Multi-Robot Planetary Exploration Architectures

Award Information
Agency:
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Amount:
$599,889.00
Program:
STTR
Contract:
NNX10CB56C
Solitcitation Year:
2008
Solicitation Number:
N/A
Branch:
N/A
Award Year:
2010
Phase:
Phase II
Agency Tracking Number:
080022
Solicitation Topic Code:
T1.01
Small Business Information
Aurora Flight Sciences Corporation
9950 Wakeman Drive, Manassas, VA, 20110-2702
Hubzone Owned:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
N
Duns:
604717165
Principal Investigator
 Jessica Duda
 Principal Investigator
 (617) 500-0552
 jduda@aurora.aero
Business Contact
 Scott Hart
Title: Financial Analyst
Phone: (617) 500-0536
Email: shart@aurora.aero
Research Institution
 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
 Michael Corcoran
 77 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA, 02139
 (617) 324-7210
 Domestic nonprofit research organization
Abstract
Space policy direction is shifting, particularly with respect to human goals. Given the uncertainty of future missions to the moon, Mars, and other bodies, a tool that allows for informed analysis of the option space is particularly relevant. Aurora Flight Sciences and MIT propose to further develop the Multi-Robot Planetary Exploration Architecture (MRPEA) methodology, a suite of software tools and analysis algorithms developed to provide decision aides to architecture planners of planetary surface exploration missions. MRPEA provides 1. A logical and graphical representation of the system space (e.g. interrelated decision variables with constraints), 2. Structural reasoning for rapid exploration of architectural spaces, 3. Simulation, and 4. Results viewing for a set of feasible architectures. Given the robots available or predicted to be available, the expected duration, and the mission goals, our methodology provides analysis results such as knowledge benefit-vs.-mass Pareto front graphs, to allow the designers to provide the best possible architecture for the planned mission or missions. The MRPEA analysis methodology primarily addresses the planning requirements of planetary surface missions, providing useful analyses of the many elements of the architectural decision space; in addition, the principles and techniques developed to analyze and select multi-robot architectures on planetary surfaces can also be applied to future fractional satellite systems, an area of increasing interest.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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