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Optimal Path Planning Toolbox for Formation Flying Spacecraft Missions

Award Information

National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2003 / 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 2
Fiscal Year: 2003
Title: Optimal Path Planning Toolbox for Formation Flying Spacecraft Missions
Agency: NASA
Contract: NAS3-02180
Award Amount: $600,000.00


Spacecraft Formation Flying is a key technology for NASA's Terrestrial Planet Finder (TPF) and other Origins missions. Specific formation flying technologies required for TPF are distributed real-time fault-tolerant collision-free path planning and U-V mapping optimization tools. During Phase I, we investigated and further developed two approaches for solving the collision avoidance problem; namely, the LMI Approach and the Crossing Pattern Approach. Both methods proved to be very effective for small formations such as TPF. The objective of Phase II is to design and develop a Formation Flying Path Planner (FFPP) Toolbox with a comprehensive set of algorithms for path planning, u-v mapping, reactive control, actuator failure detection and dynamic control allocation. Specific Phase II tasks are: (i) Optimal path planning algorithms for TPF, (ii) Path Planning algorithms for moderate and large formations, (iii) Reactive collision-free control, (iv) Actuator failure detection and dynamic control allocation, (v) U-V mapping optimization, (vi) Testing and tuning of the algorithms for TPF, (vii) Development of FFPP Toolbox, (viii) Commercialization Planning, and (ix) Reports. Phase II work will be closely coordinated with JPL project teams for technology transition to TPF and other missions. The commercialization of the Toolbox will be pursued collaboratively with Ball Aerospace, Lockheed-Martin, and Boeing.

Principal Investigator:

Sanjeev Seereeram
Principal Investigator

Business Contact:

Raman K. Mehra
Small Business Information at Submission:

Scientific Systems Company, Inc
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