NASA STTR 2020-II Solicitation

Proposal Summary

Proposal Information

Proposal Number:
20-2- T4.03-5760
Phase 1 Contract #:
Subtopic Title:
Coordination and Control of Swarms of Space Vehicles
Proposal Title:
IN-PASS: Intelligent Navigation, Planning, and Autonomy for Swarm Systems
Orbit Logic, Inc.
7852 Walker Drive
Greenbelt, MD  20770 - 3208
Phone: (301) 982-6232
Regents of the University of Colorado
3100 Marine Street, Room 481, 572 UCB
Boulder, CO  80309 - 0001
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: 4
End: 6
Technical Abstract (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)

Orbit Logic is teamed with the University of Colorado Boulder to develop the Intelligent Navigation, Planning, and Autonomy for Swarm Systems (IN-PASS) Solution, which builds on Orbit Logic’s proven Autonomous Planning System (APS) decentralized planning framework to enable the configuration and execution of collaborative mission concepts. Assessments can be performed completely virtually within an open simulation environment, or can be deployed to physical assets in a testbed or operational environment.

We apply IN-PASS to heterogeneous swarms of Lunar orbital and surface assets.  For example, the satellite constellation overhead plans sensor collections in support of multiple objectives – surface asset localization and surface chemistry detection. APS plans the delivery of data products to a surface asset with high computing capacity, where algorithms are invoked and output the location of rovers and areas of interest (AOIs) for contact science. Location measurements allow Decentralized Data Fusion to maintain shared team awareness - critical to the team’s ability to autonomously coordinate. AOI events are trigger events for rovers to navigate to the location. A formal methods approach to onboard planning is employed on the rover assets that utilizes a Markov Data Process to balance performance, resource usage and safety. This is particularly important for inter-asset communications or localization - operational functions that utilize significant stored energy.

Astronauts can participate in-the-loop with these swarms using devices running interactive user interfaces that allow them to a) specify mission goals, b) receive feedback on the satisfaction of their requests as the team performs the associated tasks, c) receive and display the end data associated with their requests, and d) actually collaborate with the autonomous robots by electing to assume tasks they are well suited to perform.

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

IN-PASS applies to 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, fire detection/mitigation, search/rescue.

Duration: 24

Form Generated on 01/12/2022 20:58:22