Small Satellite Docking Adapter for Power Transfer and Structural Applications

Case ID:

The invention is a small satellite docking adapter that can be used to assemble larger spacecraft, large structures, and transfer resources such as power. The docking adapter can be used to mate two objects in space that would otherwise be at different angles or are spatially misaligned. The invention also includes a software for CubeSats called Adapter Design And Positioning Tool for Spacecraft (ADAPTS) which is used to design and optimize the locations of docking adapters on spacecraft.

Docking systems are critical for various operations such as on-orbit servicing, refueling, assembly, upgrading satellite systems, and safe disposal at the end of a satellite's life. Satellite docking systems are used in multiple end-user verticals, including space agencies, communication satellite operators, defense sectors, and research institutions. However, challenges include the steep costs associated with developing these sophisticated systems, the technical hurdles of space docking procedures, the stringent regulatory space environment, and the looming threat of space debris. 

Current solutions for the aforementioned challenges are solved by opting for small satellite launches which solves the high expense problem and the inventions of small satellite adapters with the ability to transfer data and power. This led to the development of the invention to license.


  • Space exploration
  • In-space assembly
  • Low Earth Orbit satellite servicing


  • Fits within 1U size satellites
  • Capable of power and data transfer
  • Cost-effective production
Patent Information:
Contact For More Information:
Tariq Ahmed
Sr Licensing Manager, College of Engineering
The University of Arizona
Lead Inventor(s):
Jekan Thangavelautham
Athip Thirupathi Raj
Nicolas Gross