NASA SBIR 2015 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 15-2 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)
Ravishankar Mathur
6411 IVY LN STE 303
GREENBELT, MD 20770 - 1405
(301) 345-1535 Extension :220

CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Everett A. Cary
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: 3
End: 6

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 graphical user interface (GUI) elements and real-time 3D interactive graphics to visualize their trajectories and orbit control strategies. NASA GSFC's General Mission Analysis Tool (GMAT) offers advanced mission design and optimization capabilities with a flexible GUI, but its 3D graphics are lacking in both the quantity and quality of its graphical components as well as the maturity of its visualization subsystem. Emergent will therefore modernize GMAT with world-class visualization capabilities via 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 changes to the existing software architecture. We will utilize the mission design visualization requirements developed in Phase I to fully integrate OpenFrames into GMAT and demonstrate how it enables new and innovative mission design applications such as visual interactive trajectory design and Virtual Reality-based simulation and modeling. As a result, this research will not only bring GMAT visualizations up to par with COTS mission design tools such as STK/Astrogator, but will also enable it to be viable for use in virtual reality environments such as the Oculus Rift. Modernized visualization technology will increase GMAT's user base and enhance its utility for future NASA Discovery and Human Space Flight missions that require high-fidelity simulations paired with truly interactive 3D visualizations.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Robust and high-performance visualizations are especially important during trajectory optimization for interplanetary and asteroid missions. Enabling visual interactive trajectory design (VITD) in GMAT allows users to 'drag and move' trajectories intuitively, which greatly reduces the time required to create optimal trajectories for complex mission design problems. Furthermore, combining VITD with VR technologies such as the Oculus Rift and Power Gloves creates a never-before-seen application for mission design; designers now fully engage their visual analysis expertise to design the energy-constrained trajectories needed for asteroid tours such as Lucy, low-thrust CubeSat missions such as Lunar Flashlight, and Discovery-class planetary missions such as DAVINCI. Therefore, our integration of OpenFrames will make GMAT even more effective as a primary mission design tool for NASA's upcoming flagship Discovery-class missions in which cutting-edge trajectories must be designed to meet increasingly complex science requirements.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Small space startup businesses will also benefit from the advanced mission design technologies made possible by our research. For example, CubeSat missions are becoming increasingly affordable for small businesses, due in part to technology demonstrations from NASA's public CubeQuest challenge. GMAT will enable the design of low-cost CubeSat ventures such as asteroid mining and planetary science missions, for which low-thrust limitations necessitate designing complex long-duration trajectories. Our implementation of visual interactive trajectory design greatly reduces this effort by allowing mission designers to visually create and intuitively alter the trajectories, and immediately see how the changes affect the mission. Additionally, the VR industry is getting ready to explode. It is reasonable to predict that in the near future, mission designers will want immersive simulations that have, until now, only been seen in science fiction. By integrating advanced visualization and VR technologies such as Oculus Rift and Power Gloves, we enable GMAT to bridge the gap between science fiction and reality. Furthermore, the low cost of these VR technologies, coupled with the cutting-edge visualizations we implement in GMAT, will eliminate several of the major hurdles associated with space mission design and open the door for small businesses to create novel missions.

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 03-10-16 12:21