NASA SBIR 2005 Solicitation


SUBTOPIC TITLE:Guidance, Navigation and Control
PROPOSAL TITLE:Hybrid Guidance System for Relative Navigation

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Advanced Optical Systems Inc
6767 Old Madison Pike Suite 410
Huntsville ,AL 35806 - 2172
(256) 971 - 0036

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Stephen   Granade
6767 Old Madison Pike, Suie 410
Huntsville, AL  35806 -2172
(256) 971 - 0036

Future NASA architectures and missions will involve many distributed platforms that must work together. This in turn requires guidance, navigation and control (GN&C) technology such as systems that determine spacecraft relative range and attitude. The proposed Hybrid Guidance System (HGS) will be such a system, providing increased relative navigation accuracy and robustness while reducing mass, volume, and power consumption by a factor of 2 to 4. The HGS's key innovation is integration of three proven and developed sensor technologies (laser-based retro-image pattern matching, laser range-finding, and correlation) into a low-power package. We will develop non-linear navigation estimation algorithms to fuse the sensor outputs together as well as to integrate the system output with other on-board navigation systems. The state estimate generation using three different techniques will increase the system's robustness through the ability to reject faulty measurements from one component of the system. Phase I of the SBIR will verify feasibility of the HGS design and the navigation algorithms and will culminate in a realistic mission simulation of vehicles using the HGS as part of an integrated GN&C system. The results of this simulation will serve as an excellent springboard to Phase II HGS prototype hardware and embedded software development.

There are numerous potential applications for the HGS both for formation flying and for advanced rendezvous and docking within NASA. Formation flying?the synergistic, coordinated use of multiple spacecraft to achieve scientific or exploration objectives?is an important enabling technology to conduct next-generation scientific and surveillance missions for both NASA and the Department of Defense (DoD). The robust relative position, velocity, and attitude measurements achieved by the HGS would be a critical component for future formation flying missions that will have increasingly tight requirements for relative state accuracy. The HGS would be an excellent complement for the relative/differential GPS and radio frequency (RF) cross-link systems currently in-use. Advanced rendezvous and docking?including both crew-assisted rendezvous and docking operations and autonomous missions?is a vital technology area that requires maturation if the United States is to implement the president's Vision for Space Exploration. The HGS could provide highly-accurate relative measurements using three distinct, proven sensing techniques that would provide a significant increase in accuracy and fault isolation capabilities relative to today's sensors in a significantly smaller integrated package.

Formation flying is important for the Department of Defense (DoD) as well as NASA. The HGS measurements would enable next-generation surveillance missions involving formation flying with tight tolerances. For rendezvous and docking missions, the integration of these sensor technologies into a single sensor unit could enable advances in in-flight aerial refueling for DoD aircraft, particularly unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), where mass and power constraints are acutely present. Enhancing UAV capabilities is one of the major focus areas of DoD research and development funding. Finally, the commercial space market, fueled by prizes similar to the 2004 Ansari X-prize, has made orbital vehicles with R&D capabilities the next great priority for privately-funded spacecraft.

NASA's technology taxonomy has been developed by the SBIR-STTR program to disseminate awareness of proposed and awarded R/R&D in the agency. It is a listing of over 100 technologies, sorted into broad categories, of interest to NASA.

Attitude Determination and Control
Guidance, Navigation, and Control

Form Printed on 09-19-05 13:12