Advanced Spacecraft Navigation and Timing Using Celestial Gamma-Ray Sources

Award Information
Agency:
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch
n/a
Amount:
$124,985.00
Award Year:
2012
Program:
SBIR
Phase:
Phase I
Contract:
NNX12CE15P
Award Id:
n/a
Agency Tracking Number:
114269
Solicitation Year:
2011
Solicitation Topic Code:
O4.02
Solicitation Number:
n/a
Small Business Information
155 East Owasso Lane, Shoreview, MN, 55126-3034
Hubzone Owned:
N
Minority Owned:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
788542905
Principal Investigator:
Suneel Sheikh
Principal Investigator
(651) 484-2084
sheikh@asterlabs.com
Business Contact:
Suneel Sheikh
Business Official
(651) 484-2084
sheikh@asterlabs.com
Research Institution:
Stub




Abstract
The proposed novel program will use measurements of the high-energy photon output from gamma-ray celestial sources to design a new, unique navigation system. This Gamma-ray source Localization-Induced Navigation and Timing, or "GLINT", concept provides deep-space vehicles the capability for self-navigation based upon measurements from observations of these source signals. In the past, gamma-ray sources have been coarsely localized on the sky. The Swift mission now provides high-precision source localizations, allowing the potential inversion of the differential timing problem to independently constrain the positions of spacecraft with gamma-ray detection equipment. A comprehensive study is proposed of the necessary characteristics for navigation of the high-energy (Ephoton>20 keV) celestial sources and the associated detectors used to collect their signal, detailed development of the algorithms and filters used to process the source signals and vehicle trajectory data, architecture design of an operational system, and an assessment of the potential performance and benefits directly for future deep-space exploration missions. Both on-board self-navigation techniques and post-processed techniques will be studied. Extensive simulation incorporating existing source observational data and orbit trajectory programs, including publicly available NASA software tools will provide a basis for our analysis and performance assessment.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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