NASA STTR 2008 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 08-2 T6.01-9905
RESEARCH SUBTOPIC TITLE: Formation Flying and Automated Rendezvous and Docking
PROPOSAL TITLE: Guidance, Navigation, and Control System for Maneuverable Pico-Satellites

NAME: Austin Satellite Design NAME: The University of Texas at Austin
STREET: 4104 Aqua Verde Drive STREET: Office of Sponsored Projects, PO Box 7727
CITY: Austin CITY: Austin
STATE/ZIP: TX  78746 - 1017 STATE/ZIP: TX  78713 - 7726
PHONE: (512) 663-3069 PHONE: (512) 471-1422

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Glenn Lightsey
4104 Aqua Verde Drive
Austin, TX 78746 - 1017
(512) 663-3069

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 5
End: 6

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Pico-satellites are an emerging new class of spacecraft. Maneuverable pico-satellites require active guidance, navigation, and control (GN&C) systems to perform coordinated tasks such as formation flying and automated rendezvous and docking. A compact, low power GN&C system will be fabricated and tested for use on pico-satellites. The proposed design provides 6 degrees-of-freedom (DOF) translation and rotation control in less than 25% of a 3-Unit CubeSat or 3 DOF rotation only control in less than one half a standard Cubesat volume. During Phase 2, flight components will be procured, integrated, and tested as a single embedded system and delivered as a flight unit for environmental qualification and in-orbit demonstration on a suitable pico-satellite flight opportunity. The technology is expected to reach TRL 6 by the conclusion of Phase 2.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Maneuverable pico-satellites have many potential NASA commercial applications. For example, swarms or formations of pico-satellites could provide global real-time space weather monitoring in a way that is presently not possible from a single satellite. Autonomous rendezvous and docking technology could perform on-orbit inspection of a nearby vehicle. The relatively low-cost and rapid access to space of pico-satellites enables lower cost on-orbit testing of new components, allowing quicker and more reliable progression to higher Technology Readiness Levels. Pico-satellite maneuverability and control is a key, often required aspect of mission performance.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Non-NASA federal agencies and commercial ventures will benefit from maneuverable pico-satellites. Rapid response communications, imaging, and situational awareness solutions are needed by the Department of Defense, National Reconnaissance Office, and Department of Homeland Security. DARPA's F6 program is an example of a fractionated spacecraft formation application that can be addressed with pico-satellites. Low cost and rapid access to space will also improve the profitable realization of new commercial space applications. Commercial applications such as on-orbit spacecraft servicing and direct to user remote sensing are viable. The mission return will be substantially improved with reliable low-cost pico-satellite maneuverability.

TECHNOLOGY TAXONOMY MAPPING (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.)
Attitude Determination and Control
Autonomous Control and Monitoring
Autonomous Reasoning/Artificial Intelligence
Guidance, Navigation, and Control
Micro Thrusters
Operations Concepts and Requirements
Telemetry, Tracking and Control

Form Generated on 05-25-10 13:36