NASA STTR 2020-I Solicitation

Proposal Summary

 20-1- T4.03-5760
 Coordination and Control of Swarms of Space Vehicles
 IN-PASS: Intelligent Navigation, Planning, and Autonomy for Swarm Systems
Orbit Logic, Inc.
7852 Walker Drive
Greenbelt MD  20770 - 3208
Phone: (301) 982-6232
University of Colorado Boulder
OCG, 3100 Marine Street, Room 481, 572 UCB
CO  80303 - 1058
Phone: (303) 735-6692

Principal Investigator (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)

Ken Center
7852 Walker Drive Greenbelt, MD 20770 - 3208
(240) 391-3310

Business Official (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)

Ella Herz
7852 Walker Drive Greenbelt, MD 20770 - 3208
(301) 982-6234
Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) :
Begin: 3
End: 5
Technical Abstract (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)

Orbit Logic is teamed with the University of Colorado at Boulder to develop Intelligent Navigation, Planning, and Autonomy for Swarm Systems (IN-PASS). The proposed technology builds on proven software – to enable flexible composition of collaborative mission concepts assessed in an open simulation environment. The focus of IN-PASS is rover autonomous navigation – specifically development of onboard algorithms to reduce uncertainty in rover localization minimizing use of onboard resources. The solution will apply to a heterogeneous swarm of lunar orbital and surface assets.  For example, a constellation of CubeSats provides GPS-like navigation services to aid onboard estimation of rover state to inform onboard planning. When a limited number of satellites are deployed, the constellation cannot continually provide measurement support; hence the system will use Event-Trigged Distributed Data Fusion (ET-DDF) between swarm assets to maintain a high-degree of state knowledge with minimal data exchange. Team awareness is critical to coordinating activities to achieve mission goals while optimizing use of asset resources and responding to dynamic events. Mission plan optimization determines resources to engage during certain mission phases to ensure success. This is particularly true for inter-asset communications or localization, which employ hardware components and processing that utilize significant stored energy. This STTR focuses on development of onboard planning algorithms based on formal methods that determine the degree of resource utilization required to successfully achieve mission activities. Earth-based mission control operators or astronauts participating in-the-loop with these swarms will specify mission goals. The proposed research considers the most effective interaction between humans and swarm elements including specification of goals, interactive feedback on viability of the human’s requests, and ultimate delivery of the resulting science to the human.

Potential NASA Applications (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)

Missions with autonomous control, coordination, and localization of heterogenous assets operating in dynamic environments: planetary surface exploration; survey, sampling, and characterization; surface collaborative infrastructure construction/repair; planetary orbital asset collaboration for optimized/event-based space-ground sensor collection/processing; convoys of spacecraft en-route to solar system destinations; coordinating science team behaviors for faults/anomalies. IN-PASS is suitable for small or large swarms.

Potential Non-NASA Applications (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)

Collaborative Earth observing satellite constellations, coordinated space/ground sensor systems supporting enhanced space situational awareness, coordination of data chain orchestration for data analytics, collaborative autonomous maritime (surface and underwater) missions, coordination of teams of ground orbits and/or air vehicles for science, search/rescue.

Duration: 13

Form Generated on 06/29/2020 21:15:01