Autonomous Rendezvous and Docking Techniques

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: NAS8-03028
Agency Tracking Number: 023992
Amount: $69,762.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2003
Solitcitation Year: N/A
Solitcitation Topic Code: N/A
Solitcitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
Cybernet Systems Corporation
727 Airport Boulevard, Ann Arbor, MI, 48108
Duns: N/A
Hubzone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Joseph Tesar
 (734) 668-2567
Business Contact
 Charles J. Cohen,
Title: VP, Research & Development
Phone: (734) 668-2567
Research Institution
Ongoing logistical repair, maintenance, and resupply of space platforms will become a costly and potentially dangerous activity in the post Space Station era. This is primarily driven by the need for more frequent missions, and as the number of missions increases, so does the cumulative probably of failure in the launch, docking, and return phases of the mission. The best defense will be to make substantially larger use of unmanned resupply vehicles that can automatically rendezvous, dock, and lock-up with said platforms without manned intervention. Over the past 20 years, Cybernet engineers have participated in the development of a variety of alternative rendezvous and docking sensor concepts. During this time, we have evaluated many alternative technologies which include 3D computer vision, Ladar, active and passive beacons, GPS, and INS systems. In this effort, we propose to leverage this expertise into demonstrating that 3D computer vision can solve the short-range docking problem. After feasibility is shown with space-acquired imagery, we will design an embedded system that can operate the 3D vision algorithms.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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