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Structural-Health Aware Failure-Tolerant Engineered to Respond (SAFER) Additively Manufactured Systems, Phase I

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

Structural degradation and failure can cause malfunctions and long-term problems aboard spacecraft, jeopardizing the crew, especially in deep space missions. On Off-world habitats, this can lead to extensive maintenance procedures and dangerous EVAs to fix malfunctions. Micrometeorite impact and shielding breaches can have lasting impacts that pose a significant hazard to the longevity of missions. Made In Space, Inc. (MIS) has been developing novel additive manufacturing (AM) technologies for the production and application of embedded sensors and actuators. MIS's Structural-Health Aware Failure-Tolerant Engineered to Respond (SAFER) Additively Manufactured System is a suite of integrated technologies and composite materials that are compatible with AM processing techniques ranging from Free-Form-Fabrication, Direct-Write, and injection molding. Using the advanced AM technologies developed for microgravity manufacturing at MIS and piezoelectric thermoplastics provided by the Ohio State University (OSU), a major suite of structural monitoring and sensing technologies will be made available to designers for a variety of applications. The SAFER Additive Manufactured System will include a suite of AM solutions for the following applications: embedded strain-sensors for health monitoring and diagnosis; piezoelectric actuators and sensors for system prognosis; and embedded heaters and actuators for system self-healing and increased rigidity. SAFER embedded systems empower designers to cut weight of structural monitoring and increase structural safety with the freedom of AM. With the development of a novel piezoelectric AM material, SAFER will be a key component to safe long-duration manned space flight such as NASA's Journey to Mars and beyond. SAFER gives NASA peace of mind by coupling health-monitoring and self-repairing materials. More »

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