Engineers Jeff Gibson and Matt Plumer of Benchmark space systems test simulated in-space maneuvers using the SmartAIM autopilot platform

Benchmark Space Systems Awarded NASA Grant to Fund Small Spacecraft Propulsion Development

Source: Benchmark Space Systems

Benchmark Space Systems has received a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Grant from NASA to develop a preliminary design of a hybrid propulsion system.

The new awards from NASA’s SBIR and STTR programs invest in a diverse portfolio of American small businesses and research institutions to support NASA’s future missions.

Benchmark was selected to develop a preliminary design of a hybrid propulsion system that will include many of its flight-proven offerings:

  • High-test peroxide (HTP) bipropellant subsystem (Halcyon Avant)
  • SmartAIM™ GNC software layer
  • A partner-supplied electric propulsion system
  • Other commercial off-the-shelf subsystems.

The multi-technology, single-asset, kick-stage solution will be designed with a standard interface across spacecraft and launch vehicles to enable streamlined integration and standardized operation across any mission set.

This award validates the industry’s need for Benchmark’s universal integration approach of heritage propulsion systems and complementary technologies to augment existing solutions.

“The value in having an in-space propulsion leader with multi-technology integrations, and orbit transfer mission experience is critical in maximizing the pace and efficiency of a deployable solution to these long transfer challenges, ” said Kevin DiMarzio, Benchmark’s Director of Business Development. “A multi-mode or multi-technology solution provides the optimal maneuver capability; of which Benchmark has experience optimizing bulk impulse needs across multiple propulsion subsystems for advanced missions; which will be necessary to provide both the speed, endurance, and form factor required in a small spacecraft transfer stage.”

Read more about NASA’s SBIR Program and the awardees.

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