Extreme Diagnostics and the University of Michigan (UM) propose to fly the autonomous SmallSat we built under a Phase I/II SBIR supported by this NASA JPL technical topic. We are well experienced with nanosatellites and are confident in our flight readiness. Members of our team built the flight computer and power systems for the JPL MarCO Mars A and B deep-space CubeSats. We are ready to launch.
The MARIO (Measurement of Actuator Response In Orbit) project utilizes our existing 3U CubeSat in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) to demonstrate active submicron optomechanical control for autonomous robotic assembly of large telescopes. MARIO matures this technology to TRL 8/9 through closed loop control demonstrations based on Macro Fiber Composite (MFC) piezocomposite actuators. MFCs are rugged piezoelectrics developed at NASA Langley Research Center specifically for space.
Phase II will mature active optomechanical control through these LEO activities:
Phase I established the ability of MARIO to robotically deploy and control telescope modules. This set the stage for flying MARIO.
Phase I used MARIO technology to control mirror elements. Phase II conducts a 6–12 month LEO mission demonstrating active submicron optomechanical control. Phase II also leverages MARIO flight data by exploring multi-dimensional actuators using new 3D printing methods.
Phase II provides new technology able to autonomously assemble, self-align and control a near-complete large structure deployed in space and subjected to quasi-static thermal effects.
MARIO provides space validation of optomechanical control using MFCs. Applications include control of large reflectors and other active structures. MARIO autonomous closed-loop control is an enabling technology for Lunar and deep-space exploration and supports NASA’s Small Spacecraft Technology Program. MFCs can be used for Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) and energy harvesting to enable power generation in active vehicles like rovers. MARIO provides risk reduction for Moon to Mars programs and supports human landings and sustainability.
Non-NASA control applications include adaptive optics for SmallSat space telescopes and hypersonic vehicle active jitter-suppression. SHM improves safety in re-useable space vehicles. Homeland Security structural analysis mitigates threats (preparedness) and assesses damage (response). MFCs enable wind turbine SHM (alternative and renewable energy), and energy harvesting for wireless sensors.