NASA SBIR 2017 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 17-2 S4.01-8340
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Planetary Entry, Descent and Landing and Small Body Proximity Operation Technology
PROPOSAL TITLE: An Enhanced Modular Terminal Descent Sensor for Landing on Planetary Bodies

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Remote Sensing Solutions, Inc.
3179 Main Street, Unit 3, P.O. Box 1092
Barnstable, MA 02630 - 1105
(508) 362-9400

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Dr James R Carwell
3179 Main Street, Unit 3, P.O. Box 1092
Barnstable, MA 02630 - 1105
(508) 362-9400

CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
James D Canniff
3179 Main Street, Unit 3, P.O. Box 1092
Barnstable, MA 02630 - 1105
(508) 362-9400

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 3
End: 6

Technology Available (TAV) Subtopics
Planetary Entry, Descent and Landing and Small Body Proximity Operation Technology 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)

Remote Sensing Solutions (RSS) proposes the development of a modular, small, high performance terrain relative Terminal Descent Radar (TDR) for range and velocity sensing of planetary landing and vehicles engaging in proximity operations.  The innovation builds off of and improves upon the highly successful Curiosity / Mars Science Laboratory sky crane Terminal Descent Sensor.  Our improvements include significant improvements to the size, weight, and reproducibility of the design; a modular design; and improvement in the ability to detect and remove the effects of airborne debris. 

In this effort we propose to realize prototypes of our recurring, reproducible designs at Ka-band and W-band. We also propose to develop, implement, and validate through field demonstration new measurement algorithms that can mitigate issues of false velocity measurements due to moving dust and sand, particularly at low altitudes where thruster fire can cause movement of surface particles.  Such algorithms mitigate that concern for planetary bodies where dust or sand are a concern (i.e. the Moon, Mars, comets, asteroids, and even Europa), and, by extending measurements closer to the surface, save mission cost and complexity by decoupling the landing problem from errors in the inertial measurement unit.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Every major landing mission since Surveyor has used radar as the key component for delivering range and velocity information. The JPL TDS proved highly successful but was not designed to be reproducible. Rebuilding TDS beyond Mars 2020 is likely cost prohibitive, as well as size prohibitive for smaller class missions. A reproducible, low-cost landing radar system would fill an immediate need for upcoming landing missions, including Discovery class through flagship concepts like a Europa lander, also including lunar landing, due to its ability to operate independent of sun illumination, lack of need for coherent surface features (required for an incoherent imaging system to measure horizontal velocity), and far superior performance compared to lidar in the presence of dust and other particulates. Such a sensor thus solves a key, critical long-term NASA need post-Mars 2020, enabling numerous classes of planned and future robotic and crewed missions.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The TDR developed by RSS would be broadly applicable to the commercial space sector as well as NASA. Beyond space applications, the sensors & algorithms that yield robust, independent range and velocity measurements have broad applicability to autonomous vehicles, including automonous underwater vehicles (AUVs) and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). As evidenced from the letters included in this proposal, RSS has already begun working with several companies on the development and marketing of small, lightweight radars and sonars for UAVs and AUVs, respectively.

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.)
Air Transportation & Safety
Autonomous Control (see also Control & Monitoring)
Entry, Descent, & Landing (see also Astronautics)
Entry, Descent, & Landing (see also Planetary Navigation, Tracking, & Telemetry)
Navigation & Guidance
Positioning (Attitude Determination, Location X-Y-Z)
Relative Navigation (Interception, Docking, Formation Flying; see also Control & Monitoring; Planetary Navigation, Tracking, & Telemetry)
Space Transportation & Safety
Spacecraft Instrumentation & Astrionics (see also Communications; Control & Monitoring; Information Systems)

Form Generated on 03-05-18 17:24