NASA STTR 2012 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 12-2 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: 9950 Wakeman Drive STREET: 3112 Lee Building
CITY: Manassas CITY: College Park
STATE/ZIP: VA  20110 - 2702 STATE/ZIP: MD  20742 - 5141
PHONE: (703) 369-3633 PHONE: (301) 405-6269

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Mr. 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)
Mr. 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: 4
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 transition UMD methods for insect-inspired, lightweight vision- and optical sensor-based navigation methods for a combined air-ground system that leverages the unique capabilities of airborne systems to achieve a progressively refined map of the exploration region which can be accessed by agents within the autonomous team for localization, and by scientists and other ground observers.
Research during the Phase–I developed requirements, performed analyses and basic research that provided proof-of-concept demonstrations for navigational capabilities that will enhance the autonomous planetary and asteroid robotic exploration.

Techniques derived from recent research were explored to demonstrate a concept for autonomous bio-inspired vision aided navigation to achieve navigation in GPS and magnetometer denied environments, generate obstacle maps and a 3 dimensional map of the environment based on optical flow and navigating to the origin of a map only based on optical flow input. This innovative research is providing a demonstration of the possibility of developing low size, weight and power solutions for vision based navigation by leveraging research on bio-inspired methodologies.

During Phase-II further maturation of the algorithms, implementation on a higher fidelity simulation and prototypes and a conceptual design for a flight system will be pursued.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Higher return planetary exploration. The utility of a multi-vehicle air/ground system for planetary exploration is evident. The system has very broad reach, with the ability to visit and discover orders of magnitude more area than a rover. Objects of further interest can be explored by the rover, using information gathered by the air vehicles for navigation. In turn, the limited payload and endurance of the aerial exploration vehicle is mitigated by the ability to come back to the ground vehicle, refuel or recharge, download scientific information.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The proposed system will be accepted by the community and implemented across many applications: micro and small UAVs, munitions, autonomous ground vehicles, underground mining operations and rescue, etc. The applications for DoD include urban navigation in GPS-denied scenarios and border patrol and intelligence gathering for navigation inside buildings and caves.

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)

Form Generated on 07-29-14 10:30