Attitude Determination and Control System (ADCS) for CubeSats

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA9453-12-C-0104
Agency Tracking Number: F103-083-2355
Amount: $749,598.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2012
Solicitation Year: 2010
Solicitation Topic Code: AF103-083
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
 George Stafford
 (303) 440-1034
Business Contact
 George Stafford
Title: President
Phone: (303) 440-1034
Research Institution
ABSTRACT: To overcome the limited Attitude Determination and Control performance of current Cubesats:"Design, develop, and fabricate an all-in-one, packaged ADCS prototype unit to provide a pointing accuracy of 0.2degrees, or better, for a 3U cubesat with maximum mass of 8 kg, within half of a 1U volume."During Phase I we implemented a design with a focus on achieving the highest pointing accuracy possible with a Star Camera based ADCS solution. Our main goal during Phase I was to show that a Star Camera attitude solution can achieve the pointing accuracy required by this topic. During this Phase I we not only showed that our solution can achieve the pointing accuracy required, but that XACT can surpass this goal by a wide margin. The Blue Canyon Technologies solution provides a reliable, high-performance design compatible with a variety of cubesat configurations. The BCT XACT architecture leverages a powerful processing core with BCT"s micro-Reaction Wheel Assemblies to enable a new generation of highly capable, miniaturized spacecraft. Features include the following: Precise attitude control & knowledge Complete ADCS in a Micro & #8208;package (0.5U) Low jitter micro-reaction wheel design User friendly software for simulation, integration, and customization BENEFIT: Pointing performance is the key to the commercial potential of XACT. The cubesat market has been largely dominated by low-cost and low-performance components that can be used for a limited set of missions. This product will enable cubesats to point with much higher accuracy than any available cubesat attitude control system, and this will allow for a much larger number of mission possibilities. BCT believes that the market potential for cubesats will grow with this corresponding growth in missions. XACT will be ahead of the competition due to this Phase II investment from AFRL, and will be the leader in the market for high-performance cubesat missions. The market size for microsatellites is expected to be $1.5 billion by 2018 according to Business 2.0 marketing estimates, and BCT believes that a large majority of this market can be captured by cubesats if their performance can be increased.

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

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