Vestigo Aerospace Awarded Phase II SBIR

Spinnaker 2 Dragsail Picture

Vestigo Aerospace has been selected for a NASA Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) award. Through the 24-month contract, Vestigo will advance dragsail technolology for the deorbit of small satellites and launch vehicle stages. Purdue University is a subcontractor to Vestigo for the Phase II investigation.

The safe disposal of space objects upon mission completion is necessary to preserve the utility of high-value orbits. It is forecasted that up to 2,600 nanosatellites and microsatellites will be launched into orbit over the next five years, and plans for large commercial constellations have the potential to add thousands of satellites to the low-Earth orbit environment. Vestigo Aerospace is developing the Spinnaker product line of dragsails to address the need for deorbit capability as an alternative to conventional propulsion systems. The team will also investigate the use of dragsails for targeted reentry of space objects, to reduce the uncertainty in atmospheric reentry corridors and debris impact zones.

Eileen Dukes, Chief Technology Officer of Vestigo Aerospace, is the Principal Investigator (PI) for the SBIR study. Dr. Alina Alexeenko, Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics, is the Purdue University lead for the investigation.

Vestigo Aerospace is an engineering startup company founded in 2019 by Dr. David Spencer, an Associate Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics at Purdue. Vestigo has been supported by the Purdue Foundry and the Purdue Research Foundation Office of Technology Commercialization.