NASA STTR 2012 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 12-1 T8.01-9837
RESEARCH SUBTOPIC TITLE: Innovative Subsystems for Small Satellite Applications
PROPOSAL TITLE: Ultra-Miniaturized Star Tracker for Small Satellite Attitude Control

NAME: Creare, Inc. NAME: Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
STREET: P.O. Box 71 STREET: 1880 Pratt Drive, Suite 2006 (0170)
CITY: Hanover CITY: Blacksburg
STATE/ZIP: NH  03755 - 3116 STATE/ZIP: VA  24060 - 3580
PHONE: (603) 643-3800 PHONE: (540) 231-5281

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Paul Sorensen
P.O. Box 71
Hanover, NH 03755 - 3116
(603) 640-2340

CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
James J. Barry
P.O. Box 71
Hanover, NH 03755 - 3116
(603) 643-3800 Extension :2487

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 3
End: 5

Technology Available (TAV) Subtopics
Innovative Subsystems for Small Satellite Applications is a Technology Available (TAV) subtopic that includes NASA Intellectual Property (IP). Do you plan to use the NASA IP under the award?

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Creare and Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University propose to design, develop, test, and deliver an ultra compact star tracker specifically intended for small satellites such as the CubeSat platform. Our design is based on proprietary "folded optics" technology previously developed by our partner for use in military and commercial optical applications that require a compact footprint and high performance. The folded optics design is superior to conventional refractive optics in miniature star trackers because (1) the compact footprint is achieved without sacrificing accuracy; (2) the light-gathering aperture is much greater, leading to better sensitivity; (3) the aperture geometry makes the shielding baffles smaller; and (4) the imaging sensor can be shielded efficiently from cosmic radiation.
During the Phase I project, we will demonstrate the feasibility of our innovation by finalizing the design, performing analysis to determine the optimal design parameters, and testing a benchtop prototype to verify the design models. In Phase II, we will fabricate the optimized design, test the prototype in the laboratory and in the field, and deliver the prototype to NASA.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Many NASA science missions are exploring the use of pico- and nano-satellites as alternatives to expensive, large satellites. In order to enable many mission profiles, these satellites need attitude determination sensors. Our star tracker will enable highly precise attitude determination (e.g., 10 arc seconds or better) in a package that is significantly smaller, has much lower mass, and uses less power than any alternative star trackers on the market. As the market for and uses of small and nano satellites increases, the demand for our star tracker will increase to enable missions that are not possible with today's technology.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Both the military and commercial ventures are looking to small satellites to provide a cost effective space mission platform. However, the majority of missions still require high attitude accuracy. There is therefore a need for high-accuracy star tracker technology. Furthermore, the military is looking at star trackers for high-altitude unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) attitude determination. These will typically need to provide arc-second accuracy in a small form factor with low power demands, which makes our proposed miniaturized star tracker ideally suited.

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.)
Navigation & Guidance
Optical/Photonic (see also Photonics)

Form Generated on 03-28-13 15:21