By Simone D'Amico August 19, 2016
SLAB has been selected by NASA to collaborate on the development and demonstration of new technologies and capabilities for small spacecraft. SLAB will be working with engineers and scientists from NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) and Tyvak Nano-Satellite Systems on a two-year project called:"Precision GNSS-Based Navigation and Timekeeping for Miniaturized Distributed Space Systems". The official news coverage by the NASA Small Spacecraft Technology Program (SSTP) is available here.
The project consists in the development and demonstration of a distributed multi-Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) timing and localization system to enable future distributed mission concepts. The goal is to provide unprecedented precision real-time absolute and relative navigation capabilities to formations of nano-satellites using signals offered by modern GNSS. The proposed system consists of a plug-in-ready hardware/software unit capable of integration with most satellites to provide peer-to-peer decentralized navigation accuracy at the centimeter-level over separations up to hundreds of kilometers. The size of the integrated device is 0.5 cubesat units. The project leverages algorithms and software developed by the proposing team and demonstrated on formation-flying missions such as PRISMA and MMS.