NASA SBIR 2014 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 14-1 H9.05-9729
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Advanced Celestial Navigation Techniques and Systems for Deep-Space Applications
PROPOSAL TITLE: Integrated Spacecraft Navigation and Communication Using Radio, Optical, and X-rays

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
ASTER Labs, Inc.
155 East Owasso Lane
Shoreview, MN 55126 - 3034
(651) 484-2084

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Suneel Sheikh
155 East Owasso Lane
Shoreview, MN 55126 - 3034
(651) 484-2084

CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Suneel Sheikh
155 East Owasso Lane
Shoreview, MN 55126 - 3034
(651) 484-2084

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 3
End: 6

Technology Available (TAV) Subtopics
Advanced Celestial Navigation Techniques and Systems for Deep-Space Applications is a Technology Available (TAV) subtopic that includes NASA Intellectual Property (IP). Do you plan to use the NASA IP under the award?

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
This program proposes to design and evaluate novel technology of X-ray navigation for augmentation and increased capability of high data-rate spacecraft communications. NASA's current concept for an integrated radio and optical communications (iROC) system is being developed to provide communication technology that does not constrain the science yield of their deep space missions. iROC requirements include accurate navigation and pointing solutions so narrow optical beams are precisely transmitted directly to their Earth-based reception stations. X-ray source techniques and methods have been successfully demonstrated to determine independent position and attitude solutions for deep space vehicles. Therefore, ASTER Labs proposes to integrate the X-ray sensors directly into the iROC concept, such that the combined radio, optical, and X-ray system, referred to as iROX, can operate over a wide variety of applications and missions, increasing NASA's capability to explore the solar system. The top-level goals are to evaluate the integrated system and design a prototype detector system that augments the existing iROC concept, evaluate the performance of the integrated iROX system, and identify the feasibility and capability of such a system based upon the design architecture. The successful completion of the integrated navigation capabilities into the full iROX program will provide independent km-level position accuracies throughout the solar system and sub-arcsecond pointing capabilities, such that iROX data transfer will achieve high rates (Gbps-level) for NASA's unique deep space missions with improved capabilities over today's techniques.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
NASA applications for the full iROX system consist of communication of science data to Earth and between exploration vehicles, where high-data rate transmission is desired. This includes high-resolution observations, inter-satellite communications, interplanetary video, and science high-data rate transmissions. For future crewed missions, iROX transmissions will include high-data rate video transmission and health and status monitoring data. The X-ray navigation technology developed here to complement the full iROX communication system can be applied to all deep space missions, and can increase NASA's capability of creating autonomous spacecraft operations, thus reducing the workload on DSN infrastructure. The X-ray navigation components can be used for ranging or relative navigation between vehicles that maintain accurate formations and for automated vehicle rendezvous and docking. The eventual development of an X-ray transceiver initially used for enhanced relative navigation between vehicles can be evolved to include a fully operational X-ray photon-based communication system. The advancement of modulated X-ray photon transmitters and receivers, sensitive detectors, and processing algorithms provides added capability for future X-ray astronomy missions, as well as diffractometry and fluorescence analysis.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Non-NASA applications for the full iROX technology include DoD and commercial satellite missions with high-data rate or precise pointing/attitude needs. Military in-space networks that require high data rate communications that are highly-secure and cannot be intercepted would show significant benefits with iROX communication integration, and those assets that operate above the GPS constellation would gain added utility with line-of-sight relative navigation. X-ray transceiver technology can be applied to re-entry and hypersonic communications during asset re-entry. Commercial telecommunication satellite providers that desire to transmit large data rate information between multiple vehicles, such as imaging or internet-like inter-satellite networks, could realize benefits through this enabling technology over current day radio technology alone. The technology developed in the iROX program is applicable to X-ray inspections, for manufacturing and production, security, safety, and evaluation purposes, including container inspection for the Department of Homeland Security. Medical diagnostics systems can also benefit with the insertion of the technology of modulated X-ray pulses.

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.)
Attitude Determination & Control
Entry, Descent, & Landing (see also Planetary Navigation, Tracking, & Telemetry)
Lasers (Communication)
Navigation & Guidance
Optical/Photonic (see also Photonics)
Relative Navigation (Interception, Docking, Formation Flying; see also Control & Monitoring; Planetary Navigation, Tracking, & Telemetry)
Software Tools (Analysis, Design)
Telemetry (see also Control & Monitoring)
X-rays/Gamma Rays

Form Generated on 04-23-14 17:37