Masten Begins Flight Campaign in Mojave

Comments

Precision Landing Exploration Technology (PLANET) Demonstration

Flight Campaign Dates: November 5-15, 2012
Location: Mojave Air and Spaceport, Mojave CA
Flight Profiles: Simulated Martian and Lunar landing trajectories
Vehicle: XA-0.1B “Xombie” — Masten Space Systems
Flight Hardware: Guidance Embedded Navigator Integration Environment (GENIE) — Charles Stark Draper Laboratory

Goals

  • PLANET will mature Autonomous Guidance, Navigation, and Control (AGNC) technology required for precision lunar and planetary landing.
  • sRLV flights allow the AGNC to fly lunar/planetary-like landing trajectories exercising the system in the most relevant terrestrial environment.
  • Extends sRLV capabilities and enables broad range of future technology demonstrations for systems such as those needed for Autonomous Landing and Hazard Avoidance

Guidance Embedded Navigator Integration Environment (GENIE)
Charles Stark Draper Laboratory

The key enabler for PLANET is the Guidance Embedded Navigator Integration Environment(GENIE). GENIE is a stand-alone avionics package that controls the sRLV and houses the sensors and algorithms required to enable precision landing. GENIE is an autonomous flight control system designed to demonstrate planetary precision landing AGN&C and to facilitate the integration/demonstration of other landing technologies needed for exploration of planets, moons, and asteroids. GENIE provides a research flight control interface to test such follow on technologies as terrain relative navigation, autonomous hazard detection and autonomous flight management under real flight conditions.

XA-0.1B “Xombie”
Masten Space Systems

Xombie is a fully reusable vertical takeoff and vertical landing (VTVL) launch vehicle used for low speed and low altitude testing. The vehicle is equipped with a hypervisor that enables third party GN&C/avionics packages to control Xombie in flight while maintaining Mastenʼs GN&C as a supervisor and always-on safety net. The vehicle placed in the NASA funded Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge X Prize and has recently served as a landing systems test platform for Draper Laboratory and the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).

GENIE Technology Maturation

  • The technology is currently TRL5. GENIE will be TRL6
    after flying precision planetary/lunar landing trajectories at proper speeds and altitudes
  • Maturation Steps
    1. Adapt and integrate GENIE AGNC system to sRLV Flight Vehicle
    2. Perform series of flights demonstrating precision landing capability