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Multistage Electromagnetic and Laser Launch Systems for Affordable, Rapid Access to Space

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA9550-07-C-0018
Agency Tracking Number: F054-001-0341
Amount: $500,000.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: AF05-T001
Solicitation Number: N/A
Solicitation Year: 2005
Award Year: 2007
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2006-11-20
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2008-11-20
Small Business Information
5735 Hollister Ave, Suite B
Goleta, CA 93117
United States
DUNS: 826728685
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 James Fiske
 Senior Systems Engineer
 (805) 683-9659
Business Contact
 Diana Pereira
Title: Chief Financial Officer
Phone: (805) 683-9659
Research Institution
 John Hull
9700 South Cass Avenue
Argonne, IL 60439
United States

 (630) 252-8580
 Federally Funded R&D Center (FFRDC)

Electromagenetic (EM) launchers could radically decrease the cost to launch and orbit micro-satellites and could provide launch with little lead time, but thus far it has not been feasible to achieve this capability with linear EM launchers. The objective of this research is to determine the viability of circular launch accelerators. Phase I explored designs consisting of a maglev sled accelerated to launch speed around an enclosed, evacuated track, with a projectile released from the sled into a launch ramp, through an egress hatch and into orbit. Two practical maglev suspensions were identified - a superconducting suspension (SCS) using superconductors in both the sled and the track, and an electro-dynamic suspension (EDS) using superconductors only in the sled. The SCS design was expected to allow a smaller accelerator ring diameter, but the EDS design now appears just as capable and has the potential for much easier construction and better operational characteristics. Phase II will refine the EDS design and determine which of the two suspensions will provide the most cost-effective launch capability. A detailed conceptual design of the down-selected approach will be created and its operational characteristics verified through simulation. Cost and performance models will be produced.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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