and master-slave force-position control have been demonstrated with a one degree of freedom remote manipulator. Functional Neuromuscular Stimulation allows a compact non-mechanical telerobotic hand-master to be implemented. This paper describes the master-slave position-position or bilateral position mode.
Everest Extreme Expedition: Advanced Medical Technologies for Extreme Environments. Brett Harnett, CTO Yale University – NASA Commercial Space Center for Medical Informatics and Technology Applications.
Abstract: In what is considered one of the most extreme environments on earth, members of the 1999 Everest Extreme Expedition (known as E3) fulfilled their mission — to use technology to provide medical support in, and determine how the human body is affected by, extreme environments in the most remote parts of the world. New medical devices and forms of high-tech video conferencing and satellite communications were employed and tested in pursuit of this goal.
Future Technologies for Medical Applications in Space. Richard M. Satava, MD FACS, Yale University School of Medicine and Advanced Biomedical Technology Program, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).
Abstract: While laparoscopic surgery ushered in an entire new era in medicine, it is becoming apparent that even more advanced technologies will continue this revolution and fundamentally change a broad spectrum of the practice of medicine, from diagnostics to therapeutics to education and training. Based upon new Information Age technologies that are emerging in non-medical fields, it is possible to propose a framework and longterm direction for the future of Medicine. These new technologies will provide a basis for the next generation of medical practice, with many needing to be employed in the upcoming space missions in order to support the astronauts in space voyaging.
Solar Blade Nanosatellite Development. Richard Blomquist, Carnegie Mellon University.
Abstract: Nanosats are a new class of low mass satellite amenable to solar pressure propulsion. Carnegie Mellon Proposes to develop and fly the first spacecraft which utilizes solar radiation pressure as its only means of enabling attitude precession, spin rate change and orbital velocity changes. The Solar Blade Nanosatellite has the appearance of a Dutch windmill and employs control akin to a helicopter. Four solar reflecting blades are mounted radially from a central spacecraft bus and actuated along their radial axis. The satellite’s flight dynamics are controlled through the rotation of these solar blades relative to the sun’s rays. The spacecraft is stowable in a package approximately the size of a fire extinguisher and weighs less than 5 kilograms. The satellite will demonstrate attitude precession, spin rate management, and orbital adjustments.
Ranger Telerobotic Shuttle Experiment: Overview & Outlook. Joseph C. Parrish, NASA Headquarters, and Dr. David L. Akin, University of Maryland.
Abstract: The Ranger Telerobotic Shuttle Experiment (RTSX) is a Space Shuttle-based flight experiment to demonstrate key telerobotic technologies for servicing assets in Earth orbit. The flight system will be teleoperated from onboard the Space Shuttle and from a ground control station at the NASA Johnson Space Center. The robot, along with supporting equipment and task elements, will be located in the Shuttle payload bay. A number of relevant servicing operations will be performed — including extravehicular activity (EVA) worksite setup, orbit replaceable unit (ORU) exchange, and other dexterous tasks. The program is underway toward an anticipated launch date in CY2001, and the hardware and software for the flight article and a neutral buoyancy functional equivalent are transitioning from design to manufacture. This paper gives a technical and programmatic overview of the flight experiment, and lays out plans for the future.
Icebreaker: An Exploration of the Lunar South Pole. Paul Tompkins, Ashley Stroupe, The Robotics Institute, Carnegie Mellon University.
Abstract: The proposed Icebreaker mission intends to conduct a robotic ground investigation of the southern polar region of the Moon. Searching for water ice and performing geological studies of the lunar south pole will provide essential information on the presence and distribution of resources necessary to support human habitation and a base for deep-space missions (such as water, fuel and propellant components, and potential construction materials) as well as for fundamental scientific investigation. Icebreaker proposes an academic, commercial and government partnership, to create economical, multi-dimensional missions.
Space Electronics Technologies for the Next Millennium. E. McShane, N. Keskar, and K. Shenai, University of Illinois at Chicago, Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.
Abstract: Present and emerging spacecraft microavionics components are exhibiting a trend toward monolithic systems integration, similar to that found in terrestrial mobile electronics. Motivations include an order-of-magnitude reduction in package dimensions and mass, resulting in smaller payloads, and substantial improvements in power efficiency. Future micro-satellites and -spacecraft will require an integration of communications, computing, and sensing functions. Emerging applications in planetary exploration will also require power generation from ambient energy sources for self-sustaining missions. Our research into new technologies to support these applications encompasses low-power microavionics architectures, electronic cameras, and micro-power generators. These technologies will profoundly impact space exploration and settlement by providing a new generation of compact, self-powered microspacecraft and self-sustaining power generation. In addition to extraterrestrial settings, energy harvesting using similar techniques in an orbiting unit can supply terrestrial needs. Technologies we are developing are an innovative blend of existing and emerging processes including silicon CMOS, active pixel sensors (APS), MEMS, and micromagnetics. When fabricated on a single monolithic substrate, these technologies can be integrated to form a compact, multifunctional unit. This paper describes our innovations in developing single-chip microavionics, digital image sensors, and power generation, and their applications to space power, space exploration, and remote settlement.
Overview Robotic Architectures for Mars ’98 and Mars ’01. Wayne F. Zimmerman, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology.
Abstract: NASA is striving to increase understanding of the global geophysical and meteorological dynamics of Mars. A global survey of Mars will help explain why the planet lost water and developed a thin CO2 atmosphere, whether or not Mars has the building blocks for life, and if the global conditions of Mars are similar to the Earth’s environment. Given the cost and risk of sending humans to Mars, robotic exploration is a viable way to carry out this global survey.
Highways of Light: An Update on Beamed Energy Propulsion Research at AFRL & NASA/MSFC. Prof. Leik N. Myrabo, Dept. of Mechanical Engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
Abstract: This multi-media presentation will give the objectives, goals, programmatic details, present status and recent highlights for two government sponsored efforts on beamed energy propulsion research: the Laser Lightcraft Project (joint AFRL/NASA), and the Microwave Lightcraft Project (NASA-Marshall SFC). The principal objective of this research is to create breakthroughs in Propulsion technology for Cheap Access to Space, ambitiously defined as a 2 or 3 orders-of-magnitude reduction in cost below present chemical rocket launch systems. Examples of actual laser Lightcraft flight hardware will be shown, as well as videotape footage of recent flight demonstrations at the High Energy Laser Systems Test Facility (HELSTF), White Sands Missile Range, NM — using the 10 KW Army’s pulsed carbon dioxide laser called PLVTS.
Slingatron Engneering and Early Experiments. D. A. Tidman and J. R. Greig, Advanced Launch Corporation.
Abstract: The engineering design of a small-bore spiral slingatron is described based on a stress analysis of its various components. Scaling laws that enable one to scale the system up in velocity and projectile mass are discussed, along with plans for experiments. A currently operating experiment is also described that is providing data for the coefficient of sliding friction for a high velocity projectile. The potential value of this friction data for all ground-to-space mass launchers is pointed out.
A Low Cost Space Launcher Using the Hypervelocity Combustion Light Gas Gun. F. Douglas Witherspoon, David L. Kruczynski, and Dennis W. Massey, UTRON Inc.
Abstract: UTRON proposes to utilize the distributed injection scheme coupled with a new hypervelocity launcher called the Combustion Light Gas Gun (CLGG) to launch heavy payloads to the moderate velocity range of 4-5 km/s, with peak accelerations of only a few kgees. When combined with relatively small onboard rockets, payloads could readily be placed into orbits of a few hundred kilometers. The technique requires no cost prohibitive power supplies or expensive barrels typically associated with such efforts. UTRON’ s approach of inexpensive technology coupled with moderate launch velocities bypasses many of the technical and economic problems associated with previous Gun Launch to Space concepts. The concept of Gun Launch to Space (GLTS) will be discussed in general terms, highlighting the technical and market barriers, and the opportunities for overcoming these barriers in the near future. The advantages and disadvantages of GLTS are presented in relation to conventional launch systems, emphasizing the complementary nature of GLTS for providing a commercially feasible low cost space launch system.
Analysis of a PEM Fuel Cell and Battery Powered Lunar Rover. Marshall Miller, Institute of Transportation Studies, University of California, Davis.
Abstract: This paper describes an analysis of a lunar rover vehicle powered by either a PEM fuel cell or advanced batteries. The fuel cell operates on gaseous hydrogen and oxygen stored in compressed gas cylinders. The battery technologies considered include nickel metal hydride and lithium ion. The power requirements of the rover were calculated using a dynamic vehicle simulation assuming constant speed (10 and 15 mile per hour) drive cycles on the lunar surface. The power required to drive the rover up a 20 degree incline was used to size the fuel cell. The weight and volume of the power systems (fuel cell and fuel storage or batteries) were calculated as a function of vehicle range. Ranges of 100 and 200 miles were analyzed. The fuel cell system, including the fuel storage, necessary to provide the required energy and power is considerably smaller and lighter than either battery. To provide a 100 mile range the fuel cell system with fuel weighs 48.7 kg and has a volume of 44.1 liters. The nickel metal hydride battery weighed 244 kg while the lithium-ion battery weighed 133 kg. As the range increases, the differences become larger.
A Ballistic Capture Transfer to L4, L5. Edward Belbruno, Princeton University and Innovative Orbital Design, Inc.
Abstract: The standard way to transfer from the earth to the equilateral Lagrange points L4, L5 by use of a Hohmann transfer requires approximately 800 m/s in Delta-V to rendezvous with either of these locations. A new transfer is described here which takes approximately zero Delta-V. In doing so, the flight time goes up from about 3 days to 135 days. These transfers should have a flexible launch period. The use of almost zero rendezvous Delta-V can cause a substantial increase in payload. A basic component of this class of transfers is the operationally tested WSB lunar transfer.
Combined Propulsion fro a Small Reusable Launcher. Vladimir Balepin, MSE Technology Applications Inc.
Abstract: The concept of the small reusable SSTO launcher based on the KLIN cycle is presented, and configuration of the propulsion system is discussed. The benefits of the small launcher, reusability, and combined cycle application are also discussed. Significant reduction of the GTOW and dry weight of the KLIN cycle-powered launcher compared to an all-rocket launcher is shown, and parameters of a baseline sSSTO launcher are considered. Major steps of the KLIN cycle development are discussed, including immediate steps that can be accomplished with moderate funding.
A Survey and Recent Developments of Lunar Gravity Assist. Paul A. Penzo, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology.
Abstract: This paper will illustrate the basic mechanics of lunar gravity assist (LGA), and list the many applications where it has been used effectively over the past 30 some years. These include the Apollo mission, redirecting an Earth-sun libration point satellite to a comet encounter, and enhancing payloads by providing an energy boost by the Moon. More recently, studies and actual missions have shown the benefits of LGA in: (1) assisting lunar capture, (2) repositioning geosynchronous communications satellites, (3) boosting spacecraft to Earth escape and departure to planets and other solar system bodies, and (4) allowing small spacecraft to be launched as secondary payloads and released into almost a random orbit from which each may depart and maneuver in space with gravity assists from the Earth and Moon to perform a specific planetary or other mission. This latter application is a recent development by the author and is being applied in 2002 and later years, with piggyback flights on the Ariane 5 which launches comsats to GEO.
Construction Methodology Beyond Earth: A White Paper. DeWitt T. Latimer IV, Construction Metrology and Automation Group, NIST.
Abstract: Construction metrology standardization research currently focuses on terrestrial applications. For space based applications, there is the potential for great monetary and effort savings through the creation and use of open industry standards. Current technology for construction automation in space requires either one vendor to provide an entire solution, or an organization, such as NASA, to coordinate the efforts of vendors in tightly integrated and non-competitive projects. Open standards for space based construction metrology could provide a means to promote competition in this potentially lucrative market. However, current practices in metrology, automated or manual, need to be reevaluated in this new space environment. The LiveView protocol is being designed to meet this goal.