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Self Propelled Energetic Electron Dispensers (SPEEDs) for Deorbit Applications
Phone: (978) 738-8265
Phone: (978) 738-8108
Physical Sciences Inc. (PSI) proposes to develop passive and active enhancements to existing heritage electrodynamic tether smallsat deorbit systems. Passive coatings based on flexible materials with negative electron affinity-enhanced TP electron emitters will enable deorbit of smallsats and other payloads at end-of-life at altitudes up to at least 1200 km by increasing the passively generated current through electrodynamic tethers. The active component of PSIrsquo;s system, embodied by a robust, self-powered and self-regulated cold cathode electron gun, will further increase deorbit rate and altitude while also giving a host satellite control over deorbit parameters. This active deorbit system is entirely electric and requires no propellant, dramatically reducing their size, weight and power requirements versus traditional active deorbit systems and services.Both the active and passive deorbit components leverage past work PSI has performed for the US Space Force and for NASA. PSI is also partnering with Tethers Unlimited Inc. (TUI) to adapt the passive and active electrodynamic tether enhancement to their existing, heritage terminator tape (TT) deorbit systems. In Phase I, PSI will demonstrate proof of concept for the new tether enhancement technologies. In Phase II, PSI will apply the new technologies to TUIrsquo;s TT system, producing flight-ready prototypes available to NASA for deployment on demonstration missions following the Phase II program.
* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *