NASA SBIR 2006 Solicitation


SUBTOPIC TITLE:Precision Spacecraft Navigation and Tracking
PROPOSAL TITLE:Synchronized Position & Hold Reorient Experimental Satellites ? International Space Station (SPHERES-ISS)

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Payload Systems, Inc.
247 Third Street
Cambridge, MA 02142-1129
(617) 868-8086

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Joseph   Parrish
247 Third Street
Cambridge, MA  02142-1129
(617) 868-8086

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT ( Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Payload Systems Inc. (PSI) and the MIT Space Systems Laboratory (MIT-SSL) propose an innovative research program entitled SPHERES-ISS that uses their satellite formation flight laboratory (Synchronized Position Hold Reorient Experimental Satellites - SPHERES), currently operating aboard the International Space Station (ISS), to refine and validate NASA Goddard Space Flight Center's (GSFC) Pluribus algorithms. Pluribus supports "multiple systems in simultaneous, tightly-coupled, non-quiescent operations, such as robotic servicing and formation flying." SPHERES-ISS supports the same by providing a unique and cost-effective technology validation approach for algorithmic technologies that support robotic servicing and formation flight. This proposal is particularly relevant to SBIR Topic Area O1.02 Precision Spacecraft Navigation and Tracking by providing a pathway for maturing and validating technologies that are fundamental to multi-vehicle missions that support NASA's Vision for Space Exploration. . These include command and control of modular, replicated systems, robotic Earth and space science formation flown missions, in-space assembly, automated rendezvous and docking, formation flown sparse apertures, and the development of concepts of operations for such systems (e.g., software uplink protocols, required telemetry sets, fault detection and isolation).

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS ( Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
While recognizing that a testbed for on-orbit demonstration of multi-spacecraft coordinated operations has, by nature, a very limited market, we do believe that there are multiple applications for the SPHERES-ISS program within NASA. In a conservative context, the flight validation of the Pluribus algorithm in an iterative and rigorous environment, such as that found on the SPHERES testbed on ISS, will lead to additional opportunities for maturing and integrating Pluribus into other NASA advanced mission opportunities.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS ( Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Other international space agencies (e.g., ESA), and the DoD are all interested in formation flight missions and are active participants in the SPHERES program.
The successful implementation of the SPHERES-ISS program should inspire other research organizations to propose to and participate in the SPHERES Guest Investigator Program. This could lead to additional launch opportunities for SPHERES hardware on subsequent ISS missions, which would most likely involve Payload Systems as the prime contractor for flight hardware development. Furthermore, there are multiple opportunities for commercial sale of SPHERES elements for ground testing by investigators wishing to participate in the SPHERES Guest Scientist Program.

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.

Guidance, Navigation, and Control
On-Board Computing and Data Management
Simulation Modeling Environment
Testing Facilities
Testing Requirements and Architectures

Form Printed on 09-08-06 18:19