NASA SBIR 2012 Solicitation

FORM B - PROPOSAL SUMMARY


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 12-1 H9.05-8532
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Game Changing Technologies
PROPOSAL TITLE: SWIFT-HPX - High Data Rate Ka-band Commications for Small Satellites

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Tethers Unlimited
11711 North Creek Parkway South, Suite D113
Bothell, WA 98011 - 8808
(425) 486-0100

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Nestor Voronka
voronka@tethers.com
11711 North Creek Parkway South, Suite D113
Bothell, WA 98011 - 8808
(425) 486-0100 Extension :678

CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Robert Hoyt
hoyt@tethers.com
11711 North Creek Parkway South, Suite D113
Bothell, WA 98011 - 8808
(425) 486-0100 Extension :111

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

Technology Available (TAV) Subtopics
Game Changing Technologies is a Technology Available (TAV) subtopic that includes NASA Intellectual Property (IP). Do you plan to use the NASA IP under the award?
No

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Leveraging TUI's SWIFT software defined radio (SDR) architecture, we propose to develop a 100 Mbps downlink and intersatellite crosslink capability with ranging and timing synchronization capabilities to enable more sophisticated CubeSat and small satellite missions. This effort will focus on designing a Ka-band communications solution including a high-gain patch antenna array and Ka-band RF front end, that can be integrated with TUI's SWIFT software defined radio (SDR) processor running state-of-the art modulation and coding techniques to provide a robust link with adaptive data rates up to 100Mbps. Analyses indicate that a 100 Mbps crosslink can be closed between two CubeSats separated up to 100 kilometers and between a CubeSat in low-Earth orbit and a 12 meter dish (99% link availability with the ITU-P618 rain model) with the same radio. These links represent nearly two orders of magnitude of data throughput improvement over the rates achieved by CubeSat missions to date. This increased downlink and crosslink data rate will enable nanosatellites and CubeSat constellations to be used for scientific, commercial and operationally relevant remote sensing and earth observation missions. Adaptive modulation and coding makes the link more robust and allows for reduced data rate operations without increasing aperture sizes at greater distances (e.g. Lunar and Martian). The proposed SWIFT-HPX radio technology and resultant product supports the migration of small satellite and CubeSat near-Earth communication downlinks and crosslinks to higher frequency links, which is consistent with Phase 1-3 of NASA'S Space Communication and Navigation (SCaN) Program.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
This SWIFT-HPX radio technology and resultant product supports the migration of small satellite and CubeSat near-Earth communication downlinks and intersatellite crosslinks to higher frequency links, which is consistent with Phase 1-3 of the SCaN Program. This technology and communcaiton solution will enable earth orbiting missions to be deliver more data, providing greater return on mission investments. In addition, this radio could also be used to provide Destination Relay capabilities for Lunar and Mars missions.

One future development effort could focus on the slightly modifying the Ka-band antenna and RF front to allow it to communicate with the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System (TDRSS) network. TDRSS satellites 8-10 have a Ka-band Single Access (KaSA) service that is available to Space Network (SN) customers. Communications with TDRSS satellites 8-10 through the Ka-band Single Access (KaSA) service that is available to Space Network (SN) customers can provide up to 300Mbps (uncoded) of data on the downlink (return link), along with a up to 7Mbps of command data (forward link).

Addition R/R&D would focus on improved link performance through antenna technology improvements by incorporating reflectarrays into the design as well as incorporating TUI's Canfield join gimbal for antenna pointing.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
There are a number of government, industry, and university class instruments and experiments that fly on small satellites (and CubeSats in particular) that produce significantly greater quantities of data that can be downlinked to the ground using UHF and S-band links. By moving the communication link to Ka-band, higher throughputs can be achieved due to higher gain apertures both in space and on the ground, as well as the greater availability of bandwidth allocations at these higher frequencies.

The need for a high-throughput data crosslink and downlink has also been discussed with other government customers including DARPA, US Army, Air Force, and other government private customers. For some of these missions latency is a key factor, which may be addressed either through a private network of SWIFT-HPX radios that use disruption tolerant networking (DTN) techniques to quickly deliver the data from the collecting spacecraft, through intersatellite links to other spacecraft that are in communication with a ground station. Alternately, tuning the antenna and radio to TDRSS frequencies may would leverage NASA's Space Network to provide this low-latency high througput data link.

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.)
Antennas
Architecture/Framework/Protocols
Coding & Compression
Command & Control
Ranging/Tracking
Relative Navigation (Interception, Docking, Formation Flying; see also Control & Monitoring; Planetary Navigation, Tracking, & Telemetry)
Telemetry (see also Control & Monitoring)
Telemetry/Tracking (Cooperative/Noncooperative; see also Planetary Navigation, Tracking, & Telemetry)


Form Generated on 03-28-13 15:21