NASA SBIR 2011 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 11-2 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: 5
End: 7

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
The MAI-400SS Space Sextant is a precision attitude determination and control system for CubeSats and Nanosats. The MAI-400SS enables future CubeSat missions with precision fine pointing (0.1deg) and dynamic slewing as will be required for imaging operations of ground targets. A flight control computer, 2 Star Trackers, 3 reaction wheels and 3 electromagnets are incorporated in a 4" x 4" x 3" (3/4U) CubeSat sized module. The system is based on the highly successful MAI-400 miniADACS and extends its performance capability to the 0.1deg range by incorporation of 2 star cameras and attitude determination software. Phase I developed the software algorithms and prototyped the star cameras and electronics. Phase II consists of a development program culminating with a system at TRL 7. The technology is significant because it extends the capability of current low cost Nanosats to tactical imaging and other missions requiring fine pointing and dynamic retargeting, missions hitherto restricted to large and expensive spacecraft. The MAI-400SS will facilitate rapid development of low cost satellites by providing a turnkey system which would be capable of determining and controlling spacecraft attitude automatically; simplifying operations and enabling rapid mission development as envisioned by ORS.

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 currently sponsoring the Edison initiative which will demonstrate new CubeSat technologies on orbit. The offeror is party to two separate Edison proposals NASA is also sponsoring the ELaNa program 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 and NanoSat missions have also become the focus of the DoD. The recent DARPA SeeMe (Space Enabled Effects for Military Engagements) initiative seeks to launch a constellation of 24 Nanosats in only 45 days at a cost of only $450k per satellite. 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.)
Attitude Determination & Control
Image Capture (Stills/Motion)
Image Processing
Navigation & Guidance
Space Transportation & Safety
Spacecraft Design, Construction, Testing, & Performance (see also Engineering; Testing & Evaluation)

Form Generated on 09-03-12 17:04