NASA SBIR 2014 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 14-1 S20.01-9951
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Array Technologies for Microwave Remote Sensing
PROPOSAL TITLE: Low Power Digital Correlator System for PATH Mission

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Pacific Microchip Corporation
3916 Sepulveda Boulevard #108
Culver City, CA 90230 - 4650
(310) 683-2628

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Denis Zelenin
3916 Sepulveda Boulevard #108
Culver City, CA 90230 - 4650
(310) 638-2628 Extension :11

CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Dalius Baranauskas
3916 Sepulveda Boulevard #108
Culver City, CA 90230 - 4650
(310) 940-3083 Extension :10

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 1
End: 3

Technology Available (TAV) Subtopics
Array Technologies for Microwave Remote Sensing 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)
The NASA's PATH mission employs a synthetic aperture radiometer that produces 768 IF (10MHz - 500MHz) signals. Digitizing the signals results in 1.536Tb/s (1GS/s, 2-bit) data stream. Within the NASA's SBIR contracts NNX12CE50P and NNX13CP01C, Pacific Microchip Corp. has developed a low power 64x64 cross-correlator ASIC offering the reduction of the amount of data to manageable levels. This ASIC includes an array of 128 digitizers operated at 1GS/s and 2-bit precision. This ASIC is the key component in the proposed cross-correlator system for the PATH mission. The innovation offers to greatly reduce the power consumption, weight and the system's complexity. Phase I will demonstrate the feasibility of implementation of the system based on the developed ASIC. We will design the cross-correlator system's schematic, its behavioral model and will run the simulations proving the requirements of the PATH mission can be met. The PCB will also be designed to prove the feasibility of the system's physical implementation and meeting electrical and thermal requirements. Phase II will result in the complete system's assembly, its electrical and thermal characterization and validation on the PATH's radiometer which is being developed at JPL.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The proposed low-power cross-correlator system is specifically targeted for NASA's PATH mission to process the GeoSTAR instrument's microwave sounder signals. The proposed system will digitize the signals at 1GS/s with 2-bit accuracy and will cross-correlate the IF (I and Q) signals of 3X128 receivers, located on the three arms of the Y-shaped antenna array. A total of 48 cross-correlator ASICs will be employed in order to implement the complete cross-correlation function required for the PATH mission. A novel cross-correlator system will allow to process these signals at greatly reduced power consumption, compared to the systems based on off-the-shelf components and FPGA. The proposed cross-correlator system, with some modifications, can also be applied in signal processing systems required for radio telescopes, such as the SKA that may employ more than 2000 receivers. The cross-correlators installed on such telescopes are projected to consume tens of kilowatts of power. Our system offers major reduction of power consumption. The proposed system's core will be made available as an IP core, which we will offer for implementation in other cross-correlators, employed in space-born and Earth-based NASA instruments.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
High energy efficiency at high data processing speed, radiation hardness and wide operating temperature range of the proposed cross-correlator system make it applicable in many space-based commercial and military systems to perform such functions as radiometry, interferometry, polarimetry, and spectrometry required for remote sensing applications. Low-power cross-correlators are also required for neural implants in medicine, for image sensor signal processing in military and homeland security, as well as for synthetic aperture radars in both military and civil aviation. The proposed system can be included into the signal-processing path of artificial eyes, ears or other sensory applications for signal processing, based on artificial neural networks. In order to ensure the highest outcome of the developed technology, the proposed system's core will also be offered as an IP block, which will be licensed to interested parties for a variety of applications that require fast and high energy-efficient parallel signal processing.

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)
Data Input/Output Devices (Displays, Storage)

Form Generated on 04-23-14 17:37