Seattle, WA (Andrews Space PR) — Andrews Space announces the formal launch of several new products in its 100 Series avionics suite, which is targeted for CubeSats, NanoSats and the emerging suborbital market.
Andrews Space (Andrews) has been developing an integrated suite of CubeSat form factor cards that conform to the 10×10 cm cross section of a CubeSat standard. This avionics suite features a high performance flight computer, subsystem controller, communications card, instrumentation card, motor / valve driver board and an electrical power system.
WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA is seeking proposals for small satellite payloads to fly on rockets planned to launch between 2012 and 2014. These miniature spacecraft, known as CubeSats, could be auxiliary payload on previously planned missions.
CubeSats are a class of research spacecraft called nanosatellites. The cube-shaped satellites are approximately four inches long, have a volume of about one quart and weigh less than three pounds.
WASHINGTON — NASA has selected 20 small satellites to fly as auxiliary cargo aboard rockets planned to launch in 2011 and 2012. The proposed CubeSats come from a high school in Virginia, universities across the country, NASA field centers and Department of Defense organizations.
Aurora Flight Sciences Corporation was one of the big winners when NASA announced its intention to negotiate SBIR and STTR agreements earlier this month. Four of the company’s SBIR proposals were among those chosen for negotiations along with an STTR proposal.
One of the SBIRs involves a collaboration with MIT to develop a system to capture a Martian sample return capsule launched from the surface of the Red Planet for a NASA mission. The STTR proposal is a collaboration with the Georgia Institute of Technology Center for Space Systems to develop a system to allow small small probes to return experiments from Earth orbit.
Details for both projects are shown below. I’ve also included information about three other SBIR projects that include an ISS battery recharging system, catalytic combustors for very high altitude air-breathing propulsion, and propulsion control sampling algorithms.
NASA recently announced that it would be conducting contract negotiations for 350 projects under its SBIR and STTR programs, which are aimed at promoting space technology development and transfer by small businesses. Parabolic Arc will be looking at a number of the proposals involving NewSpace companies that it regularly covers or which encompass interesting technologies.
This post looks at proposals put forth by Tech-X Corporation of Colorado and Tethers Unlimited of Washington for the purposes of de-orbiting and maneuvering spacecraft and reducing orbital debris. Two of the projects involve tethers, while a two others focus on developing magnetoplasmadynamic (MPD) thrusters and predicting hall thruster operational lifetimes. Tethers Unlimited has an additional project involving integrated power, propulsion, and pointing for CubeSats for which there is no public information.
Stanford researchers have completed the first successful tests in zero gravity of a canopy for CubeSats — the tiny satellites that hitch rides on rockets sending larger satellites into orbit. The goal is to gather data on what happens when micrometeoroids slam into a satellite. Such impacts often knock out electronic equipment on satellites. The encounters are poorly understood, but the canopies could be a first step in eventually building “black boxes” for satellites similar to airplane flight recorders.