TAGS II: Tether Electrodynamic Spinup and Survivability Experiment (TESSX)

Period of Performance: 01/01/2004 - 12/31/2004


Phase 2 STTR

Recipient Firm

Orbital Technologies Corp.(orbitec)
Space Center, 1212 Fourier Drive
Madison, WI 53717
Principal Investigator
Firm POC

Research Institution

University of Texas at Dallas
800 West Campbell Road
Richardson, TX 75080
Institution POC


ORBITEC, working in cooperation with The University of Texas at Dallas (UTD), and others, proposes to develop TAGS II: Tether Electrodynamic Spinup and Survivability Experiment (TESSX). TESSX is a spinning tethered space system, consisting of two end masses separated by an electrodynamic tether. TESSX is believed to be a critically important step in the evolution of several tether applications, addressing: tether electrodynamics; tether survivability and safety; tether deployment, management and tracking; multi-amp current collection and emission; and system deployment and spin-up. The resulting TESSX hardware, software, analysis and other technologies will have direct application to the Tethered Artificial Gravity Spacecraft (TAGS), Tether Reboost System (TRS) and Momentum-eXchange Electrodynamic Reboost (MXER) for in-space propulsion, and other tethered systems. The Phase II program will draw on the successful results of the Phase I work and include: the development and delivery to NASA of a multi-strand computer controlled tether deployment system; detailed TESSX systems dynamics and electrodynamics analysis and experimental verification; development of a detailed and optimized TESSX architecture, compatible with ELV constraints; a Phase III TESSX cost analysis and development plan; and commercial applications planning.