PowerCube: Integrated Power, Propulsion, and Pointing for CubeSats

Award Information
Agency:
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch
n/a
Amount:
$99,991.00
Award Year:
2011
Program:
SBIR
Phase:
Phase I
Contract:
NNX11CD36P
Award Id:
n/a
Agency Tracking Number:
105552
Solicitation Year:
2010
Solicitation Topic Code:
S3.03
Solicitation Number:
n/a
Small Business Information
WA, Bothell, WA, 98011-8808
Hubzone Owned:
N
Minority Owned:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
877425330
Principal Investigator:
Robert Hoyt
Principal Investigator
(425) 486-0100
hoyt@tethers.com
Business Contact:
Robert Hoyt
Business Official
(425) 486-0100
hoyt@tethers.com
Research Institute:
Stub




Abstract
Tethers Unlimited, Inc. proposes to develop the PowerCube, an integrated power, propulsion, and pointing solution for CubeSats. The PowerCube combines three innovative components: a high-power deployable solar array able to provide up to 100W peak power to the CubeSat, a regenerative fuel cell energy storage system that doubles as a gH2/gO2 thruster, and a 'carpal joint' gimbal that enables sun pointing of the solar panel as well as precise pointing of payloads. This highly integrated system will provide power generation, power storage, propulsion, attitude control, and payload pointing capabilities that will enable the CubeSat platform to be used to perform missions previously possible only on much larger platforms. Our Phase I effort will focus on design and implementation of the regenerative fuel cell/thruster component, with the objective of maximizing orbit average power capabilities, and in the Phase II effort we will combine this power storage/propulsion technology with deployable panel and gimbal technologies we are currently developing under a separate program to create the PowerCube system. This highly-integrated, compact subsystem will provide order-of-magnitude performance improvements in several metrics for CubeSats, enabling this low-cost platform to perform challenging science and exploration missions that previously could only be accomplished by much larger spacecraft.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

Agency Micro-sites


SBA logo

Department of Agriculture logo

Department of Commerce logo

Department of Defense logo

Department of Education logo

Department of Energy logo

Department of Health and Human Services logo

Department of Homeland Security logo

Department of Transportation logo

Enviromental Protection Agency logo

National Aeronautics and Space Administration logo

National Science Foundation logo
US Flag An Official Website of the United States Government