Tether Deployer for Spacecraft

Grants and Contracts Details


To solve this problem, the group will conduct research to find out how past experiments were done, and why they failed. The group will then determine why this problem has not been solved (e.g., what went wrong on past experiments), using the research found. From here the group will develop several potential solutions. Risk and cost analysis will then be conducted on all of the designs. From these analysis an optimal solution will be chosen, manufactured, and tested. Based on past experiments, the group has chosen the design below. For this project a small lightweight motor that will tum a spindle wrapped in the tether material (amberstrand 66). This motor will be thoroughly tested by simulating the harsh climates of space and life duration, with equipment provided by the university. Testing of prototypes and the final product will be accomplished using university resources, including a vacuum chamber and other facilities. There are also contacts available who can provide a shake table if necessary, among other commercial vendors. Once the tether material comes off of the spindle, it will he guided with a friction-reducing design (e.g., through two consecutive rollers that are held in place with ball bearings, which will be covered in a material to reduce friction). The tether will then be guided through a design meant to act as a brake (e.g., pinch roller with a spring loaded force that will be able to adjust the speed of deployment). An odometer will be used to measure the amount of revolutions completed by the tether that has deployed to an accuracy of 1 .0% as given in the requirements. This number of revolutions will be used to calculate the length of material that has been released.
Effective start/end date1/20/1812/20/18


  • University of Alabama: $2,000.00


Explore the research topics touched on by this project. These labels are generated based on the underlying awards/grants. Together they form a unique fingerprint.