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Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Draper Sponsors Student Space Engineering Program at the University of Alabama Huntsville

CAMBRIDGE, MA—Draper continued its commitment to the University of Alabama at Huntsville by granting $3,000 to the university’s InSPIRESS program. InSPIRESS, which stands for Innovative System Project for the Increased Recruitment of Emerging STEM Students, is an educational initiative for high school students interested in science, technology, engineering and math. This year high school students designed and developed a scientific payload for a spacecraft built by UAH students. In making the grant, Draper continued a commitment to introducing students to cutting-edge technology in industries spanning transportation, energy, engineering, technology, biomedicine, spaceflight and space exploration. “Draper’s core commitment to promoting and supporting advanced technical education for more than 85 years is unmatched worldwide, including right here in Huntsville. We are extremely proud that students at all levels have always been an integral part of Draper,” said Pete Paceley, general manager of Draper’s Huntsville, Alabama, office.

Draper awarded $3,000 to the University of Alabama at Huntsville to support its InSPIRESS program for high school and college students. (Credit: University of Alabama at Huntsville) The UAH project provided high school students with the opportunity to develop a scientific payload for a spacecraft built by UAH college students. (Credit: University of Alabama at Huntsville) Students attending the UAH’s InSPIRESS event meet with Pete Paceley, general manager of Draper’s Huntsville office. (Credit: University of Alabama at Huntsville)
Capabilities Used
Positioning, Navigation & Timing (PNT)

Draper develops novel PN&T solutions by combining precision instrumentation, advanced hardware technology, comprehensive algorithm and software development skills, and unique infrastructure and test resources to deploy system solutions. The scope of these efforts generally focuses on guidance, navigation, and control GN&C-related needs, ranging from highly accurate, inertial solutions for (ICBMs) and inertial/stellar solutions for SLBMs, to integrated Inertial Navigation System(INS)/GPS solutions for gun-fired munitions, to multisensor configurations for soldier navigation in GPS-challenged environments. Emerging technologies under development that leverage and advance commercial technology offerings include celestial navigation (compact star cameras), inertial navigation (MEMS, cold atom sensors), precision time transfer (precision optics, chip-scale atomic clocks) and vision-based navigation (cell phone cameras, combinatorial signal processing algorithms).

Autonomous Systems

Draper combines mission planning, PN&T, situational awareness, and novel GN&C designs to develop and deploy autonomous platforms for ground, air, sea and undersea needs. These systems range in complexity from human-in-the-loop to systems that operate without any human intervention. The design of these systems generally involves decomposing the mission needs into sets of scenarios that result in trade studies that lead to an optimized solution with key performance requirements.  Draper continues to advance the field of autonomy through research in the areas of mission planning, sensing and perception, mobility, learning, real-time performance evaluation and human trust in autonomous systems.

Fault-Tolerant Systems

Draper has developed mission-critical fault-tolerant systems for more than four decades. These systems are deployed in space, air, and undersea platforms that require extremely high reliability to accomplish challenging missions. These solutions incorporate robust hardware and software partitioning to achieve fault detection, identification and reconfiguration. Physical redundancy or multiple, identical designs protect against random hardware failures and employ rigor in evaluating differences in computed results to achieve exact consensus, even in the presence of faults. The latest designs leverage cost-effective, multicore commercial processors to implement software-based redundancy management systems in compact single-board layouts that perform the key timing, communication, synchronization and voting algorithm functions needed to maintain seamless operation after one, two or three arbitrary faults of individual components.

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