NASA SBIR 2003 Solicitation

FORM B - PROPOSAL SUMMARY


PROPOSAL NUMBER:03-A4.01-8363 (For NASA Use Only - Chron: 034642)
SUBTOPIC TITLE:Space Transportation Architecture Definition
PROPOSAL TITLE:On-Line Trajectory Retargeting for Alternate Landing Sites

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
BARRON ASSOCIATES, INC.
1160 Pepsi Place, Suite300
Charlottesville ,VA 22901 - 0807
(434) 973 - 1215

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
John   Schierman
schierman@barron-associates.com
1160 Pepsi Place, Suite300
Charlottesville ,VA  22901 -0807
(434) 973 - 1215
U.S. Citizen or Legal Resident: Yes

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)
Barron Associates, Inc. proposes to develop a novel on-line trajectory optimization approach for Reusable Launch Vehicles (RLVs) under failure scenarios, targeting alternative abort-landing sites. Key features of the proposed approach are:
An innovative on-line optimization approach: By describing decision variables (variables whose optimal solutions are sought) in terms of appropriate basis functions, the trajectory optimization problem can be reformulated to find the relatively few basis function coefficients that characterize the desired trajectory. This significantly reduces the search domain, enabling rapid convergence to feasible solutions. This key idea will be coupled with a numerical optimization approach known as Piecewise Linear Programming (PLP), which has been used successfully in related programs requiring on-line, real-time optimal solu-tions.
A generic bootstrapping capability: To improve the speed and robustness of the on-line procedure, a method will be developed to generate initializing trajectories for the on-line optimization that are suitable for all recoverable ranges, vehicle configurations, energy conditions, and abort scenarios.
Phase I simulation studies will demonstrate on-line generation of alternative re-entry trajectories for dif-ferent landing targets and vehicle configurations. Computation time and accuracy will be assessed from the simulation studies.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 150 WORDS)
With the increased emphasis on affordable, reliable access to space, Barron Associates anticipates a number of opportunities to apply this SBIR-developed technology to space launch vehicles. The main application of our technologies is to provide increased safety and reliability to future launch platforms. This is accomplished by enabling the guidance system to autonomously adapt, and the trajectory com-mands to autonomously reshape to account for subsystem failures or off-nominal vehicle behavior. In the event that a mission abort is required, the current proposed effort is aimed at furthering the capabilities to autonomously re-target the commanded trajectory to alternative destinations.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 150 WORDS)
Other potential applications of the proposed technology are in the areas of: (1) "smart" munitions and guided missiles, (2) other unmanned systems, such as UAVs, UGVs and UUVs, and (3) international or commercial (non-NASA) satellite/spacecraft systems, such as satellite formation operations and un-manned re-supply of the International Space Station. It is anticipated that integration of the unique trajec-tory reshaping capabilities that would be developed as part of the proposed effort would offer these sys-tems significantly advanced autonomy in ever-changing battlefield environments and/or mission require-ments.