Low-Cost Deorbiting System

Award Information
Department of Defense
Award Year:
Phase II
Award Id:
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
AF 08-198
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
PO Box 7804, Loveland, CO, -
Hubzone Owned:
Minority Owned:
Woman Owned:
Principal Investigator:
Shane Stamm
Design Engineer
(303) 886-7306
Business Contact:
Mitchell Wiens
(970) 290-6426
Research Institution:
The proposed Phase II SBIR will design, analyze, produce and test a protoflight unit for a Low Cost De-orbiting System. The proposed de-orbit module is a high reliability, modular, aero-blanket system that de-orbits a 180 kg spacecraft from an 800 km orbit to meet DOD Instruction 3100.12 for a 25 year de-orbit time. The de-orbit system uses common space flight qualified mechanical elements and materials to control costs while maintaining high reliability. The system requires redundant heater circuits from the spacecraft to initiate deployment. There is no power requirement from the spacecraft other than the deploy signal. The system is housed in a modular housing for easy integration into a variety of AF missions with no changes. The design fits within the available envelope inside a Mark II Lightband mounted on an ESPA ring though the design is scalable. Blanket based designs have been proposed and flown using flat blankets and carpenter tapes or other devices to deploy the aero-blanket. Often these systems require an additional deployment to achieve spacecraft passive stability. The proposed concept resulting from this SBIR uses an innovative pyramidal blanket to achieve passive stability and improved stiffness while maintaining simplicity and lower costs over previous systems. BENEFIT: Due to the nature of the atmosphere and parameters that affect the atmospheric drag, the proposed system will reduce de-orbit times by a factor of 10 to 40 times faster than satellites undergoing natural orbit decay. As an example, a 180 kg satellite that would not meet the 25-year de-orbit requirement naturally in a 700 km orbit, will meet the 25 year de-orbit requirement with margin with the proposed system. As part of the scalable aspect of our solution, MMA Design proposes to develop an analysis suite to tailor the solution to an entire class of satellites and desired de-orbit times. At the conclusion of the Phase II effort MMA will have completed the qualification of an ESPA class de-orbit system and have a protoflight de-orbit module available for a flight test mission. Potential commercial applications for the de-orbit product line include Iridium NEXT and associated ESPA opportunities, next generation ORBCOMM and WORLDVIEW, Cicero, and a host of other smaller class spacecraft.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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