NASA SBIR 2012 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 12-1 E1.02-8729
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Nano/Micro Satellite Launch Vehicle Technology
PROPOSAL TITLE: Automated Flight Safety Inference Engine (AFSIE) System

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
2231 Crystal Drive, Suite 711
Arlington, VA 22202 - 3724
(703) 413-7750

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Robertson S Augustine
600 Jackson Court
Satellite Beach, FL 32937 - 3933
(321) 757-1503

CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Dianne L. Thomas
2231 Crystal Drive, Suite 711
Arlington, VA 22202 - 3724
(703) 413-7765

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 2
End: 4

Technology Available (TAV) Subtopics
Nano/Micro Satellite Launch Vehicle Technology 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)
We propose to develop an innovative Autonomous Flight Safety Inference Engine (AFSIE) system to autonomously and reliably terminate the flight of an errant launch vehicle. This proposed phase 1 research is innovative in that it combines proven NASA-developed AFS algorithms, real-time hazard assessment algorithms and hazard envelopes generated from Joint Advanced Range Safety System Real Time (JARSS RT) and an on-board vehicle simulator into a refined onboard software inference engine that monitors navigation states, mission flight rules and onboard anomaly instrumentation. An autonomous flight safety system must be able to reliably perform accurate and autonomous navigation so as to determine the vehicle position, velocity and attitude states in real time. Reliability requirements for AFS are high due to stringent loss-of-life constraints, often leading to redundant navigation sensors with attendant cost impacts. Our innovative solution proposes to satisfy RCC accuracy and reliability requirements by exploiting the low-cost COTS sensor and processor architectures that are currently being baselined for the Common NanoSat/Launcher Avionics Technology (CNAT) study and a Nano launch vehicle avionics design. This dual use hardware implementation will greatly reduce the recurring costs for the production of an autonomous flight safety system. This has significant implications for reducing the costs for launch vehicles, particularly Nano and Micro Satellite Launch Vehicles (NMSLV), where range safety costs currently consume a burdensome percentage of the launch cost. Under this proposed phase 1 effort, we will 1) identify the range requirements and develop a plan for range safety for approval of the system, 2) identify reliable low-cost COTS hardware that satisfies the range accuracy and reliability requirements and, 3) develop an end to end simulation to demonstrate the AFSIE Concept of Operations.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Once developed and demonstrated our Autonomous Flight Safety and Inference Engine Systems (AFSIE) will radically reduce range and operations costs and provide a commercial device that NASA can use for both Launch Vehicles and Unmanned Aerial Systems.
Our AFSIE system will provide the Nano/Micro Satellite Launch Vehicle community and NASA with an affordable, reliable low cost alternative to the current command destruct systems. The use of an automated flight safety system will allow more responsive launches, significantly reducing the time required for launch preparation. Our Inference Engine monitors navigation and vehicle condition sensors to detect anomalous conditions and predict fault conditions that will result in a violation of the safe flight rules. This robust module system capability is applicable to a broad spectrum of NanoLauncher and Unmanned Systems. Commercial production of these units will enable NASA to improve the frequency of Nano and Micro Satellite launches and reduce the lead time.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Our AFSEI system is applicable to multiple vehicle types that may operate in the National Airspace System (NAS) or at a federal range that is required to have a Flight Safety System (FSS). The FAA's14 CFR Chapter III governs the NAS requirements; RCC 319 governs the federal range requirements; and AFI 91-710 and 91-712 have additional requirements associated with flights from Air Force Space Command's Eastern and Western Ranges. The documented autonomy, redundancy, precision and implicit cost requirements currently differ greatly by vehicle type and purpose, so the inherent software and hardware modularity of our AFSIE system will support the broad application spectrum. Further, we wish to develop and qualify a future modification of AFSIE that is able to support vehicle GNC functions Autonomous Flight Safety and Guidance System (AFSGS), with options for providing navigation services via electrically-isolated communications, or directly providing GNC services from AC-AFSS. The vehicles that might fly an AFSEI include, but are not limited to, Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UASs), sounding rockets, Reusable Launch Vehicles (RLVs) and Expendable Launch Vehicles (ELVs). Per the CFR, the Flight Safety System (FSS) may result in the following actions: flight termination (i.e. mid-flight destruct); thrust termination where the vehicle glides to a safe landing (UAS, RLV) or crashes into an uninhabited region, or even a flight trajectory modification to an alternate safe landing site.

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.)
Algorithms/Control Software & Systems (see also Autonomous Systems)
Autonomous Control (see also Control & Monitoring)
Condition Monitoring (see also Sensors)
Space Transportation & Safety

Form Generated on 03-28-13 15:21