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Hybrid Guidance System for Relative Navigation

Award Information

National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2007 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Advanced Optical Systems, Inc
6767 Old Madison Pike Suite 410 Huntsville, AL -
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 2
Fiscal Year: 2007
Title: Hybrid Guidance System for Relative Navigation
Agency: NASA
Contract: NNG07CA15C
Award Amount: $599,912.00


Automated Rendezvous and Capture (AR&C) is a critical United States technology gap. AR&C is identified as a critical enabling technology for future NASA Exploration and DoD missions including NASA's CEV, operation and commercial cargo re-supply to ISS, lunar transfer vehicle assembly and MARS missions. Multiple sensors that provide relative measurements of range, bearing and pose are the key to meeting the safety related issues with implementation of this technology. This Phase II effort will provide a real-time hardware-in-the-loop demonstration using the robotic arm to autonomously capture a target spacecraft. The baseline demonstration uses a ground-based variant of the Space Shuttle robotic arm to grapple an uncooperative target. In Phase II, AOS will build an HGS prototype and demonstrate its performance in a hardware-in-the-loop scenario. The prototype employs a modular design approach to the integrated sensor suite. Initially, only the sensor subset addressing passive range and pose estimation will be implemented. Additional sensor modalities will be added as determined in the requirements development. The demonstration baseline employs a robotic arm supported on an air bearing floor and a free floating robot operating as the target vehicle. An air bearing floor allows the arm and target to move freely in three relative degrees of freedom. HGS provides an error signal and possibly associated rates along the axes. These signals drive the arm guidance with sufficient accuracy to successfully grapple the target.

Principal Investigator:

Joel D. Burcham
Principal Investigator

Business Contact:

Halley W. Little
Business Official
Small Business Information at Submission:

Advanced Optical Systems, Inc.
6767 Old Madison Pike, Suite 410 Huntsville, AL 35806

EIN/Tax ID: 630993088
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No