Orbit Fab bags NSF grant to test satellite refueling systems

By Akshay Kedari  | Date: 2020-04-02

Orbit Fab bags NSF grant to test satellite refueling systems

Orbit Fab, a San Francisco-based startup focusing on building refueling stations in orbit, has reportedly bagged a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) backed program dubbed, America’s Seed Fund.

Reportedly, with this $250,000 grant funding, Orbit Fab intends to test a docking solution that would enable satellites to be refueled. Moreover, the NSF grant would allow the company to refine system requirements by consulting with potential users.

It would also use the grant for performing simulations and modeling that would further be followed by simulations of the solution on an air-bearing table, a test the firm hopes to conduct this summer.

Commenting on the development, Daniel Faber, Chief Executive Officer, Orbit Fab, said that the company is working hard on developing a cooperative docking solution. It is figuring out a low-cost solution for both passive and active side of a refueling docking platform. As a result, this system would make the refueling ecosystem a lot more viable.

Apparently, the NSF award is a bit similar to other Small Business Innovation Research initiatives conducted by prominent agencies like the U.S. Air Force and NASA. Besides, the award contains an option worth $1 million-$1.5 million for a second phase.

Elaborating on the option, Faber said that this option would allow the company to implement these requirements with even more testing, including six-degree-of-freedom tests and orbital flight tests.

He said that Northrop Grumman’s successful demonstration of its MEV (Mission Extension Vehicle) spacecraft, which docked with Intelsat-901 satellite, has supported to raise satellite servicing profile.

Though Orbit fab has strong relations with NASA and the Air Force, the company still preferred to opt for NSF’s award as it emphasized more on backing those technologies that have the potential to become commercially viable.

Source Credit: https://spacenews.com/orbit-fab-gets-award-to-test-satellite-refueling-technology

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Akshay Kedari     aeresearch.net

Akshay Kedari

A qualified computer engineering graduate, Akshay Kedari takes pride in having his way with words. Following his passion for content creation, he writes insightful pieces on aeresearch.net and a few other portals. Also endorsed with a short-term experience in web deve...

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