NASA SBIR 2011 Solicitation

FORM B - PROPOSAL SUMMARY


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 11-1 S4.01-8193
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Unique Mission Architectures Using Small Spacecraft
PROPOSAL TITLE: Echo Time Distance Measurements for Nanosatellite Arrays

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
American Academy of Aeronautics
505 Brookfield Drive
Dover, DE 10991 - 6534
(916) 572-9070

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Periklis Papadopoulos
periklis.papadopoulos@gmail.com
c/o American Academy / 514 Airport Way
Monterey, CA 93940 - 7726
(650) 248-7173

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 2
End: 4

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
This proposal presents a technique for the precise determination of distance between nodes of a planar array of nanosatellites for synthetic aperture and sensor array applications. The proposed effort will result in a navigational technique that can precisely determine the positions of nanosatellite sensor nodes in the array. The proposed innovation enables higher performance and low cost sensor array development, while fitting within the size constraints, limited communication ability, and operational duty cycles of nanosatellites.

The technique presented depends on echo time measurement between a satellite and its neighbors. That is, the satellite generates a RF signal that is received by its neighbors and echoed back. Differential measurements are taken to subtract out delays introduced by the propagating hardware. The distances between pairs of neighboring satellites can then be combined with bearing and orientation information to precisely map the spatial arrangement of the satellite array. Combined with bearing and orientation measurements, this technique solves the precise position determination (PPD) problem using nanosatellites; that is, position determination within the sensor array with accuracy suitable for synthetic aperture formation.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Synthetic apertures as used in radio astronomy and magnetometry are of interest to the scientific community. The military makes heavy use of synthetic apertures radar systems. Both the commercial communications industry and the military have interest in synthetic apertures as used in phased array communications antennas. Large-scale sensor arrays are of interest to the scientific community to measure and record physical phenomena such as solar disturbances and comet fly-by characterization.

A significant reduction of equipment cost and deployment cost is achieved by allowing the vast majority of the satellites that compose a synthetic aperture (or sensor array) to be nanosatellites. Existing users of synthetic apertures and sensor arrays will find the value proposition of this cost reducing architecture compelling. The lower cost is also expected to make synthetic apertures (or sensor arrays) economically viable for new sets of applications.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Synthetic apertures as used in radio astronomy and magnetometry are of interest to the scientific community. The military makes heavy use of synthetic apertures radar systems. Both the commercial communications industry and the military have interest in synthetic apertures as used in phased array communications antennas. Large-scale sensor arrays are of interest to the scientific community to measure and record physical phenomena such as solar disturbances and comet fly-by characterization.

A significant reduction of equipment cost and deployment cost is achieved by allowing the vast majority of the satellites that compose a synthetic aperture (or sensor array) to be nanosatellites. Existing users of synthetic apertures and sensor arrays will find the value proposition of this cost reducing architecture compelling. The lower cost is also expected to make synthetic apertures (or sensor arrays) economically viable for new sets of applications.

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.)
Circuits (including ICs; for specific applications, see e.g., Communications, Networking & Signal Transport; Control & Monitoring, Sensors)
Radio
Relative Navigation (Interception, Docking, Formation Flying; see also Control & Monitoring; Planetary Navigation, Tracking, & Telemetry)
Spacecraft Instrumentation & Astrionics (see also Communications; Control & Monitoring; Information Systems)
Telescope Arrays


Form Generated on 11-22-11 13:43