Ultra Large Solar Sail Technology

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: NNM04AB18C
Agency Tracking Number: 020025
Amount: $499,938.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: STTR
Awards Year: 2004
Solitcitation Year: N/A
Solitcitation Topic Code: N/A
Solitcitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
CU Aerospace LLC
60 Hazelwood Dr., Champaign, IL, 61820
Duns: 041929402
Hubzone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 David Carroll
 Principal Investigator
 () -
 carroll@cuaerospace.com
Business Contact
 David Carroll
Title: Business Official
Phone: (217) 333-8274
Email: carroll@cuaerospace.com
Research Institution
 University of Illinois, U-C
 Paul W Bohn
 306 Talbot Lab/104 S. Wright St.
Urbana, IL, 61801
 (217) 333-0678
 Nonprofit college or university
Abstract
UltraSail, proposed by a team of CU Aerospace, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, SRS Technologies, and VACCO Industries, is a next-generation high-risk, high-payoff sail system for the launch, deployment, stabilization and control of very large (km^2 class) solar sails enabling high payload mass fractions for interplanetary and deep space spacecraft. UltraSail is an innovative, non-traditional approach to propulsion technology achieved by combining propulsion and control systems developed for formation-flying microsatellites with an innovative solar sail architecture to achieve controllable sail areas approaching 1 km^2, sail subsystem area densities approaching 1 g/m^2, and thrust levels many times those of ion thrusters used for comparable deep space missions. UltraSail can achieve outer planetary rendezvous, a deep space capability now reserved for high-mass nuclear and chemical systems. The primary innovation presented in Phase I was the near-elimination of sail supporting structures by attaching each blade tip to a formation-flying microsatellite which deploys the sail, and then articulates the sail to provide attitude control, including spin stabilization and precession of the spin axis. These tip microsatellites are controlled by a 3-axis microthruster metrology system to control sail film deployment.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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