Grapple, Retrieve, And Secure Payload (GRASP)
Technology for Capture of Non-Cooperative Space Objects

TUI has developed and demonstrated a deployable net technology that enables small-satellites to capture and manipulate space objects such as orbital debris, small asteroids, and defunct spacecraft. The GRASP Module is a compact, lightweight mechanism that uses simple inflatable tubes to controllably deploy a net or shroud. The spacecraft would then maneuver the net around the target object. Once the target is positioned within the net, the module depressurizes the inflatable tubes and uses a drawstring mechanism to close the net like a purse seine. TUI has also developed and demonstrated in simulation several methods for de-tumbling a captured object that has a moment of inertia much larger than the GRASP satellite.


GRASP Prototype Mounted in CubeSat Model

In September 2004 TUI successfully demonstrated the GRASP mechanism in microgravity aboard the Zero-G aircraft. Testing validated reliable deployment and an ability to capture a tumbling target that had a moment of inertia greater than that of the GRASP satellite, and excellent tolerance to positional and relative velocity errors.

 

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