NASA SBIR 2008 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 08-2 O4.01-9264
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Metric Tracking of Launch Vehicles
PROPOSAL TITLE: Tracking Launch Vehicles in Interference and Jamming

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
MARK Resources, Inc.
3878 Carson Street, Suite 210
Torrance, CA 90503 - 6707
(310) 543-4746

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Stephen Hershkowitz
3878 Carson Street, Suite 210
Torrance, CA 90503 - 6707
(310) 543-4746

Expected Technology Readiness Level (TRL) upon completion of contract: 4 to 5

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
During the Phase I program, MARK Resources very successfully demonstrated the feasibility of using several distributed small and simple FRPAs that do not need to be precisely arranged, to suppress wideband interference and/or jamming and to provide sufficiently accurate and timely position and velocity measurements from the C/A code for launch vehicle range safety, antenna pointing, and attitude determination. The new technology, demonstrated via software simulation, is compatible with existing launch-capable GPS antennas and receiver hardware, and requires the addition of cabling and a common processor (and can accommodate channel mismatch in the receivers or added hardware). The processing load for jammer suppression is small, less than that for GPS signal tracking.
The Phase I program employed signal simulation at the intermediate frequency (IF) of the receivers, after digitization. During Phase II, we propose to develop a demonstration unit consisting of launch-compatible antenna and receiver hardware plus processing software; and to measure its performance using a high-fidelity RF simulation.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The principal NASA application of the proposed technology is making GPS metric tracking for the Constellation Program's Ares launch vehicles robust to interference with and jamming of the GPS signals. Effective GPS metric tracking is a crucial component in the success of NASA's autonomous flight safety system and its space-based range demonstration and certification project. Besides the Ares launch vehicles, the same range safety technology applies directly to the United Launch Alliance Atlas V and Delta IV launch vehicles, and to the SpaceX Falcon 1 launch vehicle. Through the use of position measurements at multiple locations on the launch vehicle, the technology also applies to antenna pointing and attitude determination.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The technology applies directly to range safety in DoD's Common Range Integrated Instrumentation System (CRIIS). It is also particularly well suited to body worn units and platforms that are small or unusually shaped. These include Small Diameter Bomb and its variants; A-160 Humming Bird helicopter, High Altitude Long Endurance (HALE) aircraft; and Scan Eagle UAV. The proposed technology would be particularly useful for mini-UAVs planned for urban deployment, for which there is a large homeland security market. Many nonmilitary missions could be enabled by a UAV that could safely fly autonomously in civilian airspace. Effective guidance depends on the availability of GPS signals. Cost and weight considerations preclude use of a CRPA. Hence, without the proposed approach, the UAV would be extremely vulnerable to being blinded by an inexpensive jammer or by inadvertent interference.

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.

Attitude Determination and Control
Telemetry, Tracking and Control

Form Generated on 08-03-09 13:26