This study proposes the development of an economical, high-performance facility for both microgravity research and submicroradian stabilization by integrating a Shuttle-proven vibration isolation technology into suborbital reusable launch vehicles (sRLVs). By integrating the spaceflight-proven vibration isolation technology into sRLVs, a reduction in the ambient flight environment by over two orders of magnitude during operation is witnessed. Using a combination of non-contact isolation and active attenuation, quiescent environments for the research payload on the order of 1 micro-g rms or better over a broadband frequency range (>0.1Hz) during the coast phase of the sRLV flight will be provided.
The Vibration Isolation Platform (VIP) provides a sustained microgravity environment to research payloads flying on orbital and suborbital vehicles. The VIP is a payload mounting interface which includes active stabilization and 6-DOF non-contact isolation. During launch, re-entry, and landing, the research payload is mechanically secured to the vehicle. During parabolic coast or in orbit, the research payload is automatically released on a 6-DOF free-floating platform. The payload is caged to follow the low-frequency inertial motion of the host vehicle, but otherwise left undisturbed to float freely in the sway space of the VIP. A “μg OK” discrete signal is provided to the payload when the acceleration environment is acceptable for conducting microgravity research.More »
Targeting insertion into near-term NASA Programs such as the Laser Communication Relay Demonstration Mission (LCRD) and as an upgrade for hte Optcal Payload for LAsercomm Science (OPALS)
Enabling new missions or enchancing missions already planned in for Deep Spacer planetary Missions, the Space Communications and Navigation (SCaN) program and Deep Space Optical Terminal (DOT) Project.
By providing component-level isolation and stabilization at the optical payload. This makes the technology broadly applicable to a wide range of veicles including sRLVs, orbital RLV's Eaarth orbitaling satellites and deep space vehicles. This technology is targeted for high data throughtput applications requireing optical links.More »