Resonant Inductive Near-field Generation System (RINGS)
The UMD Space Power and Propulsion Laboratory, in collaboration with Aurora Flight Sciences and the MIT Space Systems Laboratory (SSL) is developing an experiment that will demonstrate two technologies on the International Space Station (ISS). Both technologies are implemented using a pair of tuned resonant coils that generate a time varying magnetic field. In the first form of the technology, Electromagnetic Formation Flight (EMFF), the coils are both actuated to generate forces and torques that can be used to control the relative degrees of freedom of spacecraft without the use of propellant. In the second form, one of the coils is active while the other is passive, allowing for the wireless resonant inductive coupling of power between them. The hardware, called RINGS, will be mounted to an existing flight testbed on ISS called SPHERES, which was developed collaboratively between the MIT SSL and Aurora Flight Sciences. The project is funded by DARPA and the contract is managed by NASA Goddard. The hardware is scheduled to fly in July of 2012.