Draper Multi-Environment Navigator (DMEN) Suborbital Rocket Campaign

PI: Brett Streetman, Courtney Mario (Co-I), Draper Laboratory Inc.

The Draper Multi-Environment Navigator (DMEN) is an entry, descent, and landing (EDL) solution designed to give crewed missions accurate wayfaring and location data needed for safe and accurate lunar and planetary landings. Weighing just 3 kg, the technology consists of a suite of sensors (camera, inertial measurement unit, and magnetometer), along with sensor circuitry, a computer, and a powerful set of algorithms to process the sensor data for navigation. The algorithms include tightly coupled visual-inertial odometry and visual terrain-based absolute positioning.

Technology Areas (?)
  • TA09 Entry, Descent and Landing Systems
Problem Statement

As exploration reaches farther into our solar system, both human missions and a multitude of smaller craft will need to perform EDL to complete their mission. A small, reliable navigation package is a necessary technology. The objective of this experiment is to collect in-environment data from a high altitude while running algorithms.

Technology Maturation

The Draper package has achieved TRL 6-7 for both ground and low-altitude operations, but the descent portion of EDL is at TRL 4 until it can be tested in a relevant environment. Suborbital flights will allow for the collection and validation of algorithms in this environment, which would advance the system to TRL 5.

Future Customers

• NASA missions, notably Artemis—DMEN algorithms are planned for use in Commercial Lunar Payload Services flights
• Human and robotic missions that include a landing component

Technology Details

  • Selection Date
    TechFlights19 (Oct 2019)
  • Program Status
  • Current TRL (?)
    Successful FOP Flights
  • 0 sRLV

Development Team

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