NASA SBIR 2005 Solicitation

FORM B - PROPOSAL SUMMARY


PROPOSAL NUMBER:05 S5.01-9078
SUBTOPIC TITLE:Low Thrust and Propellantless Propulsion Technologies
PROPOSAL TITLE:Comprehensive Solar Sail Simulation

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Princeton Satellite Systems
33 Witherspoon St.
Princeton ,NJ 08542 - 3207
(609) 279 - 9606

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Stephanie   Thomas
sjthomas@psatellite.com
33 Witherspoon St.
Princeton, NJ  08542 -3207
(609) 279 - 9606

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)
Solar sails as a propulsive device have several potential applications: providing access to previously inaccessible orbits, longer mission times, and increased payload mass. NASA has identified a need for better simulations of sail-enabled missions to reduce the cost and risk associated with sail development. PSS has a unique capability due to our previous work in sail modeling and high-fidelity simulation. The simulation must model maneuvering, navigation, trajectory control, propulsive performance, and operations, which represents wide range of capability. PSS meets this capability for solar sails by integrating sail shape models for disturbance computation with attitude and orbit dynamics, first in MATLAB and then in the proposed C++ real-time simulation. The real-time simulation will provide users the ability to duplicate their MATLAB models in an environment to which they can attach hardware and flight software. This innovative package will support mission development from the earliest stages of analysis through flight operations. The same solar sail simulation will be used for mission planning and operator training. ATK Space Systems will consult on the project and develop refined models of propulsive performance of real sails, considering wrinkles, crinkles, billow, and manufacturing-induced asymmetries.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 150 WORDS)
The future roadmap of solar sails includes flight validation, Geostorm, Solar Polar Imager, L1 Diamond, Particle Acceleration Solar Observatory, Mercury sample return, and eventually an interstellar probe. The proposed simulation, with its basis in MATLAB, can grow with these missions for years and be used in all stages of mission analysis, development, and operation. Once a successful validation mission has flown, the market for solar sails could expand considerably, encompassing space weather stations, observatories, and low and high-AU interplanetary science missions. The trajectory optimization portions of the simulation apply to broad classes of missions and are not limited to sail applications.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 150 WORDS)
Solar sails are of interest to numerous parties, including private organizations such as the Planetary Society. The European Space Agency has already expressed interest in the MATLAB tools, which will not require an export license for overseas sale. There is also a general lack of reliable, repeatable trajectory optimization tools on the market, which are needed for low-thrust missions in addition to solar sailing.

NASA's technology taxonomy has been developed by the SBIR-STTR program to disseminate awareness of proposed and awarded R/R&D in the agency. It is a listing of over 100 technologies, sorted into broad categories, of interest to NASA.

TECHNOLOGY TAXONOMY MAPPING
Attitude Determination and Control
Autonomous Control and Monitoring
Guidance, Navigation, and Control
Operations Concepts and Requirements
Simulation Modeling Environment
Solar
Structural Modeling and Tools
Telemetry, Tracking and Control
Training Concepts and Architectures


Form Printed on 09-19-05 13:12