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Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Tech Transfer

SPHERES Autonomy and Identification Testbed, Phase II

Completed Technology Project

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SPHERES Autonomy and Identification Testbed, Phase II
Many future space missions involve formation flying spacecraft performing imaging, inspection, assembly, and servicing missions. Having multiple spacecraft in close proximity undergoing comparatively rapid maneuvers dramatically changes the nature of safe modes. No longer can a spacecraft just null its rates, point its arrays towards the Sun and phone home. Now, the faulty spacecraft must also ensure that it will not collide with others. Furthermore, it must plan its maneuvers such that if it does experience a fault, the likelihood of collision is minimized. Fault detection, isolation, and recovery (FDIR) is more complex and requires a vigilant on-board software watchdog that reacts to both intra-vehicle as well as inter-vehicle faults and plans according to the consequences. Payload Systems Inc. (PSI), along with it partners at MIT and Intellization, propose an Autonomy and Identification Testbed (SPHERES-AIT) based on the SPHERES platform. SPHERES is a multi-satellite docking laboratory to mature metrology, autonomy, and path-planning algorithms for AR&D in the risk-tolerant yet long duration micro-gravity inside the International Space Station (ISS). This work will mature a modular autonomy software architecture that supports on-orbit self-assembly and spacecraft formation flight using a coordinated terrestrial and ISS laboratory that supports spiral development. More »

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This is a historic project that was completed before the creation of TechPort on October 1, 2012. Available data has been included. This record may contain less data than currently active projects.