Spacecraft Integrated-Power and Attitude-Control System

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA9453-11-M-0116
Agency Tracking Number: F103-102-2369
Amount: $99,754.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2011
Solicitation Year: 2010
Solicitation Topic Code: AF103-102
Solicitation Number: 2010.3
Small Business Information
1524 North St, Boulder, CO, -
DUNS: 826940673
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Matthew Beckner
 Systems Engineer
 (720) 215-4459
Business Contact
 George Stafford
Title: President
Phone: (720) 215-4459
Research Institution
ABSTRACT: Spacecraft power systems based upon flywheel technology have been evaluated and analyzed for many years. The potential benefits are well documented and include: Mass and cost savings, System reliability and mission life multiplier, and Electrical Power System enhancement. However, these benefits have not come to fruition due to a few technical challenges, including the extremely high momentum storage (hundreds of Nms!), uncertainty about how to launch the system (spinning or not?), difficulties of integration and test, and the problem of fault scenarios (what if a flywheel fails?) Blue Canyon Technologies has developed an innovative Counter Rotating Flywheel concept with Integrated Power and Attitude Control functionality. The main advantage of our CRFP approach is the ability to simultaneously store enough energy to power a 1kW spacecraft through GEO eclipse, yet manage the net system momentum to a very modest level. The two counter rotating flywheels spin in opposite directions and at different speeds such that the total angular velocity of both rotors stores energy and the difference in rotor angular velocities determines net momentum for attitude control authority. BENEFIT: IPACS benefits to spacecraft providers, are primarily mass and cost savings due to the elimination of batteries. Other benefits include enhanced system reliability and mission life. The market which is addressed by IPACS type systems includes GEO and LEO spacecraft of medium to large size (cubesats and microsats would be too small for the IPACS system as currently architected, although that could change once a system is proven and can be scaled down). The annual launches in this class range from 20 30 per year, including NASA, DoD, Classified, and commercial spacecraft. Thus the potential market for this technology is relatively large in the spaceflight market.

* 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
Environmental Protection Agency logo
National Aeronautics and Space Administration logo
National Science Foundation logo
US Flag An Official Website of the United States Government