Autonomous Fault-Tolerant Guidance, Navigation and Control System for Automated Rendezvous and Docking

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: F29601-01-C-0170
Agency Tracking Number: 011NM-0404
Amount: $99,051.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2001
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
500 West Cummings Park, Suite 3000, Woburn, MA, 01801
DUNS: 859244204
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Pablo Arambel
 Research Engineer
 (781) 933-5355
Business Contact
 Raman Mehra
Title: President
Phone: (781) 933-5355
Research Institution
An essential element of autonomous satellite servicing is a fully Autonomous Rendezvous and Docking (ARD) system. Precision ARD capability is required for the DARPA-ASTRO, NASA-MSR, and International Space Station missions, among others. We propose todevelop a hierarchical ARD system with a top-level supervisory controller and two low-level interconnected subsystems: (i) failure detection, identification, and state estimation (FDISE) subsystem, and (ii) guidance, navigation and control (GNC) subsystem.An Interacting Multiple-Model Kalman filter is used for failure detection, identification, and navigational filtering of video guidance system, laser radar sensor, and other sensor data. The GNC subsystem consists of a suite of controllers designed to meetsafety and performance requirements. The top-level supervisor coordinates sensor management, GNC mode switching, fault-tolerant reconfiguration and other event-driven functionalities. Phase I work will demonstrate feasibility through a detailed simulation.A hardware-in-the-loop testbed for supervised autonomy will be developed in Phase II. NASA-JPL GNC group under the guidance of Dr. Fred Hadaegh will provide technical support during all Phases of the project based on their previous and ongoing work for theMars Sample Return mission.Autonomous rendezvous and docking system is directly applicable to satellite servicing and re-supply. Vision-based GNC are applicable to underwater exploration and mining, autonomous automobiles, manufacturing, telerobotics,electronic toys, and cinematography. These applications represent a vast untapped market for the technologies developed.

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

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