I'm performing a design exercise for the design of attitude control system using reaction wheels as control actuators. During the analysis, I noticed few interesting options from suppliers in the US. I make an assumption in the design study that it is a European based space mission. Now I'm wondering does ITAR regulations restrict US-based companies to sell to European based satellite missions for reaction wheels? Or is it risky to choose hardware from companies that fall under ITAR regulations? Any links/literature with regards to this will be much appreciated!

Thanks in advance!


Reaction wheels are a borderline technology, one that in certain situations might require an export license. What I suspect is the case is that they will be able to sell you the reaction wheels, but will be unable to give you all of the technical data that might make your job easier. Still, I would contact the supplier, ultimately they will be responsible for getting the export license to send their product overseas, and thus they should be familiar with exactly what restrictions they have.

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the answer! I have a follow-up question: Do the same criteria apply to Canadian companies? Because I'm guessing Canada is much more relaxed with regards to the export of Space qualified hardware right? If so, I would assume the procurement from Canadian suppliers will be much easier and hassle-free compared to US suppliers? $\endgroup$ – srikarad Dec 11 '18 at 13:21
  • $\begingroup$ I have no idea about Canada, but I do know ITAR applies to the US, and several countries have similar laws. I think Canada is freer then the US in such regard, but again, I would contact the potential supplier. $\endgroup$ – PearsonArtPhoto Dec 11 '18 at 13:51

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