Long-Endurance, Autonomous Vehicle Control

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Missile Defense Agency
Contract: HQ0006-04-C-7094
Agency Tracking Number: 031-1387
Amount: $749,998.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2004
Solicitation Year: 2003
Solicitation Topic Code: MDA03-102
Solicitation Number: 2003.1
Small Business Information
13766 S. Hawthorne Blvd., Hawthorne, CA, 90250
DUNS: 028281020
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Vice President
 (310) 679-2281
Business Contact
 R. Allen
Title: President
Phone: (310) 679-2281
Email: rwallen@systemstech.com
Research Institution
The work proposed here is the development of a prototype autonomous flight control system for the MDA High Altitude Airship (HAA). This large, unmanned airship will maintain station at up to 70,000 ft over a fixed point on earth for up to a year as a military or commercial sensor and telecom platform. Flight control design challenges include high sensitivity to the wind and limited power available for control effectors. The critical problem of station keeping at altitude has been partitioned into the Sub Thrust Limit (STL) regime where winds are low enough to maintain station with available thrust and the Post Thrust Limit (PTL) regime at higher wind levels. Phase I developments of a PTL control strategy that seeks to exploit features of the wind field will be further developed and assessed. This will involve the development of a "wind estimator" that fuses off-board forecasts and onboard wind sensor data. The wind estimator will interface with trajectory optimization algorithms configured to minimize energy consumption and station keeping error while enforcing control power and other constraints. These control, guidance and navigation system features will be extended to other mission phases including ascent, cruise, and descent.

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

Agency Micro-sites

SBA logo
Department of Agriculture logo
Department of Commerce logo
Department of Defense logo
Department of Education logo
Department of Energy logo
Department of Health and Human Services logo
Department of Homeland Security logo
Department of Transportation logo
Environmental Protection Agency logo
National Aeronautics and Space Administration logo
National Science Foundation logo
US Flag An Official Website of the United States Government