NASA SBIR 2010 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 10-1 O4.02-9042
SUBTOPIC TITLE: On-Orbit PNT (Positioning, Navigation, and Timing) Sensors and Components
PROPOSAL TITLE: Miniaturized Radiation Hardened Beam-Steerable GPS Receiver Front End

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Tahoe RF Semiconductor Inc.,
12834 Earhart Ave.,
Auburn, CA 95602 - 9027
(530) 823-9786

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Michael Shaw
12834 Earhart Ave.,
Auburn, CA 95602 - 9027
(530) 823-9786

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 2
End: 3

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
NASA is seeking proposals for innovative research in the areas of on-orbit positioning, navigation, and timing (PNT).
Tahoe RF is proposing to build a fully integrated radiation hardened beam steerable GPS receiver front end system that will support NASA's requirements for onboard navigation systems for on-orbit near-earth missions. This frontend system, termed "BeamDirect", will not only provide NASA with a software configurable radio receiver for all of the GPS frequency bands, but will also provide ability to do beamforming and beamsteering under software control.
Tahoe RF is uniquely positioned to develop this system for NASA for two reasons. First, Tahoe RF has a proven core competency for the design of high performance multiple integrated GPS receivers on a single die. Second, Tahoe RF has recently demonstrated the feasibility of an integrated monolithic beamformer Integrated Circuit (IC) that employs LO phase-shifting techniques through coupled oscillator array. Both of these systems (GPS receiver ICs and beamformers IC) were developed in IBM SiGe process that inherently provides radiation tolerance. Hence by integrating both of these technologies, Tahoe RF can uniquely provide a fully integrated, miniaturized, radiation hardened beam-steerable GPS frontend receiver system.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The BeamDirect GPS system will be designed as custom ASIC chipset to be utilized in the navigation systems of spacecraft. This solution will provide NASA with a compact, low power solution that can be deployed in all spacecrafts including small satellites. The BeamDirect technology is able to provide beamsteering capability to both transmitter and receivers and hence can be integrated into future transceivers to provide a fully integrated communication system.

The circuit design, layout and analysis technique will be learnt in this project will facilitate future design of integrated circuits for radiation hardness and extreme-temperature environments. These methodologies and techniques will allow for future design and implementations of fully integrated circuits to help develop low power, high efficiency, compact, radiation-hardened circuits.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Several military applications where this technology can be applied are:
• Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV). Most of these vehicles are unable to carry any phase array antenna system due to payload constraints. The technology developed under this proposal will achieve the SWaP (Size, Weight & Power) target so as to enable this capability for these vehicles.
• Unmanned Undersea Vehicles (UUV) UUV will also similarly benefit from having this capability.

This technology has significant application in the commercial world. Some of the applications areas are:
1. Automotive (market size 10s of millions of units per year)
o Collision Avoidance Systems
o Driver Aides such as Parking Assistance
o "Driver Replacement" Traffic Throughput Optimization. This could potentially conserve millions of gallons of gasoline per year
2. Agriculture (market size 10s of thousands of units per year)
3. Avionics (market size thousands of units per year)
o Collision Avoidance
o Sophisticated Weather Radar
4. Microwave Links in Multipath Environments (market size 100s of thousands of units per year)
5. Handheld Communications (market size 100s of millions of units)
o Beamforming WiFi
o Beamforming Cellular Communications (LTE and beyond)
o Mobile TV Electronically Steerable Antenna
6. Industrial (market size 10s of thousands of units)
o Object identification
o Object location
o Driverless Equipment (such as forklifts)
7. RFID (market size 100s of millions of units per year)

TECHNOLOGY TAXONOMY MAPPING (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.)
Ad-Hoc Networks (see also Sensors)
Circuits (including ICs; for specific applications, see e.g., Communications, Networking & Signal Transport; Control & Monitoring, Sensors)
GPS/Radiometric (see also Sensors)
Navigation & Guidance
Positioning (Attitude Determination, Location X-Y-Z)
Telemetry/Tracking (Cooperative/Noncooperative; see also Planetary Navigation, Tracking, & Telemetry)

Form Generated on 09-03-10 12:12