Minimum Cost Nanosatellite Launch System

Period of Performance: 01/01/2008 - 12/31/2008

$100K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Delta Velocity Corporation
932 Edwards Ferry Road, Suite 14
Leesburg, VA 20176
Principal Investigator

Abstract

Delta Velocity Corporation proposes the development of a very low cost, highly responsive nanosat launch system. We propose to develop an integrated propulsion system and launch vehicle configuration that provides responsiveness approaching that of solid propellant systems using a non-toxic storable liquid bipropellant mix, an innovative single pressure vessel stage design, and an integrated engine/tankage system. The system combines these innovative propulsion technologies with proven sounding rocket operations concepts to minimize cost. Our two stage nanosat launch system uses rail launch and static stability in early flight phases and a deliberate non-optimum stage sizing to eliminate the requirement for an expensive flight termination system and associated ground infrastructure. Our focus on inherent system safety and maximum vehicle simplicity benefits the responsiveness, reliability, and cost of space launch. The propellants chosen are inexpensive, easy to handle, and inherently safe. These room temperature storable propellants allow use of common, low cost vehicle materials and construction techniques. The system is scalable, allowing it to be adapted to a wide range of space launch systems. The design simplicity of the configuration promises to reduce costs and improve responsiveness of space launch systems.