Welcome to Kalman Filter Design

The Bandit Program

Washington University has committed itself to furthering small responsive spacecraft development within the aerospace community with its Bandit/Akoya program. It is an excellent example of just such a responsive spacecraft featuring a host vehicle and a small specialized vehicle which can be attached separately. The Bandit mission was developed for the AFRL/NASA/AIAA Nanosat-4 University Satellite Competition. It is a demonstration mission for on orbit servicing and docking. The concept is one larger host spacecraft which contains most of the hardware, communications capabilities, and fuel, and a smaller drone spacecraft which detaches from the host orbits around it and then reattaches at the end of the mission. The mission is scalable and will hopefully, in the future, accommodate multiple drone spacecrafts at once. satellite
This idea breaks new ground in small satellite missions and has potential future benefits in a many aspects of spaceflight. Small drone spacecrafts can be used in inspection and surveillance, flying around the host and sending back photos and data detailing the condition of the craft. A small drone may also be useful for refueling, attaching to a nearby craft and depositing extra fuel. Ideally it could be used for on-orbit servicing and repair. If the technology ever advanced far enough the drones may be able to perform basic repairs to damages found on inspection. In addition to future benefits, this mission also has immediate applications in proximity operations of multiple spacecrafts, responsive spacecraft design, and most importantly passive navigation around unknown objects.