Miniature Optical Guidance & Navigation

Period of Performance: 01/01/2015 - 12/31/2015

$1.49MM

Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Near Earth Autonomy
5001 Baum Blvd. Suite 750 Array
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
Principal Investigator

Abstract

Before beyond line-of-sight UAV operations can be permitted, three key requirements must be met. UAVs must be capable of safe flight without relying on a remote operator; they must be able to avoid static and moving obstacles; and must be able to guarantee accurate navigation in the absence of GPS. We propose a 24-month program to develop a family of miniature navigation and guidance solutions that enables safe flight without GPS, designed especially to meet a broad segment of greatest market potential. We will develop scalable solutions that can be easily integrated into a wide variety of UAVs. Specifically we are targeting a sensing/computing payload that ranges from 2 lb. in weight and $5,000 in manufacturing cost for the simpler missions, to 5 lb./$10,000 for complex missions. We will meet these targets by leveraging a large body of work in perception, planning and open architectures for UAVs conducted by our team over the past decade. Contingent on the success of the base Phase II program, we propose an option that broadens the scope of point-to-point flight to include two important capabilities?avoidance of other aircraft and incorporation of the constraints typical of remote inspection missions.