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Center Independent Research & Development: GSFC IRAD

Miniature Release Mechanism

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

The internal volume within a small satellite, such as a CubeSat, is very limited and all reasonable efforts should be made to minimize component sizes and maximize volume for the science instrument and/or extra capability.  When considering deployables for these satellites, one challenge has been finding a reliable COTS release mechanism that will have minimal impact on the internal volume.  This proposal looks to address this need by investigating the feasibility of a miniature release mechanism by designing, building, and testing a prototype.

The objective is to design, build and functionally test a miniature release mechanism for CubeSats and other small satellites. The WFF 6U satellite structure will be used as the baseline design reference. Design goals for the unit include: Low cost Non-explosive, low release energy Packaging height target of 0.25 inches or less Two fault tolerance initiation Resettable and usable for at least 10 cycles Low power

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Technology Maturity (TRL)

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