NASA SBIR 2008 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 08-1 A2.07-9068
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Flight and Propulsion Control and Dynamics
PROPOSAL TITLE: Robust Switching Control for Hypersonic Vehicles

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Barron Associates, Inc.
1410 Sachem Place, Suite 202
Charlottesville, VA 22901 - 2559
(434) 973-1215

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Alec J.D. Bateman
1410 SAchem Place, Suite 202
Charlottesville, VA 22901 - 2559
(434) 973-1215

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

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Flight in the hypersonic regime is critical to NASA's goals because access to earth orbit and re-entry from orbit to earth or to other planets with atmospheres require flight through this regime. Hypersonic flight poses a wide array of difficulties, including significant guidance and control challenges. For example, flexible airframes and highly integrated airframe and propulsion systems common in scramjet designs mean that aerodynamic and propulsion control are closely coupled. Control laws for hypersonic vehicles must also handle a very broad range of dynamics as hypersonic vehicles often operate from subsonic through hypersonic speeds and possibly with multiple propulsion modes for different speed ranges. Actuator saturation and significant models uncertainty also pose control challenges, and demanding energy management requirements make guidance and trajectory optimization challenging tasks as well. The proposed research will develop innovative control strategies to address the challenges of hypersonic flight. These will be based on recent advances in switching control methods that provide large stable regions and disturbance rejection guarantees in the presence of actuator saturation. The proposed control methods will ultimately be integrated with advanced guidance approaches for hypersonic vehicles developed by Barron Associates.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The proposed guidance and control approaches will help to facilitate successful hypersonic flight. Reaching and returning from orbit both involve hypersonic flight, and hypersonic flight is therefore essential to NASA's mission, which traditionally includes space access and exploration. In particular, hypersonic flight is an integral part the Highly Reliable Reusable Launch Systems (HRRLS) program and the High Mass Mars Entry Systems (HMMES) program. The HRRLS program calls for air-breathing horizontal takeoff/horizontal landing launch vehicles to provide reliable and cost effective access to space. The HMMES program is closely related to the strategic goals set by the President, which include manned exploration of Mars. Supporting humans on Mars will require landing of higher mass cargo than has been previously attempted, and targeting this cargo more precisely. The HMMES program addresses these needs, and advanced guidance and control techniques will be critical to the success of the program.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
With the significant recent interest in commercial space access and enhanced military space access, control technology for hypersonic vehicles has the potential for significant non-NASA applications. Several private companies are currently working to provide commercial space launch capabilities. For example, Orbital Sciences has several commercial launch vehicles and has conducted a number of successful launches already, and SpaceX has made several launch attempts in recent years. As these and other companies field the next generation of launch vehicles, improved guidance and control technology will be of interest. The rapid mission planning capabilities currently being developed by Barron under other funding, combined with the highly robust inner-loop control approach to be developed under the proposed research should have significant appeal to these organizations. Technology for rapid and robust access to space will also serve the goals of the military to rapidly deploy surveillance assets and to conduct rapid long range strikes.

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.

Controls-Structures Interaction (CSI)
Guidance, Navigation, and Control
Launch and Flight Vehicle

Form Generated on 11-24-08 11:56