NASA STTR 2012 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 12-1 T5.01-9952
RESEARCH SUBTOPIC TITLE: Autonomous Navigation in GNSS-Denied Environments
PROPOSAL TITLE: Autonomous Navigation in GNSS-Denied Environments

NAME: Aurora Flight Sciences Corporation NAME: University of Maryland
STREET: 4 Cambridge Center STREET: 3112 Lee Building
CITY: Cambridge CITY: College Park
STATE/ZIP: MA  02142 - 1494 STATE/ZIP: MD  20742 - 5141
PHONE: (617) 500-4892 PHONE: (301) 405-6269

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Terrence McKenna
4 Cambridge Center, 11th Floor
Cambridge, MA 02142 - 1494
(617) 500-4838

CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Scott Hart
4 Cambridge Center, 11th Floor
Cambridge, MA 02142 - 1494
(617) 500-4892

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 3
End: 4

Technology Available (TAV) Subtopics
Autonomous Navigation in GNSS-Denied Environments 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)
Aurora proposes to develop a vision-based subsystem for incorporation onto Mars vehicles in the air (VTOL) and on the ground. NOAMAD will be an embedded hardware device with associated firmware for payloadlimited UAVs, performing autonomous navigation, obstacle avoidance, guidance using bio-inspired methods, and communication of information between agents within the autonomous team. NOAMAD will transition University of Maryland methods for insect-inspired, lightweight, vision- and optical sensor-based navigation methods into a subsystem that enables expansion of the exploratory capability of the vehicles on which it is installed. The subsystem will provide (1) localization (without a global navigation system or compass) using optic-flow based odometry combined with landmark detection, (2) obstacle detection and avoidance using optic flow, and (3) autonomous guidance using position information together with bio-inspired behaviors. Taken together, these functions will allow air and ground vehicles to work together to achieve progressively refined maps of an exploration region.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The primary NASA application is Return to Mars. Other applications include ground rovers for moon exploration, satellite mapping for inspection, and terrestrial applications in GPS-denied navigation and camerabased see-and-avoid using optic flow.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Aurora is developing bio-inspired embedded device to improve the performance of vehicles operating in urban environments, where (GPS-based) global or inertial navigation is less important than navigation with respect to ones surroundings (buildings ,trees, and other clutter). NOAMAD will advance Aurora's devices from obstacle avoidance and short-duration guidance through cluttered terrain to goal-directed, long term behaviors that enable missions such as search and rescue and urban VTOL for law enforcement and medical evacuation. Bioinspired methods could also impact toxic cloud tracking by UAVs and border patrol search.

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)
Command & Control
Image Processing
Navigation & Guidance
Positioning (Attitude Determination, Location X-Y-Z)
Robotics (see also Control & Monitoring; Sensors)

Form Generated on 03-28-13 15:21