Integrated Payload Dispenser for Multi Micro-Satellite Missions
Award last edited on: 3/26/2003

Sponsored Program
Awarding Agency
Total Award Amount
Award Phase
Solicitation Topic Code
Principal Investigator
Patrick J Hart

Company Information

AASC (AKA: Applied Aerospace Structures Corporation~Parsons of California)

PO Box 6189
Stockton, CA 95206
   (209) 982-0160
Location: Single
Congr. District: 09
County: San Joaquin

Phase I

Contract Number: ----------
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Phase I year
Phase I Amount
As the number of satellites and satellite "constellations" increases each year, the need for an economical payload dispenser system, which can accommodate multiple satellite configurations, is increasing. An approach will be studied to use generic flat composite sandwich panels to form more complex dispenser structures from standardized components. These standardized panels will be easily pre-fabricated using lightweight/low cost carbon graphite face sheets and foam core. Assembly will be accomplished with dovetail type joint, which may be reinforced with local doublers and or angle clips. A unique, post-bonded, insert system will be investigated and tested which will allow attachment of payloads anywhere within the panel and eliminate the need for local densification of the core. Proper design of the panel geometry, materials, and insert system will allow the standard panel concept to be used for multiple applications, eliminating the need to redesign for each unique payload. Analyses will be performed to verify the design of this system given anticipated future payloads, commercially available materials, load isolation systems, and on-board propulsion.

Phase II

Contract Number: ----------
Start Date: ----    Completed: ----
Phase II year
Phase II Amount
The need to develop a low-cost, lightweight, 'generic' payload adapter for multiple micro-satellite launches is significant. Typically, a customer develops a specific adapter for each launch manifest adding substantial cost and schedule. In addition, once the payload adapter is designed, customers do not have the capability to modify or add payloads to their launch manifest thus losing many important opportunities. Applied Aerospace Structures Corp., in conjunction with CSA Engineering and Starsys Research Corp. plans to provide an innovative system solution by offering a re-configurable, bulk honeycomb panel assembly with options for 'off-the-shelf' payload separation systems. During this Phase II contract, a flight payload adapter will be designed, fabricated and tested for the PicoSat/OSP-3 mission. Options include design, fabrication and test of a generic payload adapter and three different, non-shock payload separation systems. Once completed, the system solution will not only be flight qualified for use on Orbital Science’s Minotaur launch vehicle, but also have flight data from the OSP-3 mission. By combining payloads from different customers into a single launch, allowing for the replacement or addition of payloads late in the schedule and offering multiple attachment options, our customers will gain substantial cost and time to market improvements.

This solution will allow our target market (DoD, NASA, commercial companies, universities and other government agencies) to optimize launch manifests and establish "affordable" launch opportunities.