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SBIR/STTR

Low-Cost Launch Propulsion Stage and Deployment Bus for Smallsats, Phase I

Active Technology Project

Project Introduction

Systima Technologies is teaming with the University of Washington to design, manufacture, and test a first-stage propulsion booster system and a picosatellite orbital deployer capable of mitigating hazards associated with propulsion-capable CubeSats. The total launch system seeks to deliver pico-satellites and/or smallsat 5-50 kg payloads into LEO, including an innovative hazard-mitigation picosatellite orbital deployer (SAF-POD) developed by Systima. This technology has the potential of increasing first-stage thrust, specific impulse, and total impulse during the initial boost phase of ascent. Phase I will include system analyses and trades to scope a feasible SAF-POD design that has the hazard containment necessary to allow for launches of propulsion-capable CubeSats as secondary payloads. As picosatellites develop greater capabilities the need to include propulsion systems grows, but there is currently no approved method for delivering hazardous CubeSats into orbit as secondary payloads per NASA safety requirements. The SAF-POD technology will be developed to operate as a light-weight CubeSat deployer that protects primary payloads from CubeSat hazards. More »

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