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Autonomous Fault-Tolerant Guidance, Navigation and Control System for Automated…

Award Information

Department of Defense
Air Force
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2001 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Scientific Systems Company, Inc
500 West Cummings Park - Ste 3000 Woburn, MA 01801-6562
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: Yes
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2001
Title: Autonomous Fault-Tolerant Guidance, Navigation and Control System for Automated Rendezvous and Docking
Agency / Branch: DOD / USAF
Contract: F29601-01-C-0170
Award Amount: $99,051.00


An essential element of autonomous satellite servicing is a fully Autonomous Rendezvous and Docking (ARD) system. Precision ARD capability is required for the DARPA-ASTRO, NASA-MSR, and International Space Station missions, among others. We propose todevelop a hierarchical ARD system with a top-level supervisory controller and two low-level interconnected subsystems: (i) failure detection, identification, and state estimation (FDISE) subsystem, and (ii) guidance, navigation and control (GNC) subsystem.An Interacting Multiple-Model Kalman filter is used for failure detection, identification, and navigational filtering of video guidance system, laser radar sensor, and other sensor data. The GNC subsystem consists of a suite of controllers designed to meetsafety and performance requirements. The top-level supervisor coordinates sensor management, GNC mode switching, fault-tolerant reconfiguration and other event-driven functionalities. Phase I work will demonstrate feasibility through a detailed simulation.A hardware-in-the-loop testbed for supervised autonomy will be developed in Phase II. NASA-JPL GNC group under the guidance of Dr. Fred Hadaegh will provide technical support during all Phases of the project based on their previous and ongoing work for theMars Sample Return mission.Autonomous rendezvous and docking system is directly applicable to satellite servicing and re-supply. Vision-based GNC are applicable to underwater exploration and mining, autonomous automobiles, manufacturing, telerobotics,electronic toys, and cinematography. These applications represent a vast untapped market for the technologies developed.

Principal Investigator:

Pablo Arambel
Research Engineer

Business Contact:

Raman Mehra
Small Business Information at Submission:

500 West Cummings Park, Suite 3000 Woburn, MA 01801

EIN/Tax ID: 043053085
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No