Rogue Space Systems reports joint research and development union with U.S. Air Force Research Lab
Rogue Space Systems Corporation has proudly announced it has entered into a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) Space Vehicles Directorate, Geospace Technologies Division.
The goal of the CRADA is to evaluate and develop more robust technologies for awareness of Resident Space Objects (RSOs) and their ongoing activities.
The CRADA, which was finalized in December 2020, focuses on research areas of combined sensing and propulsion capabilities, as well as enabling the examination of Commercial-Off-the-Shelf (COTS) components to determine their feasibility for future space applications on a proliferated architecture. This partnership will provide valuable technical expertise to Rogue from AFRL that will result in greater operational capabilities on future missions requiring multiple coordinated sensors. The coordination supports all the necessary keystone features for robotic operations in space such as precise navigation, close-proximity operations, sensor data correlation, and in-situ digital signal processing.
Rogue’s Laura Program aims to demonstrate the feasibility of a multi-sensor robotic cubesat platform for future satellite servicing operations. To demonstrate this feasibility Rogue will perform proximity operations involving RSOs including the ability to properly assess and respond to its local environment. In the case of the Laura Program, this is accomplished using on-board sensors and Artificial Intelligence (AI) capabilities.
Rogue has developed a 12U Cubesat, termed an OrbotTM (Orbital Robot). Each Orbot is equipped with several optical and RF-based capabilities, with the goal of analyzing the tumble behavior of an RSO, proximity inspection and remote sensing of the Orbot’s operational environment in space.
While Rogue Space Systems is primarily interested in demonstrating satellite logistics operations, the sensor technologies also enable advanced research into improved space domain awareness (SDA) activities and provide rapid lessons-learned; both of which are areas of interest to AFRL.
Rogue Space CEO Jeromy Grimmett stated that “the path of space commercialization requires services and support that are sustainable, affordable and that meet the needs of space operators today”. “The AFRL recognizes this need in the market and is supporting Rogue through this CRADA. This cooperation accelerates the development of our OrbotTM technologies so that we may deliver satellite servicing and transport solutions to the market quickly. This partnership will also increase collaboration between the defense and private sector which will be beneficial for all parties involved while improving knowledge bases and work in a time sensitive and efficient manner.”
“The commercial space industry is proliferating at an extremely rapid pace and AFRL is happy to partner with Rogue on understanding what the future of space looks like and what it will require logistically and scientifically. In many cases this sort of commercial/government agreement enables AFRL to solve DoD problems more efficiently and bring required capabilities to market more quickly.” said Dr. Jonah Colman, Space Environment Mission Lead at the AFRL Space Vehicles Directorate.