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Aerodynamically Stable DragSails for Spacecraft Deorbit

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: 80NSSC19C0489
Agency Tracking Number: 192483
Amount: $124,997.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: Z8
Solicitation Number: SBIR_19_P1
Timeline
Solicitation Year: 2019
Award Year: 2019
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2019-08-19
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2020-02-18
Small Business Information
5373 Gardenia Court, West Lafayette, IN, 47906-9070
DUNS: 116963961
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Eileen Dukes
 (303) 514-6718
 edukes@alum.mit.edu
Business Contact
 Morris Hicks
Title: vestigollc
Phone: (228) 813-6325
Email: Morris.hicks@nasa.gov
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract
The safe disposal of spacecraft upon mission completion is necessary to preserve the utility of high-value orbits. It is forecasted that up to 2,600 nanosatellites and microsatellites will be launched into orbit over the next five years, and plans for large commercial constellations consisting of thousands of small satellites in low Earth orbit are currently in development. nbsp;NASArsquo;s Small Satellite Technology Program (SSTP) develops and demonstrates new small spacecraft technologies and promotes the small spacecraft approach as a paradigm shift for NASA and the space community. These trendsnbsp;will drive the need for reliable deorbit systems. Vestigo Aerospace LLC plans to develop a product line of aerodynamically stable dragsails, to address the need for deorbit capability as an alternative to conventional propulsion systems.nbsp;Three innovations will result from this investigation, advancingnbsp;the state of the art in dragsail systems:nbsp; (1) The design of a square pyramid geometry for the dragsail that provides passive aerodynamic stability about the maximum drag orientation, improving the deorbit performance; (2) Anbsp;scalable design for the dragsail with configurations that allow the deorbit of host satellites ranging from CubeSats to 400 kg small satellites; and (3) Targeted reentry using dragsails that can reduce the uncertainty on the reentry corridor and debris impact zone.The Phase I investigation will result in analytical proof of concept for the dragsail system, and establish a conceptual design that will be fabricated at the breadboard level with key functionality demonstratednbsp;in the laboratory environment.nbsp; Through this Phase I study, the Technology Readiness Level (TRL) of the square pyramid dragsail will be advanced from TRL 2 to TRL 4.nbsp;nbsp;The follow-on Phase II study willnbsp;establish TRL 6 through a system prototype that will be environmentally tested and suitable for flight demonstration.

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

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