NASA STTR 2005 Solicitation


RESEARCH SUBTOPIC TITLE:Information Technologies for System Health Management, Autonomy, and Scientific Exploration
PROPOSAL TITLE:Triple3 Redundant Spacecraft Subsystems (T3RSS)

NAME: Redefine Technologies NAME:The Regents of the University of Colorado
ADDRESS:44 Linn Lane ADDRESS:UCB 572, 3100 Marine Street, Room 481
CITY:Golden CITY:Boulder
STATE/ZIP:CO  80403-9708 STATE/ZIP:CO  80309-0572
PHONE: (720) 317-5182 PHONE: (303) 492-6221

Steve   Wichman

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT ( Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
T3RSS is the system engineer's tool that allows a systematic approach to ensuring that even if one or more failures occur in a single component or subsystem, then the subsystem will continue to function and most, if not all, mission objectives can still be achieved. T3RSS does this by using a Configuration Manager for a Dynamically Reconfigurable System (CMDRS). This piece of logic employs a Mission Survivability Assurance Algorithm (MSAA) for the subsystem. Should radiation, manufacturing or even launch damage render a particular region of the FPGA temporarily or permanently unusable while on orbit, then the MSAA can shift the critical logic to a new region, or even to a new FPGA altogether. The shifting logic uses a network of components to maintain the ability of each logic block to communicate with the required memory and hardware. Ensuring that needed logic is always available ensures that the satellite can maintain 100% mission survivability even during failures.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS ( Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Mr. Clint Patrick is the Reconfigurable Computing point of contact for NASA at Marshall Space Flight Center. He currently leads two programs that may benefit from the research that Redefine Technologies is doing with T3RSS. He has expressed his full support of our research in an attached letter.

The first program, Fault Tolerant Avionics, is researching the feasibility of including a single, reconfigurable FPGA as a 'common spare'. This spare would be a backup for the other avionics boards on the aircraft: if one goes down, the functionality of that system would be passed to the spare to take over in real-time. The T3RSS concept is directly applicable to this program because the same goals are being investigated.

The second program is in support of Radiation-Hardened Electronics for Space Exploration (RHESE). Their self-training, autonomous, neural network is currently configured to run on powerful CPUs. The speed and power savings of moving this processing to logic would mean better performance out of the network, however, the size of each neuron implies that a 'shifting' or 'time-multiplexing' of logic within each FPGA would be needed. The on-demand and priority-driven algorithms developed for T3RSS to ensure the modules are where they're needed, when they're needed, could be the enabling technology for the redesign of this system.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS ( Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
10.2 Potential Military Applications
The Air Force's Operationally Responsive Space (ORS) is an initiative to build the technologies required to have a more reactive space industry. The goal is to integrate the spacecraft and payload, select and load software, charge battery, fuel spacecraft, integrate to launch vehicle, and launch with eight days. While this capability is far in the future, the technologies and methodologies are being developed today. They've taken first steps towards this goal (i.e. satellite developed within 12 months). However, one of the biggest delays was testing and validating hardware and software. T3RSS can help in both validating a hardware configuration as well as giving the developers a chance to quickly add new capabilities that didn't exist before.

10.3 Potential Non-NASA Commercial Applications
Space Micro Inc. and Design_Net Engineering have expressed interest in the T3RSS concept. All three commercial manufacturers use FPGAs in their civil, military and commercial space programs. All three would benefit from an increased survivability rate that they can advertise with their products.

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.

On-Board Computing and Data Management
Radiation-Hard/Resistant Electronics
Simulation Modeling Environment
Telemetry, Tracking and Control
Testing Requirements and Architectures

Form Printed on 01-23-07 12:19