Autonomous Threat Detection for Space Systems

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA9453-10-M-0163
Agency Tracking Number: F093-087-1051
Amount: $99,957.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2010
Solicitation Year: 2009
Solicitation Topic Code: AF093-087
Solicitation Number: 2009.3
Small Business Information
6 Market St. Suite 926, Plainsboro, NJ, 08536
DUNS: 805686870
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Stephanie Thomas
 Chief Engineer
 (609) 275-9606
Business Contact
 Michael Paluszek
Title: President
Phone: (609) 275-9606
Research Institution
The Air Force requires autonomous flight software threat and anomaly detection and isolation algorithms to support the process of on-board event detection, planning, and task execution in order to enhance satellite responsiveness. We propose developing a sensor suite and estimation algorithms for autonomously detecting and tracking an orbital threat onboard a tactical satellite. The algorithms will make use of a hemispherical field of view multi-spectral telescope using large format APS sensors and a laser for target illumination. This will provide sensing in all lighting conditions. The proposed sensor would be on an articulated base allowing for on-orbit calibration and tracking of moving targets without rotating the spacecraft. The algorithms would integrate these measurements with measurements from other sources such as on-board radar, ground based radar and telescopes. The package would include Unscented Kalman Filters for state estimation and detection filters for maneuver detection. BENEFIT: This proposal is addressing Space Superiority and Responsive Space missions. The initial target customer for this technology is the Space Superiority Office of SMC. The anticipated benefit is specific recommendations and sensor requirements for improved space situational awareness and rapid threat detection. A conceptual design of a new hemispherical multispectral sensor will be completed. Threat state estimates are a necessary input to any evasive maneuvering in the event of an impending collision. Therefore this innovation makes an autonomous onboard collision avoidance system feasible for a range of spacecraft. The associated technologies would be applicable to many NASA missions particularly those that are in deep space where bandwidth limitations are inhibitors to responsiveness. The sensors proposed provide excellent space situational awareness for multivehicle manned or robotics missions, for instance satellite servicing and docking.

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

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