Autonomous Multi-Robot Exploration using UWB

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: NNX12CG29P
Agency Tracking Number: 110238
Amount: $124,914.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Awards Year: 2012
Solicitation Year: 2011
Solicitation Topic Code: T8.01
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
TDC Acquisition Holdings, Inc.
4955 Corporate Drive, Suite 101, Huntsville, AL, 35805-6208
DUNS: 962708173
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Brandon Dewberry
 Principal Investigator
 (256) 990-8995
 brandon.dewberry@timedomain.com
Business Contact
 Anthony Buszka
Title: CFO
Phone: (256) 759-0486
Email: tony.buszka@timedomain.com
Research Institution
 University of Alabama Huntsville
 Barbara Curza
 301 Sparkman Drive
Huntsville, AL, 35805-1911
 () -
 Domestic nonprofit research organization
Abstract
Single multi-sensor teleoperated systems are not optimal for NASA exploratory missions because they limit the coverage area and scope of exploration and create a single point for mission failure. A better solution would use many robots cooperating to maximize exploration area and location accuracy while minimizing total system power and weight. The goal of this research is to investigate pulsed-RF Ultra Wideband (UWB) technology for its ability to simultaneously provide enhanced ad hoc wireless communication, distributed precision navigation/localization, and radar sensing. The ultimate goal is development of a subsumed navigation layer providing a straightforward mechanism for distributed autonomous guidance algorithms to quickly detect, share, and adapt to changes in the environment using novel distributed navigation controls.Pulsed-RF UWB supports simultaneous communications, peer-to-peer precision ranging, and multi-static radar. Using this single basis technology will enable more and smaller exploratory agents. Using UWB would solve communication and localization issues, while providing the added benefit of radar sensing and imaging. Larger spatial areas would be more accurately explored with lower power/weight/volume and with much greater system redundancy.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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