TERRESTRIAL AND EXTRATERRESTRIAL BALLOONS AND AEROBOTS
Platforms for scientific instruments increasingly require attitude knowledge and optical instrument pointing at sub-arcsecond accuracy. No low-cost commercial system exists to provide this level of accuracy for guidance, navigation, and control (GNC) and precision instrument pointing. ATA proposes to introduce a small inexpensive inertial attitude reference system based upon magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) angular rate sensor technology and a 'virtual star' inertial reference concept. The proposed MHD Stable Reference (MSTAR) will integrate technologies of low-noise sensors, actuators, electronics, and software into a miniature system with capability to function as a sub-arcsecond-level reference in payload pointing and attitude control. Our innovation resides in two areas: (1) fusing GNC and optical instrument pointing functions in order to achieve unprecedented accuracy, and (2) applying novel high-bandwidth, low-cost, low-power, rugged MHD sensor technology to meet this goal and enable commercialization. Unlike current approaches, this system can measure and cancel coupled interactions between instrument and platform at high frequency. The melding of low-frequency and high-frequency data and the use of a novel sensor will enable low-cost, low-weight, low-power, precision pointing for NASA's terrestrial and extra-terrestrial balloons and aerobots.
Small Business Information at Submission:
Dr. Henry R. Sebesta
Applied Technology Associates
1900 Randolph Rd., SE, Suite G Albuquerque, NM 87106
Number of Employees: