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A Modular High Power Solar Array for NanoSats

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA9453-11-M-0092
Agency Tracking Number: F103-089-0170
Amount: $99,999.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: AF103-089
Solicitation Number: 2010.3
Solicitation Year: 2010
Award Year: 2011
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2011-03-25
Award End Date (Contract End Date): N/A
Small Business Information
PO Box 7804
Loveland, CO -
United States
DUNS: 014886549
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Thomas Harvey
 Chief Engineer
 (303) 258-7365
Business Contact
 Mitchell Wiens
Title: President
Phone: (970) 290-6425
Research Institution

ABSTRACT: With increased focus on development of highly capable Nanosat satellites and missions, innovations in spacecraft system design and architecture that yield high performance, modular and multi-function systems will enhance Air Force mission capability and flexibility. SWAP constraints in NanoSats necessitate this system approach to result in significant increases in performance and mission capability within a highly responsive and lower cost NanoSat environment. An area of considerable development opportunity and need to enable Air Force NanoSat missions is to increase available continuous power significantly, to lower costs and to further leverage this capability to effectively de-orbit the spacecraft at end-of-life. MMA Design proposes to advance the state-of-the-art in Nanosat power systems by developing an Enhanced High Watts per Kilogram (E-HaWK) Advanced Power and De-orbit Module (APDM) consisting of an innovative deployable two-wing solar array and de-orbit system combined with a bi-axis sun tracking gimbal assembly specifically designed for NanoSats. The E-HaWK APDM targets a 300% increase in specific power (W/kg), 233% increase in peak power, and 900% increase in orbital average power (OAP) over existing SOA. This high performance is achievable within the Nanosat system design envelope through the use of innovative solar panel packaging and gimbal technologies. BENEFIT: Benefits and impacts to the Air Force mission for NanoSats include: 1. Space Situational Awareness Bi-axis sun tracking allows the S/C to maintain high continuous power while simultaneously freeing the mission instruments to fully support the target mission, thus improving data collection; 2. Mission ISR data and quality 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 for NanoSats leads to low cost solutions that are adaptable and scalable to other Air Force applications; 5. Advancement of key deployable and steerable solar array technologies to overcome current spacecraft and mission limitations; 6. A modular and scalable system architecture that is multi-functional; 7. A low mass and low volume system to maximize the mass/volume available for instrument payloads; 8. De-orbit capability ensures reduction in future space debris and available orbital slots; and 9. The MMA team offers Air Force high innovative content for revolutionizing NanoSat technologies with high risk/reward payoffs. Air Force can leverage our small company performance advantages in the areas of technical, schedule, and cost. Future Air Force missions employing Earth orbiting Nanosat spacecraft as an observation platform and requiring high reliability, significantly lower mass and volume, higher mass specific power, and improved efficiency over the state of practice can leverage the significant performance enhancements of MMA"s proposed Nanosat E-HaWK APDM. Air Force nanosatellite missions are currently being designed for a wide spectrum of space missions including space weather and other experiments, testing advanced propulsion and communications technologies, and for rapidly developing and testing emerging technologies and economical commercial off-the-shelf components which may be useful in future space missions. The MMA team, the proposed E-HaWK and other MMA deployables technology innovations are well suited for the responsive Nanosat environment and the goals of future Air Force Nanosat missions. The NRO is currently pursuing advanced Nanosat capabilities and missions through its Colony II program. Additionally, SMC is developing NanoSats for the SENSE mission, an initial demonstration mission to support on-orbit space weather observation. These and other opportunities seek an order of magnitude higher power for NanoSats than is currently available from the state of practice and for which the proposed technology can provide.

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

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