A Cryo-Vacuum Compatible Positioning System

Period of Performance: 05/22/2014 - 04/18/2015


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Square ONE Systems Design
3500 South Park Drive Post Office Box 10520
Jackson, WY 83002
Principal Investigator

Research Topics


ABSTRACT: Space-based systems have become indispensable elements of global communication, military reconnaissance and scientific research. The expenses associated with any space launch are enormous and, once in orbit, a system failure can have catastrophic consequences. Extensive Earth-based testing is essential to ensure a high success rate. To approximate the demands of space deployment, the Air Force maintains large test chambers capable of creating low temperature, high vacuum environments. However, the testing apparatus within these chambers is often poorly suited to the harsh cryo-vac environment and mechanical failures are not uncommon. A program of applied research is proposed to develop a family of versatile, high-precision positioning system fully compatible with space chamber environments. Under Phase II, research will continue into commercial motion technologies that are inherently more compatible with cryo-vac conditions and design modifications with the potential for further improving the performance of these technologies. Ultimately, multi degree-of-freedom positioning systems will be built and validated. BENEFIT: The 7V and 10V space test chambers maintained by the Air Force at Arnold Engineering Development Center will be the initial customer for the proposed cryo-vac positioning systems. Once validated within terrestrial test chambers, adaptation of these systems for use aboard spacecraft represents a potent and enduring secondary commercial market. The Department of Energy s extensive network of particle accelerators driven by cryo-cooled superconducting magnets represents another large potential market.