Structural Attachments for Rapid Assembly of Satellites
Agency / Branch:
DOD / USAF
A goal of the Operationally Responsive Space (ORS) thrust is to enable turn around of a tactical satellite within six days, from mission call-up to on-orbit operation. The ability to produce such a spacecraft would be a vast departure from the norm of large, complex, costly custom spacecraft that require a period of years to deploy. Considerable attention has been paid to modular architectures for standardizing spacecraft. Honeybee Robotics Spacecraft Mechanisms Corporation, in partnership with leading small spacecraft provider AeroAstro, proposes to develop a rapid assembly system for the quick completion of structural, electrical, and thermal connections between modular satellite panels. The system will build upon Honeybee's patented "Quick Insertion Nut" fastening technology, which has the benefit of being similar to the standard bolted joint typically used in the aerospace industry. The system will enable reduced satellite build time, and will facilitate the rapid assembly and disassembly of panels to keep pace with the possibility of changing mission requirements. The proposed Phase 1 effort will include requirements derivation, concept development, detailed design and analysis, and iterative breadboarding and demonstration testing. The demonstration will consist of assembling and subsequently disassembling 3 panels with the attachment mechanism to form a representative "corner" of a spacecraft and verify electrical and thermal continuity across the joint. This breadboard will demonstrate the feasibility of the attachment concept itself for fit, speed and ease of assembly and disassembly, stiffness, and electrical and thermal connection.
Small Business Information at Submission:
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