People • Technology • Innovation • Success
For more than ten years, Schafer has pioneered the development of multiple, single-shot thrusters based on automotive airbag technology as an affordable alternative to standard liquid propulsion systems. Through government sponsors, contracts with private industry, and internal IR&D funding we have collaborated with several industry leaders to develop a feasible, solid, low-cost propulsion system with applicability in different areas such as:
There are many technical benefits to this technology, such as ultra-high reliability, storability, mission flexibility, scalability, manufacturability, affordability, and efficiency. The use of "on-demand" solid motors allows control algorithm approaches to emulate liquid type operations using stable, solid state motors.
Schafer has invested IR&D funding to develop a motor control architecture that supports a common interface between propulsion units and the onboard software. Our motor controller is capable of operating motors individually, operating multiple motors simultaneously, and providing real-time status and Built In Test (BIT) check on each motor. Our motor controller has been implemented on several different industry standard boards and has demonstrated autonomous control of several hundred motors during live fire testing. We have demonstrated the use of discrete propulsion units to provide both lateral divert capability and attitude control capability for integrated test vehicles in closed loop live fire testing.