NASA SBIR 2012 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 12-1 H6.01-8746
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Spacecraft Autonomy and Space Mission Automation
PROPOSAL TITLE: Robotic Mission Simulation Tool

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Energid Technologies
One Mifflin Place, Suite 400
Cambridge, MA 02138 - 4946
(888) 547-4100

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
James D English
One Mifflin Place, Suite 400
Cambridge, MA 02138 - 4946
(888) 547-4100 Extension :401

CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
James A Bacon
One Mifflin Place, Suite 400
Cambridge, MA 02138 - 4946
(888) 547-4100 Extension :404

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 4
End: 5

Technology Available (TAV) Subtopics
Spacecraft Autonomy and Space Mission Automation is a Technology Available (TAV) subtopic that includes NASA Intellectual Property (IP). Do you plan to use the NASA IP under the award?

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Energid Technologies proposes a software tool to predict robotic mission performance and support supervision of robotic missions even when environments and situations are profoundly unknown. It transcends common Monte Carlo simulations by supporting input parameters for which probability distributions are not available. Stochastic optimization is combined with randomized simulation to bound statistical measures of performance and convey the parameters giving the extreme scenarios. It also provides 3D immersive presentation of those scenarios. The act of performing multiple simulation runs in real time is enabled by the fast simulation capability provided by Energid Technologies' existing software combined with the development of new algorithms and software. The new algorithms cover path planning, scene rendering, sensor modeling, and robot-terrain interaction modeling. In the new software, automatic path planning is calculated using a combination of static and dynamic techniques. Scene rendering for sensor modeling is implemented using fast ray tracing for low-update-rate sensors and ray-tracing-validated rasterization for fast-update-rate sensors. Robot-terrain interaction is calculated through particle simulations implemented on graphics cards. For maximum performance, the new software allows distribution of randomized simulation runs over multiple networked PCs and cloud-based clusters. This combination of fast algorithms and statistical optimization offers a tool that provides new engineering insights and data. The software will be demonstrated on the example mission of searching for ice near near the southern lunar pole, giving evidence of the ability of the tool to support challenging relevant missions.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The tool Energid proposes will reduce cost and improve schedule in NASA's lunar and planetary missions through digital testing early in a project. It will also support automation of robotic systems through real-time randomized optimization during mission execution. The value provided through these applications will lead to additional work for NASA. Energid will provide support for the new software's application on upcoming missions both as a prime contractor and as a supporting subcontractor to large NASA prime contractors.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
To its commercial customers, Energid licenses its software technology primarily through its Actin toolkit. Actin is delivered as libraries and header files that can be compiled into new software. This form of Energid's technology has found wide application in software for space, manufacturing, entertainment, agriculture, nuclear energy, and oil exploration. Energid provides services to support the application of Actin. The advanced level of simulation-based testing provided by the new software developed during this SBIR project will substantially enhance these commercial activities. Energid will license the new software and provide services to support it as an ongoing and growing business.

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.)
Analytical Methods
Autonomous Control (see also Control & Monitoring)
Models & Simulations (see also Testing & Evaluation)
Robotics (see also Control & Monitoring; Sensors)
Simulation & Modeling
Software Tools (Analysis, Design)
Vehicles (see also Autonomous Systems)
Verification/Validation Tools

Form Generated on 03-28-13 15:21