The science community is interested in exploiting smaller, expendable unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) for missions to collect measurements. The objective of this project is to showcase a new application of 3D printing and rapid prototyping to significantly reduce the time to flight-testing of science UAS platforms able to carry out useful research for the NASA Science Mission Directorate. Our team will evaluate the utility of rapid prototyping and advanced manufacturing by testing two new, optimized science mission platforms that combine newly fabricated parts with stock Dragon Eye (DE) UAS donated to the Center as building blocks.
Our team will demonstrate that science mission aircraft can be built using salvaged UAS parts donated to the Center and optimized into more capable, long endurance mission platforms using 3D printing and other rapid manufacturing techniques. This project aligns with the National Network for Manufacturing Initiative that seeks to find innovative ways of improving the quality and usefulness of 3D printed parts. Currently, our team has begun to use tools available through the Ames SpaceShop to 3D print, laser cut, and foam extrude new parts for UAS. New parts include lightweight nose cones for carrying sensor payloads and wing section joints for added wingspan to improve aerodynamics.More »
The CIF proposal will deliver an unmanned aerial system capable of flying to a volcano plume and collecting aerosol samples using a set of onboard sensors.
The CIF proposal will deliver a new science mission platform that can be optimized and flight-tested in less than a week to a set of mission requirements.
This CIF proposal will deliver an operational, proof-of-concept unmanned aerial science mission platform using salvaged stock parts from the Dragon Eye UAV capable of flying longer, carrying more sensors, and flying at higher altitudes.More »
|Organizations Performing Work||Role||Type||Location|
|Ames Research Center (ARC)||Lead Organization||NASA Center||Mountain View, CA|
|Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC)||NASA Center||Greenbelt, MD|
|Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL)||NASA Center||Pasadena, CA|
|University of California Santa Cruz||Academic||Santa Cruz, CA|
|University of Colorado at Boulder||Academic||Boulder, CO|
|University of Costa Rica||Academic|
|US Coast Guard||U.S. Government|