Cyclops Hardware Validation Demonstration (Cyclops Demo) - 05.13.15
Launching satellites from Earth using rockets is expensive and risky, but small satellites can be delivered to the International Space Station (ISS) in larger groups, and then individually deployed from there. The Cyclops, also known as the Space Station Integrated Kinetic Launcher for Orbital Payload Systems (SSIKLOPS), ejects nanosatellites from outside the ISS. Nanosatelittes are inserted into the Cyclops platform inside the Japanese Experiment Module airlock then get moved to the outside of the ISS by the station’s robotic arms where they are deployed. Science Results for Everyone
Initiation of this investigation has been affected by the loss of the Orbital-3 launch vehicle and mission in October 2014. Experiment Details
Daniel R. Newswander, Houston, TX, United States
NASA Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX, United States
Sponsoring Space Agency
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
Technology Demonstration Office (TDO)
ISS Expedition Duration
September 2014 - March 2015
Previous ISS Missions
- Cyclops robotically deploys satellites from ISS, and is designed to provide the ISS Program with a method to transfer internally stowed satellites to the external environment. Cyclops’ mechanical interfaces are to the existing slide table located in the Japanese Experiment Module Pressurized Module (JEM PM) Airlock, and to the existing Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator (SPDM) attached to the Space Station Remote Manipulator System (SSRMS) or the JEM Small Fine Arm (SFA).
- Cyclops consists of the following major components: deployment table with an internal capture and release mechanism, pusher plate mechanism to eject a satellite away from ISS, a grapple fixture interface to robotic utilities, a cone receptacle that interfaces to the JEM PM Slide Table, and passive retention hooks. A stowage container will also be developed but, for the purpose of this requirements document, is not considered to be part of the Cyclops.
- The Cyclops is designed to provide a common payload interface and to accommodate payloads up to the internal volume of the JEM Airlock Slide Table.
Cyclops is a mechanism used to robotically deploy satellites from ISS and is designed to provide the ISS Program with a method to transfer internally stowed satellites to the external environment. Cyclops mechanical interfaces are to the existing slide table located in the JEM PM Airlock and to the existing SPDM attached to the SSRMS and/or the JEM SFA. The Cyclops is designed to provide a common payload interface and to accommodate payloads up to the internal volume of the JEM Airlock Slide Table.
Cyclops consists of the following major components: deployment table with an internal capture and release mechanism, pusher plate mechanism to eject a satellite away from ISS, a grapple fixture interface to robotic utilities, a cone receptacle that interfaces to the JEM Air Lock Slide Table, and passive retention hooks. Cyclops fills the payload deployment gap between small cubesat launchers and major payloads enabling a whole new range of payload possibilities.
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Cyclops enables the space-based launch of a new class of satellites, which are larger than cubesats but not large enough to require their own Earth-based launch vehicles. The facility's components include an internal capture-and-release mechanism, a pusher to eject a small satellite away from the space station, and a grappling fixture that connects to space station robotic tools. The Cyclops Demo investigation advances nano-satellite design, development and operation by testing the deployment of small satellites, including a nested satellite pair called Lonestar (University of Texas and Texas A&M University Collaboration) and a propulsion experiment called SpinSat (Department of Defense Space Test Program).
Payloads launched on Cyclops vary in their research goals but often have educational or earth observation value.
• Crewmember attaches Cyclops to JEM Airlock Slide Table via clamping slide table mechanism.
• Cyclops exits the ISS via the JEM Airlock, and interfaces with one of the robotic arms for deployment of attached payload.
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