AggieSat: Autonomous Rendezvous and Docking Technology Demonstrator

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: NNX10CB65C
Agency Tracking Number: 080028
Amount: $599,999.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: STTR
Awards Year: 2010
Solicitation Year: 2008
Solicitation Topic Code: T6.01
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
1665 E. 18th Street, Suite 112, Tucson, AZ, 85719-6808
DUNS: 058268652
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Helen Reed
 Principal Investigator
 (979) 589-1321
 helen.reed@tamu.edu
Business Contact
 Kevin Kremeyer
Title: Business Official
Phone: (520) 520-2345
Email: kremeyer@physics-math.com
Research Institution
 Texas Engineering Experiment Station (TEES)
 Helen Reed
 1470 William D. Fitch Parkway
College Station, TX, 77843
 (979) 458-7616
 Domestic nonprofit research organization
Abstract
Current autonomous rendezvous and docking (AR&D) capability in low Earth orbit (LEO) is constrained by sensor and effector mass, power, and accuracy limits. To this end, NASA Johnson Space Center has developed a GPS receiver, called DRAGON (Dual RF Astrodynamic GPS Orbital Navigator), specifically to address the sensor constraints. The proposed innovation includes creating a small, low-cost, and versatile technology demonstrator to validate and increase the technology readiness level of DRAGON and other state-of-the-art miniaturized sensors and effectors in an on-orbit AR&D operational scenario. For Phase 1, a demonstration platform was developed that utilizes two picosatellites in LEO, and relative GPS as the primary sensor. These satellites were launched as a single unit from the SSPL (Space Shuttle Payload Launcher) on STS 127, to separate and transmit DRAGON data. The picosatellite technology demonstrator was at a TRL of 7 at the end of Phase 1. For Phase 2, NASA plans a second flight, and the technical objectives are to further characterize the DRAGON receiver and develop navigational solutions using DRAGON data. Additional technologies addressed include the development of a simple low-cost, low-mass three-axis stabilization and pointing system for small satellites, WiMax transceiver capabilities, and video camera capabilities. The technologies should be at a TRL of 6 at the end of Phase 2.

* 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