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Center Innovation Fund: JSC CIF

Future Autonomous and Automated Systems Testbed

Completed Technology Project

Project Description

Project Image   Future Autonomous and Automated Systems Testbed

Trust is the greatest obstacle to implementing greater autonomy and automation (A&A) in the human spaceflight program. The Future Autonomous and Automated Systems Testbed (FAAST) is an R/C helicopter-based system being developed by the Aeroscience and Flight Mechanics Division (EG) as a low-cost, low-risk, hands-on way for customers (program management, crew, and operators) to become familiar with and build trust in A&A systems, and as a platform for engineers to quickly and cheaply test A&A architectures and algorithms.  An early goal of this project is the development of an autonomous GN&C system, a key component of which is access to suitable sensor hardware. In this project we requested funds to procure navigation sensors (e.g. MEMS IMU, GPS receiver, LIDAR, etc.) in support of this effort.

It is also envisioned as a platform for building trust in A&A systems among key stakeholders such as program/project management, crew members, and operators. We researched and procured navigation sensors (e.g. MEMS IMU, GPS receiver, LIDAR, etc.) and integrated them into the helicopter platform, with the objective of performance suitable for autonomous waypoint navigation. The intended product of this activity is the development of a prototype navigation system that will form the navigation backbone of FAAST. Upon completion of this project's work, FAAST will have a functioning navigation system suitable for enabling future A&A research objectives, including autonomous rendezvous and docking, and autonomous take-off and landing.

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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.