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Spacecraft Integrated-Power and Attitude-Control System

Award Information

Department of Defense
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2011 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Blue Canyon Technologies LLC
1524 North St Boulder, CO -
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2011
Title: Spacecraft Integrated-Power and Attitude-Control System
Agency: DOD
Contract: FA9453-11-M-0116
Award Amount: $99,754.00


ABSTRACT: Spacecraft power systems based upon flywheel technology have been evaluated and analyzed for many years. The potential benefits are well documented and include: Mass and cost savings, System reliability and mission life multiplier, and Electrical Power System enhancement. However, these benefits have not come to fruition due to a few technical challenges, including the extremely high momentum storage (hundreds of Nms!), uncertainty about how to launch the system (spinning or not?), difficulties of integration and test, and the problem of fault scenarios (what if a flywheel fails?) Blue Canyon Technologies has developed an innovative Counter Rotating Flywheel concept with Integrated Power and Attitude Control functionality. The main advantage of our CRFP approach is the ability to simultaneously store enough energy to power a 1kW spacecraft through GEO eclipse, yet manage the net system momentum to a very modest level. The two counter rotating flywheels spin in opposite directions and at different speeds such that the total angular velocity of both rotors stores energy and the difference in rotor angular velocities determines net momentum for attitude control authority. BENEFIT: IPACS benefits to spacecraft providers, are primarily mass and cost savings due to the elimination of batteries. Other benefits include enhanced system reliability and mission life. The market which is addressed by IPACS type systems includes GEO and LEO spacecraft of medium to large size (cubesats and microsats would be too small for the IPACS system as currently architected, although that could change once a system is proven and can be scaled down). The annual launches in this class range from 20 30 per year, including NASA, DoD, Classified, and commercial spacecraft. Thus the potential market for this technology is relatively large in the spaceflight market.

Principal Investigator:

Matthew Beckner
Systems Engineer
(720) 215-4459

Business Contact:

George Stafford
(720) 215-4459
Small Business Information at Submission:

Blue Canyon Technologies LLC
1524 North St Boulder, CO -

EIN/Tax ID: 262692494
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No