Space is rapidly becoming very crowded with satellites of all sizes, which has been the subject of concern by many ... and possible solutions offered by a few. Now there's a company, Roccor, described as a disruptive aerospace supplier providing low-cost, high performance deployable structure and thermal management systems technology for government and commercial space customers, which has launched a solution.
Because of the IADC 25-year deorbit lifetime mandate, companies like Roccor are stepping in with practical and affordable solutions to the complex space debris problem that can often have dire outcomes. Called ROC™ FALL it's a deployable atmospheric drag deorbit device that facilitates the reliable and predictable passive deorbit of spacecraft at End of Life.
As an example of Roccor solving a problem for a company ... recently, a large defense contractor developing Orbital Test Beds (OTB) for launch on the STP2 Falcon Heavy launch came to Roccor because the FCC rejected their baseline strategy to ensure deorbit within 25 years of end of life. Despite being given minimal payload volume, mass, development time, and a budget with which to work, Roccor was able to develop a simple roll-out drag sail design to meet the requirements. Beginning with something as simple as a fresh sheet of paper, Roccor’s solution was qualified and ready for flight in six months which was ahead of schedule.
Doug Campbell, president and CEO of Roccor said that given the hazard to all space users that uncontrolled orbital debris can pose, for example the recent Chinese Space Station that crashed to Earth, it is more important than ever to have systems in place upon launch that will ensure safe End of Life systems now and decades to come.
Advantages of Roccor’s ROC™ FALL are:
- Approval by the FCC for end-of-life management
- Flexibility to meet a range of spacecraft masses, orbits, lifetimes, and geometries
- Low mass and customizable footprint for minimum disruption to other spacecraft systems
- Short lead time (6M initial qualification and delivery, faster, and build to print solutions)
- Simple integration and interfaces
- Ability for customers to select optimum configuration, balancing mission assurance, mass, volume, cost, etc.