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Autonomous Navigation in GNSS-Denied Environments

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
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2013
Title: Autonomous Navigation in GNSS-Denied Environments
Agency: NASA
Contract: NNX13CL48P
Award Amount: $124,952.00


Aurora proposes to develop a vision-based subsystem for incorporation onto Mars vehicles in the air (VTOL) and on the ground. NOAMAD will be an embedded hardware device with associated firmware for payloadlimited UAVs, performing autonomous navigation, obstacle avoidance, guidance using bio-inspired methods, and communication of information between agents within the autonomous team. NOAMAD will transition University of Maryland methods for insect-inspired, lightweight, vision- and optical sensor-based navigation methods into a subsystem that enables expansion of the exploratory capability of the vehicles on which it is installed. The subsystem will provide (1) localization (without a global navigation system or compass) using optic-flow based odometry combined with landmark detection, (2) obstacle detection and avoidance using optic flow, and (3) autonomous guidance using position information together with bio-inspired behaviors. Taken together, these functions will allow air and ground vehicles to work together to achieve progressively refined maps of an exploration region.

Principal Investigator:

Terrence McKenna
Aerospace Controls Engineer

Business Contact:

Scott Hart
Financial Analyst
Small Business Information at Submission:

Aurora Flight Sciences Corporation
MA Cambridge, MA 02142-1494

EIN/Tax ID: 541502935
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Research Institution Information:
University of Maryland
3112 Lee Building
College Park, MD 20742-20742
Contact: Antoinette Lawson