This web page's content and links are no longer actively maintained. It is available for reference purposes only. NASA Official: Cynthia Cheung

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ANTS: Autonomous NanoTechnology Swarm



An ANTS application for survey of large dynamic populations. 1000 spacecraft swarm travel to asteroid belt (1)
10 types of ‘specialists’ with common spacecraft bus (2)
10 subswarms, ~100 spacecraft each, ~10 each specialist
Asteroids not preselcted but ‘targets of opportunity’ (3)
Solar sail propulsion system requiring no expendables
Small nuclear batteries meet 100’s mWatt power requirement
Designs applicable to low G environments less than 3.5 AU
Primary objective is the exploration of the asteroid belt in search of resources and material with astrobiologically relevant origins and signatures (4)

ANTS Application: PAM, Prospecting Asteroid Mission

Time Frame: 2020-2025, MEMS-NEMS
Environment: Space, Low G, Low density dynamic population
Power: 100 mWatt Battery Energy Source
Material: 1kg, 100 m2/kg
Locomotion: Solar Sail
Challenges: Rapid reconfiguability of sails and subsystems attitude control required for science operations for 10 dynamic objects simultaneously

Attitude Control: Using Sail or Surface Self-Configuration

Sail achieves dynamic attitude control through capability for dynamic change in its morphology, thus changes the effective area and distribution of solar reflectivity to change its acceleration and momentum vectors to achieve required orbit and orientation.


Deploying Structure

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PAM: Biologically Inspired Engineering...
The ANTS Mission Architecture and its Application to the PAM Mission Concept
The ANTS Mission Architecture and PAM Mission Concept
A Briefing on Current Status for the RASC Project
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