A Reaction Sphere for High Performance Attitude Control

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: NNX11CF07P
Agency Tracking Number: 104167
Amount: $99,952.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2011
Solicitation Year: 2010
Solicitation Topic Code: S3.06
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
2822 S Nova Road, Pine, CO, 80470-7828
DUNS: 193246068
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 John Doty
 Principal Investigator
 (303) 816-2756
Business Contact
 John Doty
Title: Principle Investigator
Phone: (303) 816-2756
Email: jpd@noqsi.com
Research Institution
Our innovative reaction sphere (Doty pending patent application serial number 61/164,868) has the potential to provide much higher performance than a conventional reaction wheel with substantially fewer resources. Using our proposed technology, a single reaction sphere can control three axes, substantially reducing mass, power, and cost when compared to a three wheel system. This device has no bearings: its spherical rotor is suspended within the stator by magnetic forces. Magnetic suspension reduces jitter, especially in a station-keeping mode where the torque and suspension forces can be reduced to a minimum. With clearances of ~1 mm and no critical balance requirements, this device has very loose mechanical tolerances, further reducing cost.For initial development we propose a version suitable for control of a 1-3 kg Cubesat. At this scale, where spacecraft moments of inertia are very small, our low jitter torque, simplicity, and low cost are most advantageous. We also believe this approach is most likely to lead to an early flight opportunity.

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

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