SPA-S Cubesat Bus

Award Information
Department of Defense
Air Force
Award Year:
Phase I
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
PnP Innovations, Inc
2017 Yale SE, Albuquerque, NM, 87106
Hubzone Owned:
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
Woman Owned:
Principal Investigator
 Donald Fronterhouse
 Principal Investigator
 (505) 503-1563
Business Contact
 Donald Fronterhouse
Title: President
Phone: (505) 503-1563
Research Institution
New smallsat concepts are gaining acceptance as viable space systems capable of providing useful, cost effective scientific and military data. These small satellites (NanoSats) range from 4 kg Cubesats to 50 kg smallsats. NanoSats have the potential to be deployed to provide a relevant capability that is greater than expected from both a capabilities and cost perspective. This proposal offers to develop a novel Cubesat bus leveraging on-going programs in plug and play avionics that can support militarily useful payloads with capabilities ranging from a full 3-axis precision stabilized bus to simpler, cheaper active and passive busses. In Phase I we will lay the foundation with hardware and software prototype demonstrations leading to a full implementation in Phase II. BENEFIT: The SPA-compliant technologies, payloads, and supporting tools that we are developing, and propose to mature and extend in capability through this SBIR possibility, are largely tailored toward the space application domain. Within the space community, we feel that the scalability and extensibility characteristics of the standards allow all of the byproducts of development to traverse a broad spectrum of missions and classes. SPA was originally conceived in response to military space needs according to a responsive space mandate. The standard addresses “pinch-points” in the development process that hinder rapid design, prototyping, and assembly of the small satellite class. As such, tactical missions flown by the Air Force, ORS, and other DoD agencies stand to gain immensely from acceptance and application of this research. NASA of course also flies small satellites in an even broader context than the U.S. military. Planetary exploration missions provide an opportunity to challenge SPA in ways that the ISR and Comm roles presented to date have not. Of course many of NASA’s needs for the near future are excellent applications for SPA-based satellites; Technology demonstrator/qualification flights in a variety of Earth orbits, earth observing missions, and space weather gathering platforms are all examples of cases where ease of integration and testing could provide significant benefit. Universities and educational affiliates clearly stand to gain from these technologies – particularly in the area of reduced cost. If the push toward more readily available low-cost solutions to avionics is successful, education will be much more capable of conducting research and contributing to the pool of technology from which AFRL can utilize.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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