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Self Propelled Energetic Electron Dispensers (SPEEDs) for Deorbit Applications

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: 80NSSC22PB153
Agency Tracking Number: 221573
Amount: $149,923.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: Z8
Solicitation Number: SBIR_22_P1
Solicitation Year: 2022
Award Year: 2022
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2022-07-14
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2023-01-25
Small Business Information
20 New England Business Center
Andover, MA 01810-1077
United States
DUNS: 073800062
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Jonathan Rameau
 (978) 738-8265
Business Contact
 Cheryl Beecher
Phone: (978) 738-8108
Research Institution

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. *

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