New DARPA challenge: develop algorithms for controlling satellites
March 8, 2012
DARPA is looking for teams or individuals to develop unique algorithms to control small satellites on board the International Space Station, Network World Layer 8 reports..
DARPA’s Zero Robotics Autonomous Space Capture Challenge, kicking off March 28, wants skilled programmers from around the world to develop a fuel-optimal control algorithm.
The algorithm must enable a satellite to accomplish a feat that’s very difficult to do autonomously: capture a satellite that’s tumbling, spinning or moving in the opposite direction, the agency stated.
DARPA’s Phoenix program aims to develop technologies that could one day help new spacecraft harvest and re-use valuable components from retired, nonworking satellites in geosynchronous orbit. DARPA says there are some 1,300 satellites worth over $300B sitting out in Earth’s geostationary orbit (GEO) that could be retrofitted or harvested for new communications roles.