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Innovative X-ray Star Scanner for Spin Stabilized Microsatellites

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: NNX11CF25P
Agency Tracking Number: 104484
Amount: $99,435.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: O1.03
Solicitation Number: N/A
Solicitation Year: 2010
Award Year: 2011
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2011-02-18
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2011-09-29
Small Business Information
2730 Street Giles Lane
Mountain View, CA 94040-4437
United States
DUNS: 022768516
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 John Hanson
 Principal Investigator
 (408) 898-0376
Business Contact
 John Hanson
Title: Business Official
Phone: (408) 898-0376
Research Institution

Recent advances in the design of microsatellites have led to renewed interest in the missions that can be flown with small spacecraft and small payloads. The CubeSat platform and the Plug-and-Play concept have prompted the development of attitude determination hardware typical of larger, more sophisticated, three axis stabilized spacecraft, including miniature gyroscopes and star cameras. The X-ray Star Scanner is a new class of attitude sensor, designed to support precision spin-stabilized CubeSat missions by providing arcminute attitude accuracy in a size compatible with a CubeSat, in fact occupying less than half of a 1U CubeSat module. The scientific and technological advances necessary to make this instrument possible are in place. A robust catalog of x-ray guide stars is available through several all-sky surveys performed in x-rays. Solid state x-ray detectors and their related support electronics have been flown. The concept of using guide stars to determine the attitude of a spinning vehicle has been demonstrated using flight data. The XSS fills the need created by the CubeSat and Plug-and-Play platforms for accurate attitude determination on a spin stabilized platform provided in a small package.

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

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