Payload Extension and Positioning System

Request Number REQ7291027
Due Date September 11, 2015
Author Kevin Andrews
Request for Proposal Details
RFP Title
Payload Extension and Positioning System
RFP Description

NineSigma, representing a global equipment manufacturer seeks proposals for novel technology to extend and position a payload rapidly from a stored to a deployed position.


NineSigma’s client uses an air driven mechanical system to deploy a payload from a stored to an extended position. This system requires complicated components capable of retaining air. NineSigma’s client seeks a simpler, cost-effective solution with high reliability and ease of manufacturability.


Anticipated Project Phases or Project Plan

Phase 1 – Proof of concept

• Laboratory scale demonstration


Phase 2 – Engineering optimization

• Design optimization for incorporation into commercialized product


Criteria for Moving from Phase 1 to Phase 2

Client will consider for advancement an acceptable demonstration of performance with acceptable economics and pathway for manufacture.


Key Success Criteria

The successful technology will:

• Permit rapid vertical extension of a payload from a stored to an extended position

o Stored length of 1.0 ft (30 cm)

o Extended length of 7.5 ft (2.3 m)

o Payload may weigh up to 50 pounds (25 kg) with overall dimensions 2 ft x 4 ft x 0.5 ft (0.6 m x 1.2 m x 0.15 m)

o Extension time ≤ 40 s

• Permit rotational positioning of ≥ 365 degrees

• Permit tilting payload ≥ 180 degrees in either direction from vertical

• Meet the following constraints:

o Total system mass, exclusive of payload, not to exceed 150 pounds (68 kg)

o Operate at 12 or 24 volts DC or 110 or 230 volts AC

o Utilize a wired remote control

• Operate in the following environmental conditions:

o Temperatures ranging from -40 to +140 °F (-40 to +60 °C)

o Wind speeds up to 55 mph (88 km/h)

• Be cost-effective at commercial scale


Possible Approaches

Possible approaches might include, but are not limited to:

• Electromechanical mechanisms

• Smart materials


Approaches not of interest

The following approaches are not of interest:

• Pneumatics and hydraulics

• Manually operated systems

• Balloon based systems

• Man-powered systems


Preferred Collaboration types
Items to be submitted

To respond, please make sure you are registered in NineSights, as it will prompt you to log in. Then, use the Response options at the top or bottom of the page. You may submit supplemental files in addition to your completed response form.


Appropriate responses will use the response form and address the following:

• Non-confidential description of proposed technology including working mechanism

• Availability of technical data including extension time, mass/volume, reliability, power requirements, operating temperature, and useful life

• Technical maturity of the approach (concept, prototype, ready to commercialize, commercialized)

• Pathway to commercial scale including timing, estimated budget, and capacity for manufacture

• Estimated unit cost of technology

• Position on intellectual property including patent references

• Desired relationship with sponsor

• Team description and related experience




Responses from companies (small to large), academic researchers, other research institutes, consultants, venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, or inventors are welcome. For example:


You represent a company or university that has demonstrated a proof of concept.

You represent a company or university that has a bench-scale demonstration ready to adapt.

You represent a company or university that has an undeveloped pathway with a high probability of success.



Area of Interest
Request Priority
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Questions and Answers that clarify the Request for Proposal.

Q1. Which of the dimensions of the payload is along the direction of deployment?
A1. The 0.5 foot dimension is along the direction of deployment.

Q2. What are the requirements for the overall dimensions of the system when it is at the stored length (height) of 1 foot?
A2. Stowed height of 1 ft maximum, stowed width of 2 ft maximum, and stowed length of 4 ft. maximum.

Q3. Does the stowed height of 1 ft also include the height of the mechanism to lift to 7.5 ft?
A3. Yes.

Q4. Does the system deploy the payload to 7.5 ft one time or multiple times? If stow cycles are required, what is the time required to stow the system?
A4. The system should permit deployment and stowage multiple times. The deployed state may last from 5 minutes to 12 hours. Time to deploy should not exceed 40 seconds. Time to stow should not exceed 40 seconds.

Q5. Is the base to which the deployment mechanism is attached capable to withstanding 55 mph wind on the largest face of the payload?
A5. Yes. The face area is 2 ft x 4 ft.

Q6. Does the payload basically present a flat face to the wind at 55 mph?
A6. Yes.

Q7. Is there a maximum value for the rotational and tilt requirements of 365 and 180 degrees, respectively? Are continuous rotations required?
A7. We do not specify maximum values for either the rotational or tilt requirements. Continuous rotation is not a requirement.

Q8. Please clarify the "tilting" requirement of 180 degrees from vertical.
A8. The payload may be oriented in the vertical orientation, or it may be rotated left 90 degrees from vertical or rotated right 90 degrees from vertical.
Posted on 8/11/15 1:52 PM.