Autonomous Navigation in GNSS-Denied Environments

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: NNX13CL48P
Agency Tracking Number: 120048
Amount: $124,952.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Awards Year: 2013
Solicitation Year: 2012
Solicitation Topic Code: T5.01
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
Aurora Flight Sciences Corporation
MA, Cambridge, MA, 02142-1494
DUNS: 604717165
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Terrence McKenna
 Aerospace Controls Engineer
 (617) 500-4838
 tmckenna@aurora.aero
Business Contact
 Scott Hart
Title: Financial Analyst
Phone: (617) 500-4892
Email: shart@aurora.aero
Research Institution
 University of Maryland
 Antoinette Lawson
 3112 Lee Building
College Park, MD, 20742-20742
 () -
 Domestic nonprofit research organization
Abstract
Aurora proposes to develop a vision-based subsystem for incorporation onto Mars vehicles in the air (VTOL) and on the ground. NOAMAD will be an embedded hardware device with associated firmware for payloadlimited UAVs, performing autonomous navigation, obstacle avoidance, guidance using bio-inspired methods, and communication of information between agents within the autonomous team. NOAMAD will transition University of Maryland methods for insect-inspired, lightweight, vision- and optical sensor-based navigation methods into a subsystem that enables expansion of the exploratory capability of the vehicles on which it is installed. The subsystem will provide (1) localization (without a global navigation system or compass) using optic-flow based odometry combined with landmark detection, (2) obstacle detection and avoidance using optic flow, and (3) autonomous guidance using position information together with bio-inspired behaviors. Taken together, these functions will allow air and ground vehicles to work together to achieve progressively refined maps of an exploration region.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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