Status Report

NASA LaRC Tech Transfer: Lunar Surface Manipulation Heavy Lifting and Precise Positioning Device

By SpaceRef Editor
March 4, 2015
Filed under , ,



Synopsis – Mar 02, 2015


General Information


    Solicitation Number: TT-01104

    Posted Date: Mar 02, 2015

    FedBizOpps Posted Date: Mar 02, 2015

    Recovery and Reinvestment Act Action: No

    Original Response Date: Mar 02, 2016

    Current Response Date: Mar 02, 2016

    Classification Code: 99 — Miscellaneous

    NAICS Code: 927110

    Set-Aside Code: 


Contracting Office Address


NASA/Langley Research Center, Mail Stop 12, Industry Assistance Office, Hampton, VA 23681-0001




NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, VA solicits inquiries from companies interested in obtaining license rights to commercialize, manufacture and market the following technology. License rights may be issued on an exclusive or nonexclusive basis and may include specific fields of use. NASA provides no funding in conjunction with these potential licenses.




Scientists at NASA Langley Research Center have a novel lifting and precision positioning device with hybrid functional characteristics of both crane-type lifting devices and robotic manipulators. The design of the Lunar Surface Manipulation System (LSMS) allows for fine positioning with complete control over both translation and rotation of the payload. In addition, the design permits several other operations using a wide variety of special purpose tools, such as a bucket, pallet forks, grappling devices, sensor and visualization packages, and dexterous robotic arms that can be quickly added to the tip. NASA is seeking development partners and potential licensees. NASA Langley developed the LSMS because of the need for a versatile system capable of performing multiple functions on the lunar surface, such as unloading components from a lander, transporting components to an operational site and installing them, and supporting service and replacement during component life. Current devices used for in-space operations are designed to work on orbit (zero g) only and thus do not have sufficient strength to operate on planetary surfaces. Traditional cranes are specialized to the task of lifting and are not capable of manipulator-type positioning operations. The innovations incorporated into the LSMS allow it to lower payloads to the ground over a significant portion of the workspace without use of a hoist, functioning like a robot manipulator, thus providing a rigid connection and very precise control of the payload. The LSMS uses a truss architecture with pure compression and tension members to achieve a lightweight design. The innovation of using multiple spreaders (like spokes in a wheel) allows the LSMS to maintain its high structural efficiency throughout its full range of motion. Rod portions of the tension members automatically lift off and re-engage the spreaders as the joint articulates, allowing a large range of motion while maintaining mechanical advantage. In addition, the LSMS uses a quick-change device at the tip end that enables automated acquisition of end effectors or special purpose tools to increase its versatility. U.S. patent 7,878,348.


To express interest in this opportunity, please respond to with the title of this Technology Transfer Opportunity as listed in this FBO notice and your preferred contact information. Please also provide the nature of your interest in the technology along with a brief background of your company. For more information about licensing other NASA-developed technologies, please visit the NASA Technology Transfer Portal at .


These responses are provided to members of NASA Langley’s Office of Strategic Analysis and Business Development “OSACB” for the purpose of promoting public awareness of NASA-developed technology products, and conducting preliminary market research to determine public interest in and potential for future licensing opportunities. If direct licensing interest results from this posting, OSACB will follow the required formal licensing process of posting in the Federal Register. No follow-on procurement is expected to result from responses to this Notice.


Point of Contact

    Name: Jesse C Midgett

    Title: Program Specialist

    Phone: 757-864-3936

    Fax: 757-864-8314


SpaceRef staff editor.