NASA STTR 2008 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 08-1 T1.01-9978
RESEARCH SUBTOPIC TITLE: Information Technologies for Intelligent Planetary Robotics
PROPOSAL TITLE: Multi-Robot Planetary Exploration Command and Control

NAME: Aurora Flight Sciences Corporation NAME: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
STREET: 9950 Wakeman Drive STREET: 77 Massachusetts Avenue
CITY: Manassas CITY: Cambridge
STATE/ZIP: VA  20110 - 2702 STATE/ZIP: MA  02139 - 4301
PHONE: (703) 369-3633 PHONE: (617) 253-3906

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Olivier Toupet

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

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Aurora Flight Sciences, The MIT Manned Vehicle Laboratory (MVL), and the MIT Humans and Automation Laboratory (HAL) together propose to adapt existing software, algorithms, and human interfaces into a software system that performs command and control of a heterogeneous team of mobile robots, operating in a variety of modalities, to perform multi-agent planetary exploration. The system will provide ground control user interfaces and data management that (1) allows for interactive user control of the team in a time-delayed control environment, (2) maintains operator situation awareness, providing a human interface for setting up a task queue that can be autonomously executed with limited/no human interaction, (3) allows the multi-robot team to optimize task performance as geospatial, navigation and other sensor information is gathered, and (4) is supported by recent algorithm and software developments in the military multi-vehicle control regime (including human interfaces).

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Aurora Flight Sciences has proposed or is working on a number of multi-vehicle coordination applications including severe weather monitoring, agricultural and environmental mapping and monitoring, support for detecting and fighting forest fires, and search and rescue. These applications would all make use of the framework that Aurora has in place for multi-unmanned system coordination, command and control, which would represent re-use of a significant investment by the military in this area. In the space regime, Aurora is active in research and development of technologies for formation flight of satellites, fractionated satellites, and on-orbit assembly. These areas require command and control from a ground station, much like that proposed here, although in a very different environment from the perspective of dynamics and disturbances.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Some of the commercial applications listed above may also be viable Non-NASA commercial applications, specifically support for forest services, search and rescue, and agricultural applications.

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.

Autonomous Control and Monitoring
Autonomous Reasoning/Artificial Intelligence
Human-Computer Interfaces
Human-Robotic Interfaces
Integrated Robotic Concepts and Systems
Operations Concepts and Requirements
Simulation Modeling Environment
Software Tools for Distributed Analysis and Simulation
Telemetry, Tracking and Control

Form Generated on 11-24-08 11:59