Aurora Flight Systems Gets DARPA F6 Satellite Contract

The System F6 space architecture replaces the traditional monolithic spacecraft with a wireless "virtual spacecraft" operating as a cluster of modules.

AURORA PR Cambridge, MA, June 28, 2011 – Aurora Flight Sciences announced its selection by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) for the System F6 fractionated spacecraft program. Over the next thirty months, Aurora will develop and verify algorithms, software, protocols, interfaces and reference implementations that can be deployed in future spacecraft. Aurora’s team includes the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Lockheed Martin’s Advanced Technology Center, and the University of Maryland.

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Aurora Wins SBIR, STTR Awards for Mars and CubeSat Sample Return Technology

Aurora Flight Sciences Corporation was one of the big winners when NASA announced its intention to negotiate SBIR and STTR agreements earlier this month. Four of the company’s SBIR proposals were among those chosen for negotiations along with an STTR proposal.

One of the SBIRs involves a collaboration with MIT to develop a system to capture a Martian sample return capsule launched from the surface of the Red Planet for a NASA mission. The STTR proposal is a collaboration with the Georgia Institute of Technology Center for Space Systems to develop a system to allow small small probes to return experiments from Earth orbit.

Details for both projects are shown below. I’ve also included information about three other SBIR projects that include an ISS battery recharging system, catalytic combustors for very high altitude air-breathing propulsion, and propulsion control sampling algorithms.

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Aurora Flight Systems Wins NASA Deal for Space Nuclear Reactors

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Aurora Flight Sciences announced today that the company has been selected for a NASA Phase II award to develop technology to support autonomous control and protection of space-based nuclear reactor systems.

Aurora will be developing an advanced reactor instrumentation and control system (RICS) for robotic and manned space vehicles and planetary surface systems.

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Aurora Wins Contract for Mobile Robot Planetary Exploration Software

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Aurora Flight Sciences announced today that the company, MIT’s Manned Vehicle Laboratory (MVL), and the MIT Humans and Automation Laboratory (HAL) recently won a NASA Small-Business Technology Transfer Research proposal to develop a software system that performs command and control of a diverse team of mobile robots, operating in a variety of control modes, to perform multi-agent planetary exploration.

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