USSF Awards Contract for Autonomous Debris Capture in Space

The US Air Force Research Laboratory Small Business Technology Transfer Research Phase 1 contract will focus on initial feasibility studies to adapt Target Arm’s autonomous drone system for package delivery into space By Phoebe Grinter / 11 Jul 2022
USSF Awards Contract for Autonomous Debris Capture in Space

Target Arm Inc., a developer of autonomous launch and recovery systems for drones while on-the-move, has received a US Space Force (USSF) contract to begin research and design for Autonomous Debris Capture / Autonomous Non-Cooperative Target Capture (NCTC).  

As part of Orbital Prime, this US Air Force Research Laboratory Small Business Technology Transfer Research (STTR) Phase 1 contract for $250,000 will focus on initial feasibility studies to adapt Target Arm’s autonomous drone system for package delivery into space. 

The primary goal of this STTR is to create initial design concepts and crude mock-ups to withstand the rigors of space launch and the extreme space environment for Tular to assist with debris capture and other non-cooperative targets.

“We are very excited to begin the initial research to adapt our Tular device into the space environment,” said Jeffrey McChesney, Target Arm CEO. “We believe Tular will enable the Space Force to use much less fuel to capture non-cooperative targets autonomously in the terminal phases. As Tular has matured in the terrestrial environment, it became clear early on that we may have a viable solution for debris capture on orbit. Space debris and defunct satellites circling the globe are becoming an ever-increasing risk for every space launch and operation through Low Earth Orbit (LEO).”

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