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Magnetohydrodynamic Stable Reference (MSTAR)

Award Information

National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2002 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Applied Technology Associates
1300 Britt SE Albuquerque, NM -
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2002
Title: Magnetohydrodynamic Stable Reference (MSTAR)
Agency: NASA
Contract: NAS5-02006
Award Amount: $0.00


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.

Principal Investigator:

Henry R. Sebesta
Senior Scientist

Business Contact:

Anthony R. Tenorio
President and CEO
Small Business Information at Submission:

Applied Technology Associates
1900 Randolph Rd., SE, Suite G Albuquerque, NM 87106

EIN/Tax ID: 850236241
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No