NASA SBIR 2007 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 07-1 S2.01-8714
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Precision Spacecraft Formations for Telescope Systems
PROPOSAL TITLE: Synthetic Imaging Maneuver Optimization (SIMO)

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Payload Systems, Inc.
247 Third Street
Cambridge, MA 02142 - 1129
(617) 868-8086

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Joseph Parrish
247 Third Street
Cambridge, MA 02142 - 1129
(617) 868-8086

Expected Technology Readiness Level (TRL) upon completion of contract: 3 to 4

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Space-based interferometry missions have the potential to revolutionize imaging and astrometry, providing observations of unprecedented accuracy. Realizing the full potential of these interferometers poses significant technological challenges, including the efficient maneuvering of multiple collectors to various baselines; regulating the path-length of science light from the collecting telescopes to the combining instrument with nanometer accuracy, despite the presence of vibration; and demonstrating through hardware-in-the-loop simulation that spacecraft sub-systems can be coordinated to perform such challenging observations in a precise, efficient, and robust manner. We propose the Synthetic Imaging Maneuver Optimization (SIMO) program to develop a methodology, calibrated through hardware-in-the-loop testing using the SPHERES testbed, to optimize spacecraft maneuvers to more efficiently synthesize images for missions such as Stellar Imager. Time and fuel-optimal maneuvers are only a part of the optimization problem. Selecting the maneuver waypoints (number and location) determines the quality of the synthesized image. The number of spacecraft, the size of the sub-apertures, and the type of propulsion system used also impacts imaging rate, propellant mass, and mission cost. Capturing all of these mission aspects in an integrated mission optimization framework helps mission designers to select the most appropriate architecture for meeting the needs and constraints of future missions.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The prime commercial application for the SPHERES-SIMO testbed is for space imaging mission development. Future NASA telescopes, especially those planned to be used away from LEO, will require assembly, inspection, as well as precision position control and vibration isolation. The technology that will need to be developed in order to conduct these missions will benefit significantly not just from the overall capabilities of the SIMO project, but also from the development of the component technologies, procedures, and operational experience that will be gained in developing SIMO both on the ground and, potentially, on-board ISS. NASA missions that could directly benefit from SIMO include SAFIR, Stellar Imager, TPF-Interferometer, Planet Imager, Jen-X, and SPECS.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Outside of NASA, DARPA and the DoD are interested in large telescopes in GEO where they have a continuous view of regions on the Earth and are much further away from potential hostile action than LEO satellites. However, maintaining the same ground resolution as LEO satellites requires very large apertures at GEO, which will lead to many of the same requirements as those faced by future NASA missions, including precision position control, vibration isolation, as well as formation and cluster flying. These are will be developed, tested, and matured using the SPHERES-SIMO hardware.

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.

Large Antennas and Telescopes
Testing Facilities

Form Generated on 09-18-07 17:50