Stereo Vision for SPHERES-based Navigation and Monitoring

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: NNX12CD18P
Agency Tracking Number: 115826
Amount: $124,451.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2012
Solicitation Year: 2011
Solicitation Topic Code: O3.01
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
TX, San Antonio, TX, 78216-6363
DUNS: 193786014
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Eric Huber
 Principal Investigator
 (281) 461-7886
Business Contact
 David Kortenkamp
Title: President
Phone: (281) 461-7886
Research Institution
Maintenance operations and scientific research on the International Space Station (ISS) require active monitoring. Currently the majority of monitoring and recording of data is performed by the ISS crew. These tasks, albeit relatively passive, often consume large blocks of a crew member¿¿?s time. In the future, it would be desirable to offload much of this observational work onto experts and technicians on the ground, enabling the ISS crew members to focus on setup, control, and other tasks requiring greater dexterity. In addition, as recent events have shown, there exists a possibility that the ISS will be uncrewed for a period of time. Flight controllers will want to have views of the ISS in cases when there are no crew. Such a remote monitoring system must be capable of providing a wide variety of camera perspectives, covering the majority of ISS's interior. It would be impractical to gain adequate coverage using a network of mounted camera systems. MIT Space Systems Laboratory developed the SPHERES (Synchronized Position Hold Engage and Reorient Experimental Satellites) to provide a platform for conducting experiments with free-flying satellites in space. We propose to develop stereo-based visual navigation and human interaction algorithms that will increase the capabilities of SPHERES and demonstrate those algorithms using a ground-based simulator. This results in more efficient and safer operation of space vehicles and frees up crew and ground control resources.

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

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