Bio-Inspired Sensing and Hierarchical GN&C for Traversing Urban Clutter

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA8650-08-C-3823
Agency Tracking Number: F071-259-1532
Amount: $999,870.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2008
Solicitation Year: 2007
Solicitation Topic Code: AF071-259
Solicitation Number: 2007.1
Small Business Information
9950 Wakeman Drive, Manassas, VA, 20110
DUNS: 604717165
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 James Paduano
 Principal Investigator
 (617) 500-4807
 jpaduano@aurora.aero
Business Contact
 Diana Eichfeld
Title: Contracts Manager
Phone: (703) 396-6329
Email: deichfeld@aurora.aero
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract
Aurora Flight Sciences is developing an integrated system for guidance of micro air vehicles (MAVs) through cluttered environments using vision and sonar: the Panoramic Avoidance and Navigation using OPTics Integrated with Sonar (PANOPTIS) system. The three key elements of our cluttered guidance, navigation and control (CGNC) approach are: (1) wide-field integration (WFI) to enable vision-based negotiation through a near-field environment of relatively large obstacles, maintaining a path through complex environments; (2) bat-inspired echolocation sensing (ELS) for active sensing of imminent collisions; and (3) hierarchical application of behavioral and automaton-based navigation and maneuvering strategies. A coherent, lightweight solution that integrates WFI and ELS with a navigate-and-dodge hierarchical controller provides the best tradeoff between size, weight, power and performance, enabling true urban flight. Aurora has shown that the PANOPTIS components and algorithms are suitable for applications requiring low size, weight, and power, and has demonstrated the robustness of the system to sensor inaccuracies and environmental factors. Robust performance in difficult environments is achieved through the complementary properties of the optical and acoustic devices – any inherent weaknesses in one technology are mitigated by overlapping capabilities of other technologies.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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