InteliSpark client Vishwa Robotics has been awarded a $149,999 SBIR Phase I grant for their project, “Vishwa Space Debris Engagement and Deorbiting System”. This project will focus on developing a miniature space craft to engage with tumbling Spent Rocket Bodies (SRB) and stabilize them, and also perform a controlled deorbiting maneuver.
SRBs are from decades of the launching of satellites into Earth’s orbit. They are also the largest component of space debris by mass. This poses a significant problem to the present and future operation of space systems into certain orbits. A majority of these objects will remain place for several more decades, before re-entering Earth’s atmosphere and eventually burning up. Current concepts for mitigating the debris and de-orbiting space junk have included attaching propulsion modules, electrodynamic tethers, and drag enhancement devices such as sails and balloons. However, there is need for a long-term reduction in the number of large SRBs in low earth orbits. Especially focused for near-polar and sun synchronous orbits in efforts to help preserve and extend the effective use of space.
Vishwa Robotics’ proposal addresses these interests and concerns. With the SBIR Phase I Grant, they will now be able to start work on developing technology for a novel, low cost, use and lose, miniature space craft. This miniature space craft will engage with a tumbling SRB, then stabilize it, and perform a controlled deorbiting maneuver without the use of any eternal tether or power source like solar panels, RTGs, ect. The only necessary component will be a small battery.