NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center chose DCUBED as their first choice for space pin pullers over its larger domestic competitor, Ensign-Bickford Aerospace & Defense (EBAD), for the critical Space Qualified Rover Lidar (SQRLi) Support project earlier this year.
The SQRLi project is a LIDAR engineering test unit with a 35m or greater range sensor array designed to provide a 40×40 field of view and operate under poor lighting conditions for rover-based missions and autonomous exploration of extreme environments like permanently shadowed lunar craters. The project required the procurement of a space pin puller, requiring a small form factor, operating within tight constraints of mass and space – and the key requirement was that the space pin puller needed to be resettable for testing purposes.
DCUBED emerged as the frontrunner and eventual winner of the waiver and procurement process, offering a space pin puller that exceeded NASA’s critera. In the waiver rationale summary ( https://www.madeinamerica.gov/waivers/nonavailability/63ebeb4c60e1027dcae6264a ), the NASA team at Goddard Space Flight Center highlighted the exhaustive comparison they had done among different types of space pin pullers: Shape Memory Alloy, Paraffin Pusher and Split Spool. Shape Memory Alloy pin pullers were identified as the preferred type given its reliability and operational and testing advantages. It was noted that alternatives, such as the Paraffin Pusher and Split Spool types were either prone to failure or were destructively operated, limiting their use to a single instance.
The team at Goddard Space Flight Center carefully compared specifications for shape memory alloy space pin pullers between DCUBED and EBAD, but DCUBED’s products stood out as the only one capable of satisfying the strict mass and size requirements for the SQRLi project, emphasizing our commitment to precision engineering and designing products for all sizes and mission types. DCUBED’s offering was also the only one that included a reset function; since our space pin pullers are field resettable up to hundreds of times, adding an extra layer of versatility and functionality.
NASA’s decision to go with DCUBED over EBAD, a larger domestic competitor, reflects the agency’s recognition that they could not domestically procure the innovative and technological excellence that they needed for the SQRLi project. DCUBED’s commitment to provide off the shelf, commercially available solutions that meet or exceed expectations showcases our dedication to help our partners Do Big Things In Space.
DCUBED helps our partners get to and do big things in space with our space release actuators (space pin pullers and space release nuts), space deployables like our space selfie stick and solar arrays, as well as pioneering removing the fiction from science fiction as we pioneer in space manufacturing.
DCUBED helps missions get to space faster, easier and less expensively by providing well built, German manufacturing as off the shelf products available in weeks (not months) at an affordable price from smallsats to constellations.
To learn more or put your mission on the fast track, visit our website at https://dcubed.space