Publications

Design, Performance, and Responsiveness of a Low-Cost Micro-Satellite Launch Vehicle

Abstract: A configuration is presented for a low-cost Micro-Satellite Launch Vehicle (MSLV), the Mini-Sprite. This 3-stage configuration exploits Scorpius® technology that is largely developed: all-composite cryogenic tanks; pressure-fed, ablative, LOX/kerosene engines; a High Performance Pressurization System; and a GPS-based, “plug-and-play” avionics…

The Feasibility of Applying Plug-and-Play Concepts to Spacecraft Guidance, Navigation, and Control Systems to Meet the Challenges of Future Responsive Missions

Abstract: In this paper, a methodology for dramatically reducing the time required to build a complex system based on the self-organization of self-describing components is presented. In this “plug-and-play” approach, component services are exposed for use through mechanisms similar to…

Implementing Plug-and-Play Concepts in the Development of an Attitude Determination and Control System to Support Operationally Responsive Space

Abstract: Operationally Responsive Space (ORS) has become the mantra for the next generation spacecraft that will support the warfighter. ORS missions require an extension of the current, traditional approach for fine-tuned, high cost, high accuracy attitude determination and control system…

Hardware-in-the-Loop Tests Of An Autonomous GN&C System for On-Orbit Servicing

Abstract: Autonomous on-orbit servicing of satellites leads to a significant savings in mission life-cycle costs, especially for expensive satellites and for expensive satellite systems composed of many satellites, such as constellations or close formations. The ability to repair satellites, replace worn components, and resupply critical consumables,…

Autonomous Navigation and Autonomous Orbit Control in Planetary Orbits as a Means of Reducing Operations Cost

Abstract: Autonomous navigation and orbit control can provide both significant operations cost reduction and increased mission performance. By controlling the orbit to match a chosen reference, ground operations are significantly reduced and scheduling becomes highly predictable. In addition, the system uses less propellant than traditional…

Autonomous On-Board Orbit Control: Flight Results and Applications

Abstract: Microcosm, under Air Force Research Laboratory (Space Vehicles Directorate) and internal funding, developed and recently flew the first fully autonomous, on-board orbit determination and intrack and cross-track control system. Results show the technology maintaining in-track position to ± 1 km indefinitely while using less propellant…

The Sprite Mini-Lift Vehicle: Performance, Cost and Schedule Projections for the First of the Scorpius Low-Cost Launch Vehicles

Abstract: Scorpius® is a Microcosm program, under two Phase III Small Business Innovation Research contracts at the Air Force Research Laboratory, Space Vehicles Directorate. The Scorpius® program is to develop an entirely new launch vehicle family with the objective of reducing total launch…

Private, Commercial, and Student-Oriented Low-Cost Deep-Space Missions: A Global Survey of Activity

Abstract: Primary mission objectives for most deepspace missions to date have emphasized acquiring scientific data and expanding our understanding of the solar system; some contemporary missions target advanced technology demonstration with science as a secondary objective. All missions so far have been sponsored by one or more…