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CubeSat Advanced Power and De-orbit Module

Award Information

Department of Defense
Air Force
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2010 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
AF 09-088
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
MMA Design LLC
PO Box 7804 Loveland, CO -
View profile »
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2010
Title: CubeSat Advanced Power and De-orbit Module
Agency / Branch: DOD / USAF
Contract: FA9453-10-M-0169
Award Amount: $99,993.00


MMA Design proposes to develop a low cost, multifunctional Advanced Power and De-orbit System (APDM) for a 3U CubeSat. Current CubeSats have limited power generating capabilities, often with an Average Orbital Power (AOP) of 5 watts. State of the art CubeSat solar arrays presently produce 21 watts peak power. For 3U CubeSats to provide operational utility in support of the AFRL missions, more power is needed. The proposed two wing system has a peak power of 36 watts and an AOP of 22 watts, more than a 300% improvement in AOP. The proposed system functions as a solar array during its operational life and can be configured for up to 72 watts peak power in a four wing configuration. At the end of life the integral gimbal drive orients the solar array wings into a de-orbit aerobrake mode to meet DoD's 25 year de-orbit requirement for orbits up to 700 km. The APDM has two deployable wings and a gimbal that mount to three of the six 6.5 mm external face volumes of a 3U CubeSat, complying with Cal Poly's CubeSat Design Specification. The APDM is capable of supporting all solar cell technologies. BENEFIT: The proposed APDM will dramatically increase the orbital average power available to a 3U CubeSat payload, increasing the mission utility of CubeSats to the AFRL and other custoemrs. Additionally, it will serve to de-orbit the CubeSat at end of life to greatly improve management of space assets. The APDM can become the new CubeSat industry power standard. 1. Sun tracking allows the S/C to maintain high continuous power while simultaneously freeing the mission instruments to track an AOI, thus improving mission utility. 2. Intelligence capability and value can increase with increases in power capabilities and performance. 3. Maximizing the utility of the available volume by combining the functions of solar power and de-orbiting into one robust deployable system. 4. Rapid development and maturation of innovative power technologies leading to low cost solutions that is adaptable and scalable to other AFRL applications. 5. Advancement of key deployable and steerable solar array technologies to overcome current S/C and mission limitations. 6. A modular and scalable system design that is multi-functional. 7. A low mass and volume system to maximize the mass/volume available for payloads. 8. De-orbit capability ensures reduction in future space debris and available orbital slots. 9. The combined MMA and HBR team offer the AFRL a strong team with high innovative content for revolutionizing CubeSat technologies with high risk/reward payoffs. The AFRL can leverage our small company performance advantages in technical, schedule, and cost.

Principal Investigator:

Thomas J. Harvey
Chief Engineer

Business Contact:

Mitchell Wiens
Small Business Information at Submission:

MMA Design LLC
PO Box 7804 Loveland, CO 80537

EIN/Tax ID: 261540317
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No