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Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Tech Transfer

Plug-and-Play Star Sensor for Rapid Spacecraft Integration, Phase II

Completed Technology Project

Project Description

Plug-and-Play Star Sensor for Rapid Spacecraft Integration, Phase II
Microcosm, with partners Space Micro and HRP Systems, will design, build, and test a plug-and play (PnP) star sensor for small satellites, achieving TRL 6 at the completion of Phase II. All three companies are very experienced in developing PnP systems. On a recent Phase II Air Force SBIR program, Microcosm built and tested a prototype miniature star sensor called MicroMakTM, and is building a prototype radiation hard star sensor under a new Phase II Air Force SBIR. The new star sensor proposed here will focus on PnP compatibility for NASA missions of interest, with a mass goal of 0.5 to 0.75 kg. Anticipated NASA applications necessitate a modified version of the baseline MicroMakTM sensor, including: 1) Interfaces compatible with a new PnP avionics architecture, 2) radiation-hardened CMOS focal plane arrays (FPAs), and 3) processing electronics to enable longer mission life. The baseline MicroMakTM sensor was designed with inherent radiation-tolerant features: FPAs with no direct view of space, and all-reflective optical elements. The PnP star sensor will leverage MicroMakTM heritage, providing a modular, PnP, long-life star sensor for NASA missions, providing a cost and mass reduction of a factor of 2 or more over existing star sensors. More »

Primary U.S. Work Locations and Key Partners

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This is a historic project that was completed before the creation of TechPort on October 1, 2012. Available data has been included. This record may contain less data than currently active projects.