Deorbit Devices Case Study

Empowering GA-EMS with a Practical Deorbit Device

Roccor is stepping in with practical and affordable solutions to the complex space debris problem and the potentially disastrous outcomes it presents.

In 2018, we introduced a deployable atmospheric drag deorbit device called ROC™ FALL to the marketplace, facilitating the reliable and predictable passive deorbit of spacecraft at End of Life.

General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems (GA-EMS), developing an ESPA-class small satellite called the Orbital Test Bed (OTB), came to Roccor seeking a new strategy to ensure deorbit, passively, within 25 years of end of life. Under challenging physical and programmatic constraints, Roccor was able to develop a simple roll-out drag sail design to meet the requirements.

From a fresh sheet of paper, using flight-proven technologies, Roccor’s solution was qualified and ready for flight in six months (ahead of schedule). Roccor’s ROC™ FALL drag sail device received FCC approval for end-of-life management for the OTB satellite mission and launched on the SpaceX STP2 Falcon Heavy in June of 2019.

Advantages of Roccor’s ROC™ FALL are:

  • Flight-proven components and materials.
  • 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 (6 month 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.

ROC™ FALL in Action

Integrated into GA’s OTB satellite.

ROC™ FALL in Action

Integrated into GA’s OTB satellite.