[06/01/22 | Laconia, NH] Rogue Space Systems, a New Hampshire company who is developing orbital robots (Orbots™) for satellite servicing, has partnered with the University of Utah’s Robotics Center to apply the research of Professors Jake Abbott and Tucker Hermans on manipulation of non-ferrous objects using magnetic eddy currents. The use of this Omnimagnet technology is going to be particularly beneficial when trying to interact with an object that is tumbling out-of-control as the Rogue Orbot™ will be able to detumble it safely without contact. Rogue and Professor Abbott have also submitted two Small Business Technology Transfers (STTR) together based on this technology; both were selected for funding by the U.S. Space Force.
This partnership comes after the release of a paper that Jake Abbott was part of titled “Dexterous magnetic manipulation of conductive non-magnetic objects” in the scientific journal Nature in October of 2021. Objects injected into orbit are not always made of ferrous/magnetic materials; most contain primarily aluminum, so the ability to interact with non-magnetic materials using magnetics is revolutionary.
The use of this technology will have great impact on being able to control an object so that it can safely be touched, fixed, moved to another orbit, or deorbited. Assets that are out of control pose a high risk of colliding with other objects in space and creating more space debris; Rogue hopes to use this method of interaction to help operate in space in a safer manner and mitigate the creation of more “space junk.”
“Within hours of reading the Nature article, I was fortunate to have made contact with Dr. Abbott, and was able to meet with him. Rogue is humbled that he’s chosen to work with us to develop his technology and methods for space applications,” says Jeromy Grimmett, Rogue’s CEO. Thanks to SpaceWERX, Rogue is partnering with University of Utah and Dr. Abbott to get this incredible technology into the space market. This capability is key to removing space debris in the safest and most sustainable way possible. It’s thought leaders like Dr. Abbott and his team at University of Utah that will help accelerate the space industry.