Opportunity in Orbital Debris

STH is structured to be an incubator of commercial entities focused on space-derived technologies and knowledge. The STH vision is based on decades of experience of its founders on all aspects of commercial space and space operations in both the national and international arenas. STH enables entrepreneurs/researchers of space-based or derived technology to create new knowledge and products that have commercial potential on Earth and beyond. We are achieving this by establishing an organizational team that has the expertise and experience in all aspects of space commerce and business development including utilization of:

•    Key private and public organizations and personnel performing space research
•    Space-based laboratory assets (International Space Station and emerging international public and private laboratory assets)
•    Key international space transportation providers
•    Commercial space operations (payload integration and on-orbit operations)
•    Management of Intellectual (IP) Property between private and public partners
•    Private and public investment capital

This will enable space researchers to successfully introduce and validate their technology using space assets or the increasingly sophisticated space environment. The knowledge and products can then be integrated into an innovative and viable revenue generating business that is then marketed globally.

Recently STH has been introduced to a team of researchers that are addressing the ever-increasing problem of space debris. There are thousands of tons of space material orbiting the earth now and increasing every year. An international team tries to measure the debris of 10 centimeters and larger and place it into a useable database. This has stimulated a number of start-up commercial companies to devise ways of removing this debris. Very little has been done to address the large amount of debris that is smaller than ten centimeters in Low Earth Orbit (LEO). STH has been approached by a start-up company that is proposing technology that could attack this problem.  STH is trying to assemble a team of researchers and associated student teams that are studying the space debris problem from both a science and engineering point of view. This has prompted me to contact the Space Grant entities to determine if there are researchers among the 52 Space Grant consortia that are or have been studying the space debris problem.

This AO is specific to Low Earth Orbit and for debris smaller than 10 cm.  The mission is to create a spherical cloud of high molecular weight particles that are launched in a retro-grade orbit.  We would like to determine the interaction physics of the cloud with LEO orbital debris that is smaller than 10 cm.  Proposals will be reviewed by the mission team and fellowships/scholarships will be given to successful proposals (administered by the NSGF).  The AO timeline is as follows:

•    NSGF will issue this announcement letter within the week of April 7, 2019
•    Proposal responses will be due in two weeks (April 25, 2019)
•    Successful proposals will notifyed by the first week of May 2019
•    Proposals should be electronically submitted to:

Dr. Michael Wiskerchen
Space Technology Holdings, LLC
Email: mwiskerchen@ucsd.edu