AggieSat: Autonomous Rendezvous and Docking Technology Demonstrator

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: NNX09CF69P
Agency Tracking Number: 080028
Amount: $99,998.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Awards Year: 2009
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
1665 E. 18th Street, Suite 112, Tucson, AZ, 85719
DUNS: 058268652
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Helen Reed
 Principal Investigator
 () -
 reed@aeromail.tamu.edu
Business Contact
 Kevin Kremeyer
Title: Business Official
Phone: (520) 903-2345
Research Institution
 Texas Engineering Experiment Station
 Office of Sponsored Research, 3000 TAMU
College Station, TX, 77843-3000
 (979) 458-7617
 Nonprofit college or university
Abstract
Current autonomous rendezvous and docking (AR&D) capability in low Earth orbit (LEO) is constrained by sensor and effector mass, power, and accuracy limits. To this end, NASA Johnson Space Center has developed a GPS receiver, called DRAGON (Dual RF Astrodynamic GPS Orbital Navigator), specifically to address the sensor constraints. The proposed innovation includes creating a small, low-cost, and versatile technology demonstrator to validate and increase the technology readiness level of DRAGON and other state-of-the-art miniaturized sensors and effectors in an on-orbit AR&D operational scenario. For Phase 1, a demonstration platform will be developed that utilizes two picosatellites in LEO, and relative GPS as the primary sensor. These satellites will be launched as a single unit from the SSPL (Space Shuttle Payload Launcher) on STS 127, then separate and transmit DRAGON GPS data. The picosatellite technology demonstrator will be at a TRL of 7 at the end of Phase 1. For Phase 2, the demonstration platform will be further developed to further validate DRAGON, and validate IMU sensors, a 1st generation reaction control system, a 1st generation guidance navigation and control system, communication links, and an undocking mechanism.

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

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