NASA SBIR 2007 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 07-1 O1.10-8605
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Surface Networks and Orbit Access Links

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
396 Fenton Lane, Suite 601
West Chicago, IL 60185 - 2687
(630) 293-7118

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Robert Knox
396 Fenton Lane, Suite 601
West Chicago, IL 60185 - 2687
(630) 293-7118

Expected Technology Readiness Level (TRL) upon completion of contract: 2 to 5

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
NASA GLENN RESEARCH CENTER in Topic O1.10 has identified the need to provide surface communications networks for human and robotic missions to explore the Moon and Mars. The network nodes will be located at fixed sites, as well as on robotic vehicles and on humans that are moving about on the surface. The purpose is for relatively short range, but highly reliable, support of bi-directional voice, video and data services. Such nodes will be attached to sensors, other devices, Rover robots, access network terminals and humans. The requirement for low cost means that the hardware should leverage available and emerging commercial off-the-shelf technology (COTS) to the extent possible.

The work completed under topic O1.10 is intended to be compatible and integrated with results from other topics. Understanding that this topic includes requirements for the integration of a number of communication and networking technologies, proposed herein is a self-healing, ad hoc, disruption tolerant network, including protocols for intelligent, autonomous link management and reliability. For purposes of the Phase I demonstration, the wireless network will operate at 60 GHz, and utilize emerging commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) technology for cost minimization.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Since the band around 60 GHz has already been authorized by the FCC and other international spectrum regulatory bodies for unlicensed operation, the potential market is huge, even beyond the application listed in this topic. All manner of short to medium range secure communications may be enhanced with this technology.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Many applications exist for such a network system in the commercial, industrial markets. An example of this use is in a large office where personal computers in various cubicles are networked via a wireless link to a hard-wired node in the ceiling of the room. Each computer would have a node with direct wireless link to the ceiling node. The computers can be moved about as needed with no need for hard wiring. A similar situation applies to a manufacturing factory room where various machines have a node connected via wireless link to a node in the ceiling. This allows control inputs or data outputs from theses machines to be connected in real time to a central operational control station for the company. Many possible outdoor applications for such a network also exist replacing other wireless systems that are bandwidth limited. Examples include networks of sensors, communication among teams of explorers, researchers, etc.

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.


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