NASA 1996 SBIR Phase I


PROPOSAL NUMBER : 96-1 07.04-4045

PROJECT TITLE : Safety Hazards And Emergency Deployment Of A Tethered Satellite System

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)

AIRSEDS-S, Atmospheric/Ionospheric Research Small Expendable Deployer System (Shuttle Based), and TSS-2, Tethered Satellite System, are tethered systems that will provide a means for NASA to explore the Earth's upper atmosphere and conduct aerothermodynamic research in the altitude range between 250-105 km, altitudes which cannot currently be explored using balloons or aircraft. These technologies developed for these missions will have direct application on future shuttle and International Space Station (ISS) based missions. Research will be conducted to provide an improved understanding of the safety hazards of a tethered satellite system and to understand their failure mechanisms, dynamics, control and recovery. The proposed innovation is to develop an emergency tether deployment system such that a tether will freely deploy or will be released under snag conditions, yet provide sufficient strength (greater than 75 N), if the tether has not been severed, once the tethered end mass is a sufficient distance from a platform, such as the space shuttle and the ISS.
POTENTIAL COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS
Direct applications of the NASA SBIR research include the AIRSEDS-S tethered end mass, the TSS-2 satellite and future proposed ISS based tethered systems. It is also planned to spin off the developed technologies to several other areas including small satellite systems, automotive systems, and manufacturing. The commercialization program for the SBIR research will be conducted in conjunction with the AIRSEDS-S mission commericalization program and the AIRSEDS K-12 program, including the AIRSEDS/GAS program, which is an opportunity for students to send experiments of their own design into space. In addition, the results and experience from the SBIR research will be used towards growing The Michigan Technic Corporation's opportunities in the commercialization of tethers in space.
NAME AND ADDRESS OF PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR
NAME AND ADDRESS OF OFFEROR
The Michigan Technic Corporation
17133 Inavale
Holland, Michigan 49424