NASA SBIR 2008 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 08-2 X5.01-9850
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Lunar Surface Systems
PROPOSAL TITLE: Lunar Navigator - A Miniature, Fully Autonomous, Lunar Navigation, Surveyor, and Range Finder System

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Microcosm, Inc.
4940 W. 147th Street
Hawthorne, CA 90250 - 6708
(310) 219-2700

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
James R Wertz
4940 W. 147th Street
Hawthorne, CA 90250 - 6708
(310) 219-2700

Expected Technology Readiness Level (TRL) upon completion of contract: 6

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Microcosm will use existing hardware and software from related programs to create a prototype Lunar Navigation Sensor (LNS) early in Phase II, such that most of the effort can be spent in extensive field-testing, making corrections as needed, and critical evaluation of the LNS performance on Earth and projected performance on the Moon. By using NGS survey markers, with centimeter-leve position accuracy, as test sites, we expect to create a truth model for both absolute and relative position measurements that is essentially error free (relative to the LNS accuracy), thus allowing very accurate characterization of both random and systematic errors for both absolute and relative position measurements. This unambiguous characterization of the total error will allow validation (or correction) of the navigation error models and assessment of system performance with a high level of confidence. Additionally, the LNS prototype hardware is sufficiently small (roughly shoebox size with a laptop PC for data collection) and easy to set up (put on a tripod over the NGS marker), that it can easily be taken to multiple test locations. Finally, a detailed technology roadmap will be created showing how the TRL 6 LNS can be raised to TRL 9, ready for flight.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
This lunar navigator technology is applicable for navigation of landers, rovers, balloons, or airplanes on or above the surface of any planets, asteroids, or moons for which stars can be seen from the surface. The navigator device is potentially low cost, light weight, and exceptionally robust in that it does not depend on any external resources for navigation. A modified form of this technology (replacing the gradiometer with a set of Earth sensors) could also be used for robust spacecraft navigation in low planetary orbits. This system, with initial operational success on the Moon, is directly applicable to surface navigation on Mars, both day and night.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
This technology is applicable for air, sea, and land navigation on the Earth as a back-up to GPS. There is an identified Navy need for comparable technology (with, of course, different structural, qualification, and environmental constraints). It could be used for GPS-independent aircraft navigation as well. It could also be used for many types of commercial transportation systems as an alternative to GPS.

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.

Guidance, Navigation, and Control

Form Generated on 08-03-09 13:26