Efficient cFS-based On-board Lamberts Solution for DSMs

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: 80NSSC19C0010
Agency Tracking Number: 170036
Amount: $749,981.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: T11
Solicitation Number: STTR_17_P2
Solicitation Year: 2017
Award Year: 2019
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2018-12-03
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2020-12-02
Small Business Information
2100 Central Avenue Suite 102, Boulder, CO, 80301-2887
DUNS: 079689503
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Jay McMahon
 (303) 492-3944
Business Contact
 Bradley Cheetham
Phone: (720) 545-9191
Email: cheetham@advanced-space.com
Research Institution
 The Regents of the University of Colorado
 3100 Marine Street Room 479
Boulder, CO, 80303-1058
 Federally funded R&D center (FFRDC)

Distributed Spacecraft Missions (DSM) architectures provide unique scientific and programmatic benefits including multipoint in-situ measurements, multi-angle viewpoints, and improved understanding of the connections between separately measured phenomena and their time variations. However, these missions impose significant operational demands on ground tracking resources and mission operators alike, by adding to the population of space vehicles tracked and by increasing the volume and frequency of space communication contacts. Moving certain functions from the ground to the spacecraft can provide significant benefits for DSM operations, particularly for missions in Low Earth Orbit which can navigate using the Global Positioning System. The proposed innovation represents a breakthrough in this concept.

The PI of this proposal has developed and provided a proof-of-concept demonstration of a linearized solution to Lambert’s problem, enabling determination of a satellite’s orbit based on two observations of its location or constructing transfer orbits to change a satellite’s position. This linearized function may be transferred to the spacecraft itself, which could be used to automate DSM configuration updates and maintenance via a single spacecraft communication with the ground and further inter-satellite communication.

NASA has been advancing its Core Flight System to further the rapid development and integration of new applications to a common flight software system. In combination with cFS, an onboard software engine capable of employing a linearized solution of Lambert’s problem will yield a powerful and enabling application for a wide variety of missions using distributed spacecraft arrangements. Advanced Space is developing an open source, embedded software application for onboard maneuver planning and relative orbit determination that is compatible with Core Flight System and that enables DSMs to operate with increased autonomy.

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

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