Autonomous Flight Termination & Satellite Based Telemetry System for Launch Vehicles
Agency / Branch:
DOD / USAF
This Phase II project demonstrates the feasibility of developing a Space-based Autonomous Flight Termination and Telemetry System (SAFTTS) for use with launch vehicles and other avionics/weapons platforms through developing and building a proof-of-concept prototype. The objective for developing SAFTTS is to support the Air Force's objective of Operationally Responsive Space through demonstrating technologies that reduce significantly the cost and scheduling hurdles presently associated with launch vehicle operations. Current space launch operations require extensive networks of remote, ground-based tracking and communications sites to provide Range support, and are available only at limited geographic launch areas. Existing Ranges require long turnaround times and are costly to use due to aging equipment costs and fixed staffing costs. Using space-based assets for tracking and communications functions, along with on-board autonomous intelligent software flight termination capabilities, can combine to lessen launch/operating costs, reduce logistics and launch complexity, and reduce turnaround time, all while continuing to provide unsurpassed safety. Development of key "Destruct" algorithms identified and started in Phase I and used by today's Range Safety Officers (RSO) is proposed. All proof-of-concept equipment will be flight-qualifiable and have a clearly visible path to full flight-qualified status upon successfully demonstrating operational characteristics during the proposed work.
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ASRC RESEARCH & TECHNOLOGY SOLUTIONS
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