Autonomous Satellite Servicing to Increase Effective Mission Life

Period of Performance: 04/27/2001 - 03/29/2002


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Princeton Satellite Systems
6 Market St. Suite 926
Plainsboro, NJ 08536
Principal Investigator


There is a growing interest in autonomous on-orbit servicing of satellites among military and commercial segments. Autonomous on-orbit servicing can increase mission flexibility and mission life. Additionaly, there is a potential for reductions in life cycle cost. This proposal is for a novel robotics vision based autonomous rendezvous and docking system for military and commercial satellites. The Satellite Servicing Vehicle (SSV) is capable of docking with both cooperative and uncooperative targets. When the target is cooperative, the system uses an intersatellite link (ISL) to facilitate coordination between the two vehicles. Additionally, the SSV is capable of inspecting the target satellite by using the vision system used for docking. The software architecture is based on the PSS ObjectAgent agent-based distributed control software architecture.Increase mission flexibility, increased mission life and reduced life cycle costs.