In support of a deployable LIDAR membrane optic systems previously developed as part of a Phase III SBIR, MMA was awarded a NASA Phase I SBIR that will further advance the state of closed cross-section deployable booms required to scale or otherwise maximize deployed tension in the optic system in development. The proposed Assembled Tubular Masts (ATMs) provide closed-cross section performance while eliminating problems associated with permanently bonding shell halves to form closed cross-section booms. MMA’s work during this phase will aim to achieve at least twice the tension on the deployed optic membrane MMA’s Lidar system all within the same stowed volume by changing booms from an open section slit tube to a closed, ATM cross-section. Beyond LIDAR instruments, the fundamental ATM technology developed in this Phase I effort is also directly applicable to any deployable space structure that seeks to maximize deployed system stiffness, while minimizing stowed volume and mass. The ATM technology may be applied to future NASA missions requiring deployed solar arrays, deployable antenna systems, or other space deployable structures both in Earth orbit, interplanetary, or for lunar or Mars surface operations.
Learn More about NASA’s recent technology investments: https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-selects-small-business-research-teams-for-tech-development