Adapter for Isolation of Multiple Spacecraft (AIMS)

Period of Performance: 04/07/1998 - 04/12/1998


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

CSA Engineering, Inc.
2565 Leghorn Street
Mountain View, CA 94043
Principal Investigator

Research Topics


An innovative adapter design for mounting multiple spacecraft to a single launch vehicle is proposed. This adapter is designed such that it cleanly integrates the three primary functions of 1) mounting multiple spacecraft, 2) providing vibration isolation for each spacecraft, and 3) releasing each spacecraft with low-shock separation systems. While multiple spacecraft have been launched on a single launch vehicle on many occasions, neither vibration isolation nor low-shock spacecraft separation has been included. This program will propose and investigate the feasibility of several adapter designs. Advanced passive vibration isolation devices, advanced composite structures, and advanced low-shock spacecraft release mechanisms will be employed in all designs. System-level coupled-loads analyses will be done using complete launch vehicle and spacecraft models to assess each design concept and optimize the vibration isolation design. It is anticipated that this program will result in a multi-spacecraft vibration-isolating adapter design that reduces spacecraft responses due to structure-borne launch vehicle vibrations by a factor of three or more. This will allow the spacecraft designer to design primarily for mission performance rather than launch survivability. Each of the multiple spacecraft being launched in this reduced-vibration environment can be designed with less primary structure and more fuel or more science instruments resulting in expanded mission and cost savings.