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Sponsor: NRL (Glen Henshaw)
Collaborators: Jim Paduano (Aurora Flight Sciences), Dave Miller (MIT)

figureIn the past several years the defense community has focused on Space Situational Awareness as a key technology requirement for future space operations. Current Space Situational Awareness operations involve fairly coarse imaging of a spacecraft of interest via telescope. However, several spacecraft capable of proximity operations with a host spacecraft for the purpose of collecting imagery have been flown. All of these spacecraft are relatively large (100 to 1000 kg range) and are intended to maneuver from spacecraft to spacecraft as needed to provide imagery. Such designs are relatively low-risk because they leverage well-developed spacecraft technologies, but have several disadvantages, including large resources, deployment time delay, and orbital limitations.

NRL’s proposed LIIVe vehicle, utilizing recent advances in understanding of sensorimotor architectures in invertebrates by the researchers at UMD’s Autonomous Vehicle Laboratory to achieve local state awareness, will be able to overcome these limitations.