Presenter Information

Abbie Stewart


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Research Advisor

Henry Pernicka

Advisor's Department

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering


The Missouri-Rolla Satellite (MR SAT) system is being designed and constructed by students at the University of Missouri - Rolla in order to give Aerospace Engineering students along with other major's practical experience in spaceflight concepts. The satellite system will consist of two tethered satellites that will eventually be completely disconnected and use a propulsion method to enter the chase phase of our mission. New design concepts are being used on this satellite including the possible use of a honeycomb-aluminum friction stir-welded structure and micro-pulse plasma thrusters for maneuvering. The research done this summer focused on the tether reel mechanism (TRM) including its initial deployment, unreeling/slowing down, and its final separation. The ideas for each mode of operation were put in trade studies to compare the feasibility and reliability of each concept. Two hovercrafts were also designed and built to test the TRM concepts in an environment that most closely resembled microgravity on Earth.

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