NASA SBIR 2008 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 08-1 O4.03-9713
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Lunar Surface Navigation
PROPOSAL TITLE: Lunar Autonomous Automatic Surface Navigation System

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Physical Optics Corporation
20600 Gramercy Place, Bldg. 100
Torrance, CA 90501 - 1821
(310) 320-3088

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Paul Shnitser
20600 Gramercy Pl., Bldg. 100
Torrance, CA 90501 - 1821
(310) 320-3088

Expected Technology Readiness Level (TRL) upon completion of contract: 4 to 5

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
To address the NASA GRC Laboratory need for navigation capabilities to provide location awareness, precision position fixing, best heading, and traverse path planning for planetary EVA, manned rovers, and lunar surface mobility units, Physical Optics Corporation (POC) proposes to develop a new Lunar completely Autonomous Automatic Surface Navigation (LAAN) system. This system will incorporate a POC-developed highly-efficient miniature self-mixing interferometric speedometer sensor, POC's proprietary tunable liquid crystal lens autofocusing system, and a robust prediction tracking algorithm that will enable us to meet NASA lunar mission requirements. The LAAN system will offer position accuracy better than 2.5 m with 95% probability per 0.5 hr of motion without interaction with other positioning systems, and be compact (less than 10 cubic in.), lightweight (less than 8 oz), and consume less than 0.5 W. In Phase I, POC will demonstrate the feasibility of LAAN by creating and testing a preliminary prototype, which will demonstrate TRL-4 by the end of Phase I. In Phase II, POC plans to develop a fully functional prototype and demonstrate its complete feasibility (TRL-6). The results will offer NASA capabilities to provide better navigation for lunar mobile units during creation of scientific, industrial, and transport facilities, space monitoring stations, etc.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The proposed LAAN system will directly contribute to the success of future NASA Moon and Mars missions organized within several research programs, especially NASA Moon Base program planning for 2012 - 2024. NASA will have a compact, completely autonomous, automatic navigation system providing high-accuracy tracking and positioning of rovers, moving modules, and walking astronauts. The small-sized LAAN hardware and embedded software systems are designed to perform real-time data processing and provide position accuracy better than 2.5 m with 95% probability per 0.5 hr of autonomic motion of subjects and objects during lunar and possible Mars missions.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Military applications of the LAAN will include: obtaining high-precision positioning information for Army Future Force Warrior, Future Combat System, Stryker, and Land Warrior ground platforms in urban area battlefields where the GPS system does not work properly, or in case it is completely destroyed; and for dismounted soldiers, robots, and autonomous sensor platforms (especially within buildings, tunnels, caves, etc.). The U.S. Navy can benefit from this proposed technology by incorporating the LAAN algorithms into the Navigation Sensor System Interface (NAVSSI).

LAAN non-military applications will include its usage by firefighters in a complex terrain or inside a building, and navigation/tracking for mine workers and underground/underwater explorers. With minor modifications, LAAN will have commercial applications including unattended flow monitoring in oil pipelines, non-intrusive mapping of air/fluid flow fields, and measuring blood flow under the skin surface.

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
Manned-Maneuvering Units
Telemetry, Tracking and Control

Form Generated on 11-24-08 11:56