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A Collective Detection Based GPS Receiver for Small Satellites

Award Information

National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2013 / STTR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Emergent Space Technologies, Inc.
MD Suite 303 Greenbelt, MD 20770-1405
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2013
Title: A Collective Detection Based GPS Receiver for Small Satellites
Agency: NASA
Contract: NNX13CG37P
Award Amount: $124,965.00


To solve the problem of autonomous navigation on small satellite platforms less than 20 kg, we propose to develop an onboard orbit determination receiver for small LEO satellites which lack stable Attitude Determination and Control System (ADCS), continuous GPS coverage, or ground tracking. The system is a refinement of existing spaceborne receiver technology built around a new, innovative collective detection and direct positioning algorithm developed by Dr. Penny Axelrad, a reduced set of GPS hardware, and a compact orbit propagator. The small satellite collective orbit determination receiver (SCOR) brings together efficient reference orbit representations, snapshot GPS sampling, collective detection and direct positioning, and modular orbit propagation methods, to produce an effective new approach for onboard support of small satellites. Since the collective detection algorithm does not require continuous GPS tracking to generate navigation solutions, portions of the receiver can be duty cycled to reduce power consumption between measurements. Additionally, this approach allows for satellites without pointing capabilities to obtain sufficient measurements to generate solutions by taking multiple snapshots when the spacecraft attitude is in a favorable orientation with respect to the GPS constellation.

Principal Investigator:

William Bamford
Principal Investigator

Business Contact:

David Gaylor
Business Official
Small Business Information at Submission:

Emergent Space Technologies, Inc.
MD Greenbelt, MD 20770-1405

EIN/Tax ID: 200264426
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: Yes
HUBZone-Owned: No
Research Institution Information:
University of Colorado Boulder
3100 Marine Street
Boulder, CO 80303-80303
Contact: Meagan Taylor