NASA SBIR 2017 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 17-2 S3.04-8513
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Guidance, Navigation and Control
PROPOSAL TITLE: AutoNav Mark 4: Autonomous Navigation Software

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Blue Sun Enterprise, Inc.
1942 Broadway Street, Suite 314
Boulder, CO 80302 - 5233
(720) 394-8897

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Dr. Christopher Grasso
1942 Broadway Street, Suite 314
Boulder, CO 80302 - 5233
(720) 394-8897

CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Dr. Christopher Grasso
1942 Broadway Street, Suite 314
Boulder, CO 80302 - 5233
(720) 394-8897

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 4
End: 7

Technology Available (TAV) Subtopics
Guidance, Navigation and Control 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)

The growing number of missions in deep space, from Discovery class missions like Psyche and Lucy down to very small spacecraft like Lunar Flashlight, is driving the need for standardized, flexible, full-featured flight software for spacecraft guidance, navigation, and control (GNC). Autonomous GNC allows a spacecraft to perform most of its own navigation activities without the need for ground-based personnel and DSN time, reducing cost and required DSN contact time, saving money, and allowing specialized navigation personnel from different NASA centers to be easily shared among missions.

Autonomous GNC activities include:
  -spacecraft positioning
    absolute and relative (helio, planet, small-body)
    relative to small bodies, other spacecraft for rendezvous
  -orbit determination
  -target tracking of bodies, apertures, spacecraft, ground-based assets
  -trajectory derivation
  -low-thrust maneuvering for Solar Electric Propulsion (SEP)
  -ephemeris calculations

AutoNav from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory implements these functions, and components have flown on Deep Space 1 and Deep Impact. With an appropriate application of software development process to reengineer the code, a new AutoNav Mark 4 could be made available as a commercialized product meeting NASA Class B software standards, thereby enabling its easy inclusion on a wide variety of NASA and non-NASA missions.

AutoNav Mark 4 source code is to be designed and tested to be compatible with a variety of different CPUs (e.g. SPARC, PPC, Intel), real-time operating systems (VxWorks, RTEMS), and flight software cores like NASA Core Flight System. This approach allows AN4 to be deployed in the widest-possible set of environments:
  -within STRS-compatible space radios (Iris, UST)
  -in the flight software load of the spacecraft C&DH
  -in a dedicated stand-alone instrument like the Deep Space Positioning System

AutoNav Mark 4 provides highly capable autonomous GNC while saving missions money

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
AutoNav Mark 4 is applicable to any space mission requiring any of the following:
-spacecraft positioning
absolute and relative (helio, planet, small-body)
relative to small bodies, other spacecraft for rendezvous
-orbit determination
-target tracking: bodies, apertures, spacecraft, ground-based assets
-trajectory calc
-maneuver calc
-low-thrust maneuvering for Solar Electric Propulsion (SEP)
-ephemeris calc

All mission perform many of the above activities, often using ground-based processes that are slow and expensive. Commercialized on-board autonomous navigation as provided by AutoNav Mark 4 can be targeted at the whole range of LEO, GEO, and interplanetary missions, large and small.

AutoNav Mark 4 for low-thrust missions (including Psyche and Next Mars Orbiter) would allow a dramatic reduction in navigation and trajectory calculation costs by moving the bulk of these activities onboard. Long missions like these would incur even larger savings using AN4 than more modest missions.

AutoNav Mark 4 is directly applicable to JPL's Deep Space Positioning System. By using a commercialized AutoNav, JPL would avoid most development costs, providing only new algorithms from its Navigation Section to plug into the AutoNav Mark 4 architecture.

Human spaceflight could use AutoNav Mark 4 for navigation and trajectory calculation in the event of communications failure, allowing safe reentry the atmosphere and landing without ground interaction.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Since AutoNav Mark 4 works with any flight software core, it could be applied to non-NASA spacecraft: DoD, NOAA, and ESA missions are prime candidates. International release of software should be possible under ITAR controls. AutoNav Mark 4 could be directly applied to commercial launch vehicles in order to calculate ascent maneuvers, including for human access to space.

Installing AutoNav Mark 4 just on small commercial missions having a CubeSat form factor would allow these missions to proceed at reduced cost, removing much of the need for expensive navigator personnel time. This would free missions from having to implement these capabilities, leading to better reliability of navigation, simpler mission conops, more cross-mission synergy, and lower barriers of entry for less experience providers like universities and commercial providers.

Future commercial human spaceflight could utilize AutoNav Mark 4 for on-board spacecraft navigation and trajectory calculation. This would be most useful in the event of a communications failure, allowing the astronauts to autonomously calculate a return trajectory for re-entry and landing without any interactions with ground-based expertise. It would also allow a low earth orbiting mission to track down and rendezvous with other spacecraft or the International Space Station for servicing, cargo transfer, personnel transfer, and the like, without requiring contact with the ground or extensive ground interactions.

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.)
Algorithms/Control Software & Systems (see also Autonomous Systems)
Attitude Determination & Control
Autonomous Control (see also Control & Monitoring)
Image Processing
Navigation & Guidance
Relative Navigation (Interception, Docking, Formation Flying; see also Control & Monitoring; Planetary Navigation, Tracking, & Telemetry)
Sequencing & Scheduling

Form Generated on 03-05-18 17:24