Orbit Logic is teamed with the University of Colorado (CU) to develop the On-board Swarm Control for Autonomy and Responsiveness (OSCAR) solution. OSCAR will leverage Orbit Logic’s heritage Autonomous Planning System (APS) onboard planning/response framework and CU’s heritage satellite formation flying and orbit control algorithms to develop a capability that will allow a swarm of planetary-orbiting satellites to dynamically adapt their configuration to accommodate varying mission needs. OSCAR will be capable of determining, planning and orchestrating the relative movement of each swarm element to meet a variety of needs, including “convoys” allowing events detected by leading satellites to trigger follow-up responses by following satellites, or single/multiple synthetic apertures enabling coordinated collection of space-resident or planetary surface data by multiple asset elements.
OSCAR will be validated and matured through simulation runs performed against the Basilisk Astrodynamics Framework, developed jointly by the University of Colorado AVS Lab and the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP). Basilisk will host models of satellite subsystem-oriented functionality representative of previously flown science and exploration missions. Runs will be performed on computing elements representative of contemporary satellite flight processors to confirm that the software solution is suitable for execution in constrained processing and memory environments.
OSCAR will be highly applicable to exploration missions targeting Mars and the outer planets. Significant communication delays to and from Earth makes it essential that individual swarm assets coordinate with each other to maintain the orbits required to achieve mission objectives and to rapidly respond to emerging events that might be missed using a traditional mission control paradigm. OSCAR will allow operators to express mission objectives such as; seeking and tracking volcanic events, dust storms or weather features.
OSCAR approaches are relevant to collaborating teams of commercial imaging satellites, autonomous air vehicles supporting ground survey or goods delivery, and underwater vehicles performing military missions (such as bottom survey and feature inspection) where changing/maintaining relative vehicle locations without collision are required.