NASA SBIR 2007 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 07-1 O1.05-8647
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Reconfigurable/Reprogrammable Communication Systems
PROPOSAL TITLE: Low Power Universal Direct Conversion Transmit and Receive (UTR) RF Module for Software Defined Radios

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Space Micro, Inc.
10401 Roselle Street, Suite 400
San Diego, CA 92121 - 1056
(858) 332-0700

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
David J. Strobel
10401 Roselle Street, Ste 400
San Diego, CA 92121 - 1526
(858) 332-0702

Expected Technology Readiness Level (TRL) upon completion of contract: 2 to 4

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Conventional software defined radio (SDR) backend signal processors are limited by apriori system definitions and respectively chosen RF hardware. Ideally, the RF sections would be as flexible as the software backends, accommodating widely differing bands and modulation long after fabrication and mission launch; conventional RF tuners limit SDR space mission reconfigurability.
The innovation provides a post-launch universal direct RF transmit and receive modulator/demodulator module (UTR) One UTR can replace band specific RF devices otherwise needed for future missions. UTR's modular open architecture is as "reconfigurable" as its complementary digital SDR baseband processing (ADC/DAC's, FPGA's, DSP's).
The UTR facilitates communications, radar, narrow (bps) to ultrawideband (GHz) modulation, center frequencies scalable >100 GHz, herein UHF to Ka band. No DC power required for receive mode; novel wideband digital "DAC-less" direct to RF BPSK/QPSK modulation and power amplification is possible.
Rugged, radiation hard, reliable due to low active component count and mainstream manufacturing techniques (GaAs MMIC based). Enhanced performance and size leveraged via left handed metamaterials, MEM's switches, GaN and tunable ferroelectrics. Phase 1 UTR simulations, analysis and manufacturing preparation is followed by phase 2 UTR module fabrication (deliverable) and subsystem performance demonstration. TRL 5 expected at phase 2 completion.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The Space Micro innovative UTR for present and future "on-the-fly" reprogrammable SDR communications and radar systems is presented:
1 ~ 35+ GHz bidirectional direct to RF transmit or receive using the same hardware; scales >100 GHz
Direct Downconversion to baseband I and Q with no DC power to RF converter required
Direct to RF "DAC-less" BPSK/QPSK modulator
Novel modulated high power RF amplifier (option)
Metamaterial based left handed transmission lines enables smallest size
Fully monolithic GaAs and SiGe implementations possible
Tunable varactor or ferroelectric (BST) for select multiband optimizations
High reliability and low recurring cost - very low active parts count
MEM's filters and switches can further improve performance
Space Applications: S, X, Ku band SDST, STDN,SGLS,TDRSS, SDR CEV and EVA's
Narrowband, Wideband, Radar, Comms, UWB - every modulation format
Compatible with existing baseband software defined radio (SDR) processors

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
A family of commercial products will evolve from this SBIR R&D technology: Reconfigurable UTR RF modules capable of reconfigurable software defined radios spanning UHF to 35 GHz. While the first focus of these products is for NASA and other agencies requiring satellite electronics, the unique wideband RF capabilities directly address the contemporary wireless infrastructure serving multiple bands (WCDMA, GSM/EDGE, CDMA2000, WiMax, WiFi, etc). Wideband operation and low power are ideal for cognitive and mobile adaptive ad hoc networked (MANET) communications and UWB (802.16) based communications systems.

The proposed research will support many non-NASA commercial space applications. These range from commercial satellites (Space Systems Loral and Boeing platforms) to U.S. Department of Defense satellites (TSAT, next GPS block, Air Force ANGELS, etc.). In addition to satellites, DoD launch vehicles such as QuickReach (from AirLaunch LLC) will gain from the resulting product.

Another existing and now growing market for this technology is the electronic warfare (EW) and electronic attack (EA) marketplace, C4ISR applications focused primarily on DOD software defined radios (eg JTRS, AMF, etc), Homeland Defense initiatives. UWB micropower channel sounding and solid object "xray vision" including sense through wall Army CERDEC activities; and medical noninvasive imaging are also possible applications.

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
Guidance, Navigation, and Control
Radiation-Hard/Resistant Electronics
Telemetry, Tracking and Control
Ultra-High Density/Low Power

Form Generated on 09-18-07 17:50