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Rapidly ATTACHABLE Fuel Transfer INterface (rafti)

Fill and Drain

The Rapidly Attachable Fluid Transfer Interface (RAFTI) provides cost effective, reliable satellite fill and drain functions during ground operations. The service valve side is low profile, comparable to existing solutions. The rugged latching mechanism and triple seal design ensures a safe propellant transfer. RAFTI is designed for ease of use while exceeding industry range safety requirements. Redundant data logging allows for remote monitoring.

On Orbit Refueling

RAFTI is designed to allow reliable propellant transfers in the harshest space environments, making it ideal for mission operations at any orbit. High and low pressure variants are compatible with common modern propellants and pressurants with external leakages less than 1x10-6 scc/s. RAFTI is configurable to be normally-open or normally-closed in case of power loss, allowing for fail-safe and safe-fail operations for any mission profile.

Docking

RAFTI supports both primary docking or secondary attachment of two spacecraft. The double action latch mechanism accommodates significant misalignment on all axes during the docking process, allowing for self aligning operations without the need for complex robotic arms. High clamping force accommodates high pressure fluid connections and satellite body movements. Improved reliability by minimizing sliding surfaces and avoiding motors or gears.

 


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Rigid Tanker ISS prototype (Gen-0) - est. Launch May 4, 2019

Future satellites operations need not be restricted to the fuel they hold at launch. Following the tests on the International Space Station (ISS) orbit fab will begin work on the next generation of tankers.

The Generation-1 Tanker is Orbit Fab’s “minimal viable product”, a 16U sized satellite holding 15 liters of propellant. This form factor was selected as it can be launched on a variety of launch vehicles inside off-the-shelf deployers, providing isolation from the launch vehicle and primary payloads.

While of a modest size, the Generation-1 Tanker is the first step in creating a ubiquitous supply of propellant for satellites in Earth Orbit.

Orbit Fab is planning to launch the first operational tanking in 2020. With suppliers on standby, an accelerated program could build, test, and deliver a tanker within 3 months.


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FlexTank ISS prototype (gen-0) - Launched Dec 4, 2018

The first generation FlexTank will significantly increase a spacecraft’s fuel-to-mass ratio, allowing the satellite to go longer without refueling.