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Company Information:

Company Name: Tethers Unlimited, Inc.
City: Bothell
State: WA
Zip+4: -
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Website URL: http://www.tethers.com
Phone: (425) 486-0100

Award Totals:

Program/Phase Award Amount ($) Number of Awards
SBIR Phase I $2,788,680.00 30
SBIR Phase II $8,683,014.00 13
STTR Phase I $99,917.00 1
STTR Phase II $499,998.00 1

Award List:

FAILSAFE MULTISTRAND TETHER STRUCTURES FOR SPACE PROPULSION

Award Year / Program / Phase: 1992 / SBIR / Phase I
Agency: NASA
Principal Investigator: Dr. Robert L. Forward , Principal Investigator
Award Amount: $49,970.00

Failsafe Multistrand Tether Seds Technology Demonstration

Award Year / Program / Phase: 1995 / SBIR / Phase I
Agency: NASA
Principal Investigator: Robert L. Forward , Partner & Chief Scientist
Award Amount: $70,000.00

HIGH STRENGTH-TO-WEIGHT TAPERED HOYTETHER FOR LEO TO GEO PAYLOAD TRANSPORT

Award Year / Program / Phase: 1996 / SBIR / Phase I
Agency: NASA
Principal Investigator: Robert L. Forward , Partner & Chief Scientist
Award Amount: $70,000.00

HIGH STRENGTH-TO-WEIGHT TAPERED HOYTETHER FOR LEO TO GEO PAYLOAD TRANSPORT

Award Year / Program / Phase: 1997 / SBIR / Phase II
Agency: NASA
Principal Investigator: Robert L. Forward , Partner & Chief Scientist
Award Amount: $576,490.00

The Terminator Tether: A Low-Mass System for End-of-Life Deorbit of LEO Spacecraft

Award Year / Program / Phase: 1998 / SBIR / Phase I
Agency: NASA
Principal Investigator:
Award Amount: $70,000.00

N/A

Award Year / Program / Phase: 1999 / SBIR / Phase II
Agency: NASA
Principal Investigator:
Award Amount: $600,000.00

Stabilization of Electrodynamic Space Tethers

Award Year / Program / Phase: 2001 / SBIR / Phase I
Agency: NASA
Principal Investigator: Robert Hoyt, President
Award Amount: $70,000.00
Abstract:
Electrodynamic tether propulsion can provide propellantless propulsion capability for a number of important missions in LEO, including stationkeeping for small satellites, boosting of the International Space Station, deorbit of malfunctioning satellites, and orbit raising of payloads. Theoretical… More

Tether Propulsion System for XS-11 Satellite Retrieval Mission

Award Year / Program / Phase: 2001 / SBIR / Phase I
Agency / Branch: DOD / USAF
Principal Investigator: Robert Hoyt, President
Award Amount: $0.00
Abstract:
A small propellantless electrodynamic tether system can provide a low-mass and low-cost means for lowering the orbit of an existing satellite from high- or mid-LEO altitudes down to low-LEO altitudes so that the satellite can be retrieved for examination,repair, or return to Earth. We propose to… More

Tether Propulsion System for XS-11 Satellite Retrieval Mission

Award Year / Program / Phase: 2001 / SBIR / Phase II
Agency / Branch: DOD / USAF
Principal Investigator: Robert Hoyt, President
Award Amount: $749,848.00
Abstract:
A small propellantless electrodynamic tether system can provide a low-mass and low-cost means for lowering the orbit of an existing satellite from high- or mid-LEO altitudes down to low-LEO altitudes so that the satellite can be retrieved for examination,repair, or return to Earth. We propose to… More

Technologies for Momentum-Exchange/Electrodynamic-Reboost Tether Facilities

Award Year / Program / Phase: 2003 / SBIR / Phase I
Agency: NASA
Principal Investigator: Robert Hoyt, Principal Investigator
Award Amount: $69,934.00
Abstract:
A modular Momentum-Exchange/Electrodynamic-Reboost (MXER) tether system can provide a fully-reusable in-space propulsion system that can provide propellantless propulsion for orbital transfer, Earth-to-Orbit launch assist, and reboost of LEO spacecraft such as the ISS. By eliminating the need to… More

Multi-Application Survivable Tether (MAST) Experiment

Award Year / Program / Phase: 2003 / STTR / Phase I
Agency: NASA
Research Institution: Stanford University SSDL
Principal Investigator: Robert Hoyt
Award Amount: $99,917.00
RI Contact: Bob
Abstract:
Space tether technology can provide propellantless propulsion for orbital maneuvering, orbital transfer, and spacecraft formation flying. The MAST (Multi- Application Survivable Tether) experiment team, consisting of Tethers Unlimited, Inc. (TUI) and the Stanford University Space Systems Development… More

SensorLine: A Distributed Sensor System for Planetary Exploration

Award Year / Program / Phase: 2003 / SBIR / Phase I
Agency: NASA
Principal Investigator: Jeffrey Slostad, Principal Investigator
Award Amount: $69,959.00
Abstract:
The SensorLine is a small, simple, low-cost system for deploying arrays of tethered microsensors for planetary, asteroid, and subsurface exploration. The SensorLine system integrates the microsensors into a thin, lightweight tether that provides both power and communication. In planetary exploration… More

Multi-Application Survivable Tether (MAST) Experiment

Award Year / Program / Phase: 2004 / STTR / Phase II
Agency: NASA
Research Institution: Stanford University SSDL
Principal Investigator: Robert Hoyt, Principal Investigator
Award Amount: $499,998.00
RI Contact: Scott Fong
Abstract:
The MAST (Multi-Application Survivable Tether) team, consisting of Tethers Unlimited, Inc. (TUI) and the Standford University Space Systems Development Laboratory (SSDL), propose to develop and fly a very low cost nanosatellite experiment that will demonstrate the deployment of a lightweight… More

Technologies for Momentum-Exchange/Electrodynamic-Reboost Tether Facilities

Award Year / Program / Phase: 2004 / SBIR / Phase II
Agency: NASA
Principal Investigator: Robert Hoyt, Principal Investigator
Award Amount: $585,680.00
Abstract:
The MXER Tether Boost Facility will serve as a fully-reusable in-space ?upper-stage? that will provide propellantless propulsion for orbital transfer and Earth-to-Orbit launch assist. By elimi-nating the need to launch an upper stage along with each payload, the MXER Tether can reduce the size of… More

SensorLine: A Distributed Sensor System for Planetary Exploration

Award Year / Program / Phase: 2004 / SBIR / Phase II
Agency: NASA
Principal Investigator: Jeffrey T. Slostad, Principal Investigator
Award Amount: $599,465.00
Abstract:
The SensorLine is a small, simple, low-cost system for deploying arrays of tethered microsensors for planetary, asteroid, and subsurface exploration. The SensorLine system integrates the microsensors into a thin, lightweight tether that provides both power and communication. In planetary exploration… More

High Speed (15 kts) Long-Length Fiber Optic Deployment System

Award Year / Program / Phase: 2005 / SBIR / Phase I
Agency / Branch: DOD / NAVY
Principal Investigator: Jeffrey Slostad, Chief Engineer
Award Amount: $69,817.00
Abstract:
Tethers Unlimited, Inc. (TUI) proposes to develop a compact Underwater Tether Deployment (UTD) System designed to provide an optical fiber link for two-way communication between a submarine and a communication buoy. To minimize tension forces on the fiber optic, the UTD System will utilize two… More

Optimized Magnetic Nozzles for MPD Thrusters

Award Year / Program / Phase: 2005 / SBIR / Phase I
Agency: NASA
Principal Investigator: Robert Hoyt, Principal Investigator
Award Amount: $69,922.00
Abstract:
Magnetoplasmadynamic (MPD) thrusters can provide the high-specific impulse, high-power propulsion required to enable ambitious human and robotic exploration missions to the Moon, Mars, and outer planets. Whereas the thrust and power densities of Hall and Ion thrusters are limited by space charge… More

High Speed (15 kts) Long-Length Fiber Optic Deployment System

Award Year / Program / Phase: 2006 / SBIR / Phase II
Agency / Branch: DOD / NAVY
Principal Investigator: Jeffrey Slostad, Chief Engineer
Award Amount: $874,822.00
Abstract:
The overall objective of this SBIR effort is to develop fiber optic winding and packaging processes to enable low-cost production of wound fiber optic packages that can deploy reliably at high speeds underwater with minimal signal attenuation. Our goal for the Phase II project is to complete the… More

Reliable Tool for Assessing Structural Integrity of Guy Wires on Tall Antenna Tower

Award Year / Program / Phase: 2007 / SBIR / Phase I
Agency / Branch: DOD / NAVY
Principal Investigator: Robert Hoyt, CEO
Award Amount: $69,942.00
Abstract:
TUI proposes to develop a novel electro-magnetic inspection tool for assessment of guy wire integrity. The proposed tool will utilizing recent advances in hybrid flexible/rigid printed circuitry fabrication to implement the main-flux measurement technique within a clamshell-type enclosure. This… More

Marine Environment Deployment of Undersea Sensor Arrays (MEDUSA)

Award Year / Program / Phase: 2007 / SBIR / Phase I
Agency / Branch: DOD / NAVY
Principal Investigator: Scott Frank, Senior Mechanical Engineer
Award Amount: $69,978.00
Abstract:
Rapid deployment of sensor arrays into deep sea and littoral environments requires reliable mechanisms and payload packaging in order to ensure proper placement and longevity. Additionally, sensor networks require reliable, repeatable coverage areas and spacing. The methods of achieving this can… More

Multi-Axis Doppler Direction Finder System for Relative Position and Attitude Determination

Award Year / Program / Phase: 2007 / SBIR / Phase I
Agency / Branch: DOD / DARPA
Principal Investigator: Nestor Voronka, Chief Technologist
Award Amount: $98,974.00
Abstract:
The interest in formation and cluster-based satellite applications has grown considerably in recent years, especially as launch costs have dropped and the availability of secondary rides have increased. Unfortunately, the realization of these applications has proven difficult because of challenges… More

SVELTE: Lightweight MAD Sensor Towing System for UAVs and Small Helicopters

Award Year / Program / Phase: 2008 / SBIR / Phase I
Agency / Branch: DOD / NAVY
Principal Investigator: Robert Hoyt, President, CEO, & Chief Scientist
Award Amount: $79,994.00
Abstract:
Tethers Unlimited, Inc. (TUI) proposes to develop a small lightweight ASW magnetometer towing system in collaboration with Aerovel Coporation for integration with small aircraft and UAVs. This system will be comprised of a non-magnetic aerodynamic body for the magnetometer, a towing cable that will… More

Underwater Tether Deployer-Extended Range (UTD-XR)

Award Year / Program / Phase: 2008 / SBIR / Phase I
Agency / Branch: DOD / NAVY
Principal Investigator: Jeffrey Slostad, VP of Engineering
Award Amount: $69,993.00
Abstract:
The overall objective of this SBIR effort is to develop fiber optic winding and packaging processes to enable low-cost production of wound fiber optic packages that can deploy reliably at high speeds underwater with minimal signal attenuation. Our goal for the Phase I project is to develop and… More

SVELTE: Lightweight MAD Sensor Towing System for UAVs and Small Helicopters

Award Year / Program / Phase: 2009 / SBIR / Phase II
Agency / Branch: DOD / NAVY
Principal Investigator: Robert Hoyt, President, CEO & Chief Sc
Award Amount: $749,997.00
Abstract:
Tethers Unlimited, Inc. (TUI) proposes to develop a "Small VEhicle Lightweight Towing Equipment" (SVELTE) system to enable small aircraft and UAVs to deploy and tow magnetic anomaly detection (MAD) sensors with highly stable sensor attitude. In our Phase I effort, we met the challenging weight and… More

The Terminator Tape Low-Cost Deorbiting System

Award Year / Program / Phase: 2009 / SBIR / Phase I
Agency / Branch: DOD / USAF
Principal Investigator: Robert Hoyt, Principal Investigator
Award Amount: $99,998.00
Abstract:
TUI proposes to develop a Terminator Tape deorbit module that will utilize both aerodynamic drag enhancement and passive electrodynamic drag to enable spacecraft to comply with post-mission orbital lifetime restrictions while minimizing cost, mass, volume, and footprint impacts to the spacecraft. At… More

Fabrication of Structural MLI Using 3D Printing Technologies

Award Year / Program / Phase: 2009 / SBIR / Phase I
Agency / Branch: DOD / DARPA
Principal Investigator: Robert Hoyt, CEO & Chief Scientist
Award Amount: $98,928.00
Abstract:
We propose to utilize a combination of 3D printing technology and high-strength, temperature-resistant composites to create structural components for spacecraft that incorporate an integral thermal barrier. The use of 3D printing technology will enable rapid fabrication of complex structural… More

Multi-Axis Doppler Direction Finder System for Relative Position and Attitude Determination

Award Year / Program / Phase: 2009 / SBIR / Phase II
Agency / Branch: DOD / DARPA
Principal Investigator: Nestor Voronka, VP & Chief Technologist
Award Amount: $749,920.00
Abstract:
Interest in formation and cluster-based satellite applications has grown considerably in recent years. These applications require a relative position and attitude sensor to address challenges such as station keeping, collision avoidance, and relative orientation control. Existing sensors that have… More

Lightweight Nanosatellite Deployable Array

Award Year / Program / Phase: 2010 / SBIR / Phase I
Agency / Branch: DOD / ARMY
Principal Investigator: Jeffrey Slostad, President, CEO, & Chief Scientist
Award Amount: $119,175.00
Abstract:
We propose to develop a lightweight deployable array to enable nanosatellite-scale spacecraft to reliably deploy large-area solar arrays and antenna arrays to enable these small satellites to perform missions requiring high power and/or high gain communications. Although launch opportunities for… More

Lightweight Nanosatellite Deployable Array

Award Year / Program / Phase: 2010 / SBIR / Phase II
Agency / Branch: DOD / ARMY
Principal Investigator: Jeffrey Slostad, Chief Engineer
Award Amount: $386,128.00
Abstract:
The proposed effort will develop an innovative deployable solar array capable of providing up to 80 W to a CubeSat. This deployable array design stows the solar panels within the f?~extra volumef?T allowed by the P-POD specification beyond the standard 10x10 cm CubeSat footprint, providing… More

Scalable, Lightweight, Low-Cost Aero/Electrodynamic Drag Deorbit Module

Award Year / Program / Phase: 2011 / SBIR / Phase I
Agency: NASA
Principal Investigator: Robert Hoyt, Principal Investigator
Award Amount: $99,980.00
Abstract:
The proposed effort will develop the "Terminator Tape Deorbit Module", a lightweight, low-cost, scalable de-orbit module that will utilize both aerodynamic drag enhancement and electrodynamic drag to rapidly remove small satellites from LEO altitudes, enabling compliance with orbital… More

PowerCube: Integrated Power, Propulsion, and Pointing for CubeSats

Award Year / Program / Phase: 2011 / SBIR / Phase I
Agency: NASA
Principal Investigator: Robert P. Hoyt, Principal Investigator
Award Amount: $99,991.00
Abstract:
Tethers Unlimited, Inc. proposes to develop the PowerCube, an integrated power, propulsion, and pointing solution for CubeSats. The PowerCube combines three innovative components: a high-power deployable solar array able to provide up to 100W peak power to the CubeSat, a regenerative fuel cell… More

High Thrust Efficiency MPD Thruster

Award Year / Program / Phase: 2011 / SBIR / Phase I
Agency: NASA
Principal Investigator: Robert Hoyt, Principal Investigator
Award Amount: $99,987.00
Abstract:
Magnetoplasmadynamic (MPD) thrusters can provide the high-specific impulse, high-power propulsion required to support human and robotic exploration missions to the asteroids, Moon, Mars, and the outer planets. MPD thrusters, however, have traditionally been plagued by poor thrust efficiencies due… More

PnP 30W Orbit Average Power Solar Panel for Cubesats

Award Year / Program / Phase: 2011 / SBIR / Phase I
Agency: DOD
Principal Investigator: Jeffrey Slostad, Chief Engineer – (425) 486-0100
Award Amount: $99,991.00
Abstract:
ABSTRACT: TUI proposes to develop a lightweight, low-cost deployable solar array sized to provide 30 W orbit-averaged power to CubeSats. Our proposed design fits within the 6.5 mm extra volume allowed by the P-POD spec beyond the 10 cm square standard CubeSat footprint, and leaves 1U of a 3U… More

PowerCube: Integrated Power, Propulsion, and Pointing for CubeSats

Award Year / Program / Phase: 2012 / SBIR / Phase II
Agency: NASA
Principal Investigator: Jonathan Wrobel, Principal Investigator
Award Amount: $749,705.00
Abstract:
The PowerCube is a 1U CubeSat module that provides integrated propulsion, power, and precision pointing to enable the low-cost CubeSat platform to be used to conduct high-performance missions. The PowerCube concept integrates three innovative component technologies to provide these capabilities: … More

Programmable Picosat Transceiver

Award Year / Program / Phase: 2012 / SBIR / Phase I
Agency: DOD
Principal Investigator: Nestor Voronka, Chief Technologist – (425) 486-0100
Award Amount: $149,483.00
Abstract:
ABSTRACT: The goal of the Space Test Program operated by the US Air Force is to enable the rapid development of emerging space technologies by providing economical flight opportunities to increase a technology"s TRL. In particular, the CubeSat form factor has emerged as an economical platform… More

Versatile Structural Radiation Shielding (VSRS)

Award Year / Program / Phase: 2012 / SBIR / Phase I
Agency: DOD
Principal Investigator: Jonathan Wrobel, Space Systems Engineer – (425) 486-0100
Award Amount: $149,941.00
Abstract:
ABSTRACT: We propose to adapt additive manufacturing techniques to fabricate multifunctional"Versatile Structural Radiation Shielding"(VSRS) components that provide multi-layer radiation shielding, multi-layer thermal insulation, electro-magnetic interference (EMI) shielding, and… More

Launch-able Tagline and Remote Anchor System

Award Year / Program / Phase: 2012 / SBIR / Phase I
Agency: DOD
Principal Investigator: Jeffrey Slostad, Chief Engineer – (425) 486-0100
Award Amount: $99,999.00
Abstract:
Tethers Unlimited, Inc. proposes to develop the Remote Anchoring Module (RAM), a launch-able anchoring system that can be used to quickly set and test an anchor point at a remote location without the need for an on-site operator. The RAM system deploys a high-strength cable between itself and the… More

Nanosatellite to Standard Army Handheld Radio Communications System

Award Year / Program / Phase: 2012 / SBIR / Phase I
Agency: DOD
Principal Investigator: Tyrel Newton, Lead Avionics Engineer – (425) 486-0100
Award Amount: $98,400.00
Abstract:
TUI proposes to develop two novel technologies that will enable pico-satellites in LEO to efficiently close the link with standard issue handheld radios on the ground. The first technology is a dual-band software-defined radio that will provide UHF SATCOM to soldiers on the ground and a unified… More

Programmable Picosat Transceiver

Award Year / Program / Phase: 2013 / SBIR / Phase II
Agency: DOD
Principal Investigator: Nestor Voronka, VP&Chief Technologist – (425) 486-0100
Award Amount: $748,552.00
Abstract:
ABSTRACT: The goal of the Space Test Program is to enable the US Air Force to rapidly develop emerging space technologies by providing economical flight opportunities to increase a technology"s TRL. Over the past decade, the CubeSat form factor has emerged as an economical platform for testing… More

SWIFT-HPX - High Data Rate Ka-band Commications for Small Satellites

Award Year / Program / Phase: 2013 / SBIR / Phase I
Agency: NASA
Principal Investigator: Nestor Voronka, VP&Chief Technologist (PI)
Award Amount: $124,618.00
Abstract:
Leveraging TUI's SWIFT software defined radio (SDR) architecture, we propose to develop a 100 Mbps downlink and intersatellite crosslink capability with ranging and timing synchronization capabilities to enable more sophisticated CubeSat and small satellite missions. This effort will focus on… More

SWIFT-nanoLV Avionics Platform

Award Year / Program / Phase: 2013 / SBIR / Phase I
Agency: NASA
Principal Investigator: Nestor Voronka, VP&Chief Technologist (PI)
Award Amount: $199,709.00
Abstract:
With the increased demand for and utility of nano- and micro-satellites, the demand for responsive, low-cost access to space has also increased. To meet this demand, multiple private companies are pursuing the development of nano- and micro-launch vehicles (NMLV). However, NMLV builders lack… More

TRUSSELATOR - On-Orbit Fabrication of High Performance Support Structures for Solar Arrays

Award Year / Program / Phase: 2013 / SBIR / Phase I
Agency: NASA
Principal Investigator: Robert Hoyt, Principal Investigator
Award Amount: $124,999.00
Abstract:
TUI proposes to develop and demonstrate a process for fabricating high-performance composite truss structures on-orbit and integrating them with thin film solar cell assemblies to enable the deployment of very large solar arrays with lower cost and increased power-per-mass than SOA array… More

Sensing and Positioning on Inclines and Deep Environments with Retrieval [SPIDER]

Award Year / Program / Phase: 2013 / SBIR / Phase I
Agency: NASA
Principal Investigator: Gregory Jimmerson, Senior Mechanical Engineer
Award Amount: $124,998.00
Abstract:
To enable future robotic exploration systems to have greater mobility, sensing, sampling, and communication capabilities on difficult terrain such as craters, cliffs, gullies, and skylights, Tethers Unlimited proposes to develop a "Sensing and Positioning on Inclines and Deep Environments with… More

Versatile Structural Radiation Shielding (VSRS)

Award Year / Program / Phase: 2013 / SBIR / Phase II
Agency: DOD
Principal Investigator: Jonathan Wrobel, Aerospace Engineer – (425) 486-0100
Award Amount: $749,993.00
Abstract:
ABSTRACT: The Phase I Versatile Structural Radiation Shielding (VSRS) Effort has successfully demonstrated the feasibility of 3D printing multifunctional spacecraft structures with integral multi-layer, multi-material, minimum-mass radiation shielding. We developed novel space-compatible materials… More

Nanosatellite to Standard Army Handheld Radio Communications System

Award Year / Program / Phase: 2014 / SBIR / Phase II
Agency: DOD
Principal Investigator: Nestor Voronka, VP&Chief Technologist – (425) 486-0100
Award Amount: $562,414.00
Abstract:
TUI proposes to complete the development of two novel technologies that will enable pico-satellites in LEO to efficiently close the link with standard issue handheld radios on the ground. The first technology is a dual-band software-defined radio (SDR) that will provide UHF SATCOM to soldiers on the… More