Spacecraft technologies and subsystems focus on the platform for carrying payload, instruments, and other mission-oriented equipment in space.
Spacecraft & Robotic Technologies
Advanced propulsion and power can enable the next generation of high delta-v deep-space missions, thanks to high-performance power sources and energy storage systems.
Autonomy includes creating and optimizing spacecraft activity plans, executing nominal and critical activities, analyzing and interpreting data, assessing system health and environmental conditions, and diagnosing and responding to off-nominal situations.
Avionics and the flight software hosted within the avionics form the central nervous system and brain of the spacecraft, constantly monitoring the health of the system, keeping it working, and making decisions on what to do next.
Robotic systems with advanced mobility, manipulation/sampling, machine perception, path planning, controls, and command interfaces enable cheaper, safer, and more thorough exploration of planetary bodies.
Research in distributed spacecraft technologies, including control, modeling, tethers, ranging, and thrusters.
Survivable electronic and mechanical systems enable reliable operations under extreme radiation, temperature, pressure, and particulate conditions.