NASA SBIR 2011 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 11-1 S3.06-9905
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Guidance, Navigation and Control
PROPOSAL TITLE: Integrated CubeSat ADACS with Reaction Wheels and Star Tracker

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Maryland Aerospace, Inc.
2138 Priest Bridge Court, Suite 3
Crofton, MD 21114 - 2463
(410) 451-2505

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Steve Fujikawa
2138 Priest Bridge Court, Suite 3
Crofton, MD 21114 - 2463
(410) 451-2505

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 3
End: 5

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
A high performance ADACS (Attitude Determination and Control System) for CubeSats incorporating Miniature Star Trackers is proposed. The proposed program will focus on development and integration of 2 Star cameras into the MAI-400 which is the current state of the art nanosat ADACS and is marketed by our company. The resulting product will feature 2 Star Trackers, 3 axis reaction wheels, electromagnets, sun sensors and magnetometer, all within a SWAP (Size, Weight and Power) envelope of 1/2U, 0.7 kg and 2.5W, which is responsive to the needs of the next generation of CubeSats. The new product, called MAI-400SS Space Sextant, enables precision attitude control (better than 0.05deg) as will be required for Space Weather, Cosmological Science and Earth Imaging missions. The Star Tracker system is entirely autonomous and features Lost In Space star identification which associates observed stars with corresponding catalog stars without any apriori attitude information. A MEMS gyro facilitates Kalman filtering of an attitude solution and frame to frame tracking of stars. A program for development of the cameras, electronics, and processing software is outlined which leverages a previous Star Tracker development project by our firm. The technology is significant because it extends the capability of current low cost CubeSats to high resolution imaging and other missions requiring precision fine pointing and dynamic retargeting, which were hitherto restricted to $100M spacecraft. The new MAI-400SS will facilitate rapid development of low cost satellites by providing a turnkey system which would be capable of determining spacecraft attitude automatically; speeding integration and simplifying operations.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Our firm markets the MAI-400 which is the latest generation of turnkey ADACS specifically targeted at CubeSats. The performance of the MAI-400 is currently limited by the CMOS Earth Sensor attitude determination which gives end-to-end accuracy of 0.2deg, but is limited to periods of Sun illumination. Addition of the star trackers will yield day/night accuracy of 0.05deg which will enable many new nanosatellite applications requiring the next level of precision fine pointing such as tactical Earth imaging and Sun, planetary and deep space science.
NASA centers that have active CubeSat development programs include GSFC, WFF, LaRC, ARC and JPL. From what we know of their activities, most are planning high performance missions that could benefit by use of the MAI-400SS.
NASA is presently sponsoring the ELaNa initiative which will provide launch opportunities for potentially a dozen or more CubeSats in the near term. We anticipate that many of these missions could use this technology as well.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
CubeSat missions have also become the focus of the DoD. The Office of Responsive Space at Kirtland AFB seeks to develop technologies that will allow payloads to be integrated and launched with a limited budget in a matter of only days or weeks. This can be facilitated by stockpiling CubeSat busses and delivering them from inventory on demand. The first steps toward this were taken by the National Reconnaissance Office with the procurement of 12 Colony I CubeSat busses. (We are pleased to have provided the MAI-100 ADACS for Colony I.) Other DoD components that contemplate using our products include AFRL Space Weather missions and Solar Science missions at the Naval Research Laboratory.

TECHNOLOGY TAXONOMY MAPPING (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 (see also Control & Monitoring)
Navigation & Guidance
Relative Navigation (Interception, Docking, Formation Flying; see also Control & Monitoring; Planetary Navigation, Tracking, & Telemetry)
Robotics (see also Control & Monitoring; Sensors)
Space Transportation & Safety
Spacecraft Design, Construction, Testing, & Performance (see also Engineering; Testing & Evaluation)
Spacecraft Instrumentation & Astrionics (see also Communications; Control & Monitoring; Information Systems)

Form Generated on 11-22-11 13:43