Multi-functional Optical Subsystem Enabling Laser Communication on Small Satellites

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: NNX12CG17P
Agency Tracking Number: 110081
Amount: $124,960.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Awards Year: 2012
Solicitation Year: 2011
Solicitation Topic Code: T4.01
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
WA, Bellevue, WA, 98005-3876
DUNS: 964004100
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Chris Lewicki
 Principal Investigator
 (425) 336-2442
Business Contact
 Chris Lewicki
Title: Business Official
Phone: (425) 336-2448
Research Institution
 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
 Sara Seager
 77 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA, 02139-4307
 () -
 Domestic nonprofit research organization
Advancements in technology and contractions in budgets are driving constant increases in spacecraft "capability density." These factors are motivating the design of small spacecraft capable of generating and communicating large amounts of data, over great distances, at low cost. Arkyd Astronautics is a provider of robotic space exploration services and is developing microspacecraft to conduct low cost deep-space missions. Arkyd is currently developing the technology required for implementing small satellite optical communication as a key enabler of our commercial business model.Arkyd proposes to determine the feasibility of developing a novel multi-functional optical subsystem used for attitude determination, stability control, scientific observation and high-precision optical communication on small satellites. If successful, the proposed optical subsystem design design will result in small satellite attitude control and communication performance improvements of several orders of magnitude over the current state-of-the-art. The proposed effort will leverage technology under development for the MIT/Draper Lab ExoplanetSat to design a TRL 4 system demonstrator capable of sub-arcsecond pointing stability by the completion of Phase I work. Phase II follow-on work will focus on fabrication, assembly, and system testing of a demonstrator for the proposed system. It is the expectation of the proposing team to achieve TRL 6 by the end of Phase II work.

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

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