NASA SBIR 2007 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 07-1 X2.01-9384
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Autonomous Rendezvous and Docking Sensors
PROPOSAL TITLE: Using a Bore Sight Camera as an AR&D Sensor

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Advanced Optical Systems, Inc.
6767 Old Madison Pike, Suite 410
Huntsville, AL 35806 - 2181
(256) 971-0036

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Fred Roe
6767 Old Madison Pike Suite 410
Huntsville, AL 35806 - 2181
(256) 971-0036

Expected Technology Readiness Level (TRL) upon completion of contract: 4 to 5

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Orion requires a rendezvous and docking sensor to provide relative navigation information during proximity operations and docking. In order to dock, the sensor must provide full six degree of freedom (6 DOF) relative position and relative attitude information at a rate sufficient for the rendezvous spacecraft guidance system to robustly control the docking maneuver. Orion faces critical weight issues that make inclusion of multiple sensors for AR&D unlikely in its baseline configuration. Locations for mounting the sensors external to the spacecraft are also critical issues. A bore sight camera however will be included in the design to furnish crew video data for the final docking maneuvers. Clever utilization of this existing Orion bore sight camera can provide a robust 6DoF capability with only the addition of vision processing software.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
There are numerous potential applications for AR&D within the NASA. The Orion crew will require a relative navigation sensor to successfully dock with the ISS. The COTS program seeks to provide commercial resupply to the ISS. A prox ops sensor and automated control system is required to hold the rendezvous vehicle in a control box such that the SSRMS can grapple the payload and berth it to the ISS. The Exploration initiative requires an automated docking in lunar orbit in order to safely return the crew to earth. Space construction in lunar orbit will be required to support the colonization of the lunar surface and an expedition to Mars. AR&D sensors are required to support these and future efforts.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Formation flying is important for the Department of Defense (DoD) as well as NASA. Relative position and attitude measurements would enable next-generation surveillance missions involving formation flying with tight tolerances. These AR&D sensor technologies can enable advances in in-flight aerial refueling for DoD aircraft, particularly unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). 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 AR&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 Generated on 09-18-07 17:50