Expanding Hardware-in-the-Loop Formation Navigation and Control with Radio Frequency Crosslink RangingThe Formation Flying Testbed (FFTB) at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) provides a hardware-in-the-loop test environment for formation navigation and control. The facility continues to evolve as a modular, hybrid, dynamic simulation facility for end-to-end guidance, navigation, and control (GN&C) design and analysis of formation flying spacecraft. The core capabilities of the FFTB, as a platform for testing critical hardware and software algorithms in-the-loop, are reviewed with a focus on recent improvements. With the most recent improvement, in support of Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 6 testing of the Inter-spacecraft Ranging and Alarm System (IRAS) for the Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) mission, the FFTB has significantly expanded its ability to perform realistic simulations that require Radio Frequency (RF) ranging sensors for relative navigation with the Path Emulator for RF Signals (PERFS). The PERFS, currently under development at NASA GSFC, modulates RF signals exchanged between spacecraft. The RF signals are modified to accurately reflect the dynamic environment through which they travel, including the effects of medium, moving platforms, and radiated power.
Mitchell, Jason W. (Emergent Space Technologies, Inc. Greenbelt, MD, United States)
Barbee, Brent W. (Emergent Space Technologies, Inc. Greenbelt, MD, United States)
Baldwin, Philip J. (Emergent Space Technologies, Inc. Greenbelt, MD, United States)
Luquette, Richard J. (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD, United States)
August 24, 2013
September 24, 2007
Publication: Proceedings of the 20th International Symposium on Space Flight Dynamics