NASA SBIR 2005 Solicitation


SUBTOPIC TITLE:Extravehicular (EVA) Radios
PROPOSAL TITLE:Reconfigurable, Digital EVA Radio

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
AeroAstro Corp.
20145 Ashbrook Place
Ashburn, VA 20147-3373
(617) 451-8630

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
James   Stafford
20145 Ashbrook Place
Ashburn, VA  20147-3373
(703) 723-9800

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
The nature of human exploration missions to the Moon and Mars demands a frequency-agile, reconfigurable, durable digital radio delivering telemetry, ranging, voice, video, and data, with low Size, Weight, and Power (SWAP), and easy operation in the demanding space environment of Extra Vehicular Activity (EVA). AeroAstro and Virginia Tech propose to continue development of the EVA radio, building upon work accomplished in Phase I, combining AeroAstro's history of creating efficient space technology solutions and Virginia Tech's experience and expertise in Software Defined Radio (SDR) technology. AeroAstro will design and fabricate a prototype demonstrating the key requirements of the EVA radio?reconfigurability and frequency agility. The prototype will incorporate an adaptable modular RF front end for frequency agility, and a transmultiplexer-based digital back end, capable of a full range of sophisticated wireless waveforms, through software-defined reconfiguration of the same physical hardware. The prototype will also exhibit innovative solutions to extending SDR architecture standards to the demands of space applications. The proposed innovations fill critical technological gaps and mesh with other promising technological developments, such as micromachined passive RF components and fault-tolerant reconfigurable electronics, not only assuring the safety and success of human space exploration missions, applicable to space applications in general.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Reconfigurability benefits all missions by providing graceful degradation of electronic systems after damage, and also enabling additional functionality. The improved safety achieved is essential to success. Failures result in loss of experiments, the mission, and even the astronauts' lives. Delays in restoring failed equipment to at least minimal functionality are intolerable. The demands of interplanetary travel are more difficult, beginning with Mars exploration missions, much longer in duration, thus increasing the likelihood of failure. There will be powerful contention over the allocation of resources. Compromises reducing spare parts are inevitable. Self-diagnosing, self-repairing systems enhance the success of these bold ventures.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
As stated earlier, this radio is very universal and would be applicable almost anywhere that radio communications are needed, although it is particularly targeted to those applications where ultra-high reliability is required. Any emergency service ? such as fire departments or police departments ? would be good candidates, where on-the-fly reconfigurability would allow them to interoperate amongst themselves. In addition, any military or government organization that requires a high-level communications network could benefit from the use of this radio. It will easily handle encrypted data, and its wide bandwidth would allow it to handle real-time video. Its frequency agility might be useful in wide frequency hopping systems for low-probability-of-intercept (LPI) communications or anti-jam systems (with appropriate software algorithms added).

NASA's technology taxonomy has been developed by the SBIR-STTR program to disseminate awareness of proposed and awarded R/R&D in the agency. It is a listing of over 100 technologies, sorted into broad categories, of interest to NASA.

Human-Computer Interfaces
Manned-Manuvering Units
Radiation-Hard/Resistant Electronics
Ultra-High Density/Low Power

Form Printed on 07-25-06 17:04