Home

Princeton Satellite Systems, Inc. is a small company developing advanced technology for the aerospace and energy sectors. Our agility and focus enables us to rapidly develop innovative solutions to a wide range of aerospace and energy problems. Our commercial hardware and software products enable our customers to pursue the same types of demanding, state-of-the-art applications.

Our core values include a dedication to learning and an emphasis on innovation. We believe that each employee can grow intellectually, learn new disciplines, and contribute original ideas to our business areas.

Recent Posts

Visiting Planet 9

In 2015, astronomers from Caltech determined that a giant ninth planet may be orbiting the Sun. It was called Planet X and then Planet 9. The discovery was based on perturbations in the orbits of TNOs, trans Neptunian Objects. The planet has about the mass of Neptune and is in a 10,000 to 20,000 year solar orbit. Jakub Scholtz of Durham University and James Unwin of University of Illinois at Chicago hypothesize that Planet 9 might be a black hole. The orbit of Planet 9 looks something like this.

We used a semi-major axis of 700 AU, an inclination of 30 degrees and an eccentricity of 0.6. The plot shows the full orbit of Planet 9, but the simulation only shows 150 years of the other planets.

It would be very interesting to visit Planet 9. One way is to use a solar sail. The sail would start on a trajectory aiming at perigee very close to the sun and then accelerate at high speed. Another approach is to use a spacecraft propelled by Direct Fusion Drive, a fusion propulsion system we’ve been working on for several years. A 26000 kg spacecraft with a 12 MW engine and 2000 kg of payload could rendezvous with Planet 9 (based on the above orbit) in just 11 years. This is the spacecraft trajectory

Direct Fusion Drive is based on the Princeton Field Reversed Configuration reactor invented by Dr. Samuel Cohen of the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL). We have a experiment running at PPPL, funded by an ARPA-E OPEN grant, to perform critical ion-heating tests. Earlier work was funded by the NASA NIAC program. Hopefully we will be in a position to send a mission to Planet 9 in the not too distant future!

This analysis was done using the Spacecraft Control Toolbox v2020.1. Contact us for more information!

  1. PSS Receives U.S. Patent 10,752,385, “Magnetic Dipole Cancellation” Leave a reply
  2. Lunar Helium-3 Return to the Earth 2 Replies
  3. Hurricane Isaias 2020 and SunStation Solar Power with Battery Backup Leave a reply
  4. Toolboxes Version 2020.1 Now Available Leave a reply
  5. PSS Awarded Two NASA SBIRs! Leave a reply
  6. Spacecraft Control Toolbox To The Moon 3 Replies
  7. Renewable Home Power, Backup, Heat and Air Conditioning Leave a reply
  8. Three-Burn Solutions for Very Large Inclination Change 4 Replies
  9. Hohmann Transfer, but Faster: Optimizing for fuel and elapsed time 2 Replies