NASA SBIR 00-1 SOLICITATION

FORM 9B - PROJECT SUMMARY


PROPOSAL NUMBER 00-1 03.01-8696 (Chron: 001305 )
PROJECT TITLE
Reconfigurable Guidance for Energy Management of Hypersonic Vehicles



TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)
The flight envelope for X-34 ranges from subsonic to hypersonic with altitudes up to 50 miles. Designing a guidance law that performs across this broad flight envelope presents several challenges. Robustness to uncertain aerodynamics is of paramount importance because of the sparse amount of wind tunnel and flight test data that exists for reusable launch vehicles at hypersonic Mach numbers. The need to compensate for potential control surface failures imposes additional guidance requirements. Barron Associates, Inc. (BAI) has teamed with Orbital Sciences Corporation to develop control and guidance systems that can reconfigure in real time to significantly increase the reliability of reusable launch vehicles. An innovative modular architecture, presently under development, will be used to reshape trajectories on-line. We believe that leveraging this concurrent effort is a main strength of the proposal. The approach autonomously identifies the closed-inner-loop dynamics and adapts the guidance for off-nominal performance. In Phase I, a modification of the existing X-34 energy management approach will be investigated. A more formal optimization technique developed and matured by BAI will also be considered. Studies will focus on aerodynamic uncertainties and control failures that primarily affect lateral-directional maneuvering capabilities, which are critical in managing vehicle energy for unpowered descent.



POTENTIAL COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS
Phase I, II, and III efforts will mature the components of the reconfigurable guidance system, culminating in hardware bench demonstrations and Phase II or III flight tests. Commercialization will consist of (a) providing expertise and consulting to industry in the area of reconfigurable launch vehicle guidance and control, (b) developing software toolkits that aid design of autonomous reconfigurable control and guidance systems that directly benefit hypersonic RLV and other aerospace programs, and (c) transitioning the technology to existing customers and new control application areas. Design and development of reconfigurable or adaptive guidance systems is rapidly becoming a significant portion of BAIís business, and the techniques developed in this program will help BAI continue a leadership role in this field.



NAME AND ADDRESS OF PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR (Name, Organization Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip)
John D. Schierman
Barron Associates, Inc.
1160 Pepsi Place, Suite 300
Charlottesville , VA   22901 - 0807



NAME AND ADDRESS OF OFFEROR (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip)
Barron Associates, Inc.
1160 Pepsi Place, Suite 300
Charlottesville , VA   22901 - 0807