NASA SBIR 2015 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 15-1 H9.03-9090
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Flight Dynamics and Navigation Technology
PROPOSAL TITLE: World-Class Visualizations in GMAT

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Emergent Space Technologies, Inc.
6411 Ivy Lane, Suite 303
Greenbelt, MD 20770 - 1405
(301) 345-1535

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Mr. Ravi Mathur
6411 Ivy Lane, Suite 303
Greenbelt, MD 20770 - 1405
(301) 345-1535

CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Mr. Everett Cary Jr.
6411 Ivy Lane, Suite 303
Greenbelt, MD 20770 - 1405
(301) 345-1535 Extension :150

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 2
End: 3

Technology Available (TAV) Subtopics
Flight Dynamics and Navigation 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)
Today's mission designers rely on state of the art tools with modern GUI elements and real-time 3D interactive graphics to visualize their trajectories and orbit control strategies. One such tool, NASA GSFC's General Mission Analysis Tool (GMAT), offers advanced mission design and optimization capabilities with a flexible GUI. However, its current 3D graphics are lacking in both the quantity and quality of graphical components as well as the maturity of its visualization architecture. Fortunately, GMAT's underlying flexible and Open Source software architecture was designed to facilitate modular improvements. We propose to provide GMAT with world-class visualization capabilities and a graphics architecture that can adapt to future visualization technologies by replacing the existing basic graphics code with the OpenFrames visualization software. OpenFrames is an Open Source API that allows simulations to incorporate high-performance interactive 3D visualizations without requiring significant architecture changes. In this research, we develop comprehensive requirements for GMAT's visualization needs, create a plan to integrate OpenFrames into GMAT, demonstrate a prototype of OpenFrames in GMAT, and compare the performance of OpenFrames to the existing basic visualizations in GMAT. This research will not only bring GMAT visualizations up to par with other mission design tools, such as AGI's STK/Astrogator and NASA JSC's Copernicus, but will also allow GMAT to support cutting-edge technologies such as interactive visual trajectory design and virtual reality environments such as the GSFC CAVE. In turn, this will increase GMAT's user base and increase its utility for future NASA missions, such as Decadal Survey and Discovery class missions that require high-fidelity simulations paired with truly interactive 3D visualizations.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The visualization enhancements provided through this SBIR will make GMAT easier and more enticing to use by mission designers and easier to enhance for software developers. These benefits will expand the GMAT user base and improve Goddard's position as a provider of cutting-edge mission design software.
Having robust and high-performance visualizations is especially important during trajectory optimization. In these situations, having an accurate initial guess is so critical to successful optimization that entire research papers are written just on the topic of generating initial guesses. For GMAT, having the ability to visually analyze both initial guesses and iterative trajectory improvements in real time would allow for faster time-to-solution. This would, in turn, make GMAT more desirable as a primary mission design tool for GSFC's (and indeed all NASA centers') upcoming Decadal Earth and Space Science missions in which complex trajectories must be designed to meet increasingly complex science requirements.
Furthermore, this SBIR will result in improvements to OpenFrames itself, namely to increase the number of specific graphics elements that can be visualized. Since OpenFrames is Open Source, these improvements can be contributed back to the main OpenFrames project. This will allow other NASA projects that use OpenFrames, currently Copernicus, to potentially benefit from these improvements.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Potential Non-NASA Commercialization Apps: 1500 characters / ~150 words max
Because GMAT is Open Source, its use by non-NASA entities will also increase due to our SBIR enhancements. Research organizations such as the Air Force Research Laboratory and universities will find GMAT, with its advanced visualization capabilities, a tool of choice for mission design, research, education, and outreach.
Emergent will also benefit from GMAT's improved visibility as a result of our SBIR work. We will provide installation and support services for GMAT at external locations, as well as provide on-demand enhancement and integration services for OpenFrames itself.

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.)
Models & Simulations (see also Testing & Evaluation)
Simulation & Modeling
Software Tools (Analysis, Design)

Form Generated on 04-23-15 15:37