MagTags™ are a modular interface solution utilizing solid state switchable magnets and ferrous target materials to create a secure electrical or low-pressure fluid connection between modules and spacecraft with no moving parts. This switchable electropermanent magnet (EPM) requires no holding power, providing benefits over both standard permanent magnets and electromagnets. The proposed innovation allows for simplified repair and upgrade of NASA and commercial on orbit long duration assets by using MagTag-equipped plug-and-play modules such as batteries or reaction wheel systems. As currently envisioned MagTags fit within a 60mm x 60mm x 25mm volume making them compatible for use on cubesats and smallsats.
During the proposed Phase I effort, Altius will develop requirements for the MagTag, review the requirements and the resulting MagTag conceptual design at a workshop at the Small Satellite Conference, and then using feedback from that workshop, Altius will design, build, and test several brassboard prototypes of the MagTag Electrical interface, raising the system from a TRL 2 to a TRL 5. In Phase II Altius proposes doing detailed flight design, analysis, and space environment qualification testing of the MagTags, working with a satellite component provider to develop at least one representative MagTag-equipped module, and developing a preliminary design and prototype of a pallet for carrying multiple MagTag-equipped modules on Altius's BullDog™ satellite servicing vehicle. This will raise the MagTag TRL to 6 by the end of Phase II, with the potential to reach TRL 9 via flight demonstration subsequently.
NASA Applications include:
The main potential non-NASA applications for MagTags are: