NASA SBIR 2005 Solicitation


SUBTOPIC TITLE:Intelligent Modular Systems
PROPOSAL TITLE:Modular, Plug and Play, Distributed Avionics

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
MicroSat Systems, Inc.
8130 Shaffer Parkway
Littleton, CO 80127-4107
(303) 285-1722

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Jeff   Summers
8130 Shaffer Parkway
Littleton, CO  80127-4107
(303) 285-5153

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
The objective of this SBIR effort was to prove the viability of an Ethernet version of the MicroSat Systems, Inc. (MSI) modular, plug and play (PnP) spacecraft avionics architecture. This revolutionary architecture provides a near-term solution to modular, plug and play avionics while distributing power and data management functions on a single circuit allowing rapid interfacing to other satellite avionics such as the GSFC Space Cube. By integrating the MSI protocol converter technology with the ABET Technologies Digital Current System, MSI can provide a network with standardized attachment nodes that carries data and power on an Intelligent Power/Data Ring (IPDR).The IPDR network, which can host a variety of data protocols, currently implements a high speed SPA-S (SpaceWire) core to support the AFRL PnP efforts. It enables full PnP modularity reducing spacecraft integration and test to a few days. Since the system is implemented with a common set of nodes for every interface instead of custom cards in a card cage, the hardware costs are dramatically lower as well, only 40-60% of comparable centralized systems. Using commercial Ethernet parts integrated into the existing IPDR node processor and interface boards successful proof of concept testing was performed during Phase I. The transfer of Ethernet data frames was demonstrated into the IPDR ring via a peripheral Ethernet device, from one IPDR node to another, and finally back out of the ring to the external Ethernet device. Figure 1 shows the setup of the final node-to-node Ethernet communication test. Although this testing verified the fundamental functionality of Ethernet communication on the IPDR ring avionics, there is significant effort remaining to mature this into a flight worthy avionics architecture . The Phase II will investigate flight parts selection for the nodes, firmware development required to improve bandwidth, and flight qualification and delivery of a Ethernet version of an IPDR node.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
These efforts will lay the ground work enabling large quantity, rapid production of low cost satellites and satellite components. Successful completion of the Phase I will generate the impetus for more extensive inclusion of the Ethernet protocol into the emerging spacecraft standards effort within the DOD and NASA. In the near term MSI would consider demonstrating this technology on either the TacSat 3 or 4 flight experiments. Longer term, MSI currently plans to integrate the IPDR architecture as a standard feature in all its future small satellite products. For NASA applications, MSI is aggressively pursuing the "ST-X" series of experimental spacecraft and, following its first flight, plans for inclusion of its IPDR bus product in the RSDO database.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
MSI currently plans to integrate the IPDR architecture as a standard feature in all its future small satellite products. This would include potential application on all the TacSat series experiments and other responsive satellite procurements through the DOD.

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.

Architectures and Networks
Attitude Determination and Control
Computer System Architectures
Data Acquisition and End-to-End-Management
Data Input/Output Devices
Expert Systems
Guidance, Navigation, and Control
On-Board Computing and Data Management
Operations Concepts and Requirements
Power Management and Distribution
Radiation-Hard/Resistant Electronics
Telemetry, Tracking and Control
Testing Requirements and Architectures

Form Printed on 07-25-06 17:04