Florida Tech’s ORION Lab was selected as one of the 178 top participating teams from The AFWERX Space Challenge initiative to exhibit at EngageSpace, a virtual two-day event on Sept. 29-30.
The EngageSpace event will feature opportunities to connect, educate and innovate with other like-minded attendees, industry leaders, individual innovators, academia and investors, as well as military and government leaders. The entire event is designed to transform and accelerate the industry and enable government buyers to pursue the most promising innovative solutions to the most pressing and threatening Space scenarios.
AFWERX is the U.S. Air Force’s team of innovators who encourage and facilitate connections across industry, academia and the military to create transformative opportunities and foster a culture of innovation.
In the AFWERX Challenge, the ORION team will compete in the Space Asset Resiliency Challenge, which strives to increase the longevity of space assets by increasing their durability against the unique space environment and enemy threats.
“The solutions submitted for these space challenges represent the bleeding edge of space innovation,” said Brennan Townley, AFWERX Challenge collaboration lead. “We’re excited to highlight these innovators and connect them with opportunities across the space ecosystem.”
Innovation is a key facet of Florida Tech’s Orbital Robotics Interaction, On-orbit servicing and Navigation (ORION) Laboratory. Established in 2015, it is the center of Florida Tech’s research and teaching activities in spacecraft robotics and spacecraft guidance, navigation and control.
Featuring unique prototyping and simulation capabilities and a team of researchers with a diverse skillset, the ORION Lab is dedicated to experimental research for pushing the technical boundaries in spacecraft rendezvous and capture and spacecraft robotics.
“The multidisciplinary research team consisting of faculty, grad students and undergraduate students at all levels is constantly developing and testing prototypes for novel spacecraft robotics capabilities and novel approached to spacecraft guidance and control during rendezvous and proximity operations,” said Markus Wilde, lab director and an associate professor of aerospace engineering. “At the same time, the team is always working on improving and expanding the simulation capabilities.”
The team’s submitted solution is an augmented reality/virtual reality spacecraft operations environment which enables ground operators to control swarms of spacecraft as well as spacecraft operating in close proximity to servicing clients, debris objects or other space objects with a high degree of immersion, real-time responsiveness and situation awareness.
More information on the ORION Lab is available at http://floridatech.edu/orion.