Large Moment Arm Propulsive Attitude Control System

Period of Performance: 06/05/2003 - 02/05/2004


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Composite Technology Development, Inc.
2600 Campus Drive Suite D
Lafayette, CO 80026
Principal Investigator


Composite Technology Development, Inc. proposes to develop and demonstrate a unique and innovative large moment arm propulsive Attitude Control System (ACS) for small satellites, incorporating an Elastic Memory Composite deployable boom with a micro-propulsion thruster at its tip. The proposed Phase I effort will develop this innovative ACS system concept and demonstrate the feasibility of a key element of the deployable boom through design, fabrication and testing. Small satellites can realize significant mass savings through the use of a propulsion-based attitude control system in place of traditional torque rods and reaction wheels. The proposed approach, with small thrusters located at the end of a long moment arm, can reduce the ACS mass requirement by up to 90 percent for a 150-kg class satellite. The proposed technology will be applicable to a large number of small satellite missions of interest to DoD, academia, and industry.