NASA SBIR 2016 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 16-1 S1.02-7752
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Microwave Technologies for Remote Sensing
PROPOSAL TITLE: RFI Mitigating Receiver Back End for Radiometers

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Alphacore, Inc.
398 South Mill Ave, Suite 302
Tempe, AZ 85281 - 2808
(520) 647-4445

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Dr Esko Mikkola
398 South Mill Ave, Suite 302
Tempe, AZ 85281 - 2808
(520) 647-4445

CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Dr Esko Mikkola
398 South Mill Ave, Suite 302
Tempe, AZ 85281 - 2808
(520) 647-4445

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

Technology Available (TAV) Subtopics
Microwave Technologies for 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)
This SBIR Phase I proposal requests support for Alphacore, Inc. to design and a low power application specific integrated circuit (ASIC) RFI mitigating receiver back end that can be incorporated into NASA�s existing and future radiometer designs.
Alphacore proposes next generation ASIC that provides significant SWAP reduction and better radiation hardness, as compared to board-level systems currently under development that use COTS ADCs and FPGAs. Alphacore ASIC will have a 3 GSPS (gigasamples per second), 12-bit, 340mW, radiation hard ADC and a 128-band, low-power digital filter bank.
The total power consumption of the ASIC is less than one watt (0.87W). The ASIC will be developed in a small-geometry CMOS technology (28nm) that is inherently tolerant to high radiation doses. Single event effect mitigation strategies will be used as well in this ASIC. Alphacore has been developing IP in this process, including current mode logic (CML) transceivers and phase-locked loop (PLL) that can be leveraged in this program.
The proposed system�s front end ADC employs an innovative topology with a high-bandwidth front-end sampling circuit combined with an interpolated flash ADC and a back-end DSP that employs 128-band polyphaser filter bank using ultra low power synthesizable digital logic. The system is programmable and it is optimized to provide the user the most useful data available for effective RFI mitigation. The system is also designed to be scalable to other missions.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Alphacore's technology supports NASA radiometer microwave sensors for a wide range of Earth observation applications. Examples of missions using the proposed RFI mitigating receiver back end technology are SMAP, and Jason missions. The Jason missions currently have radiometers that use analog band-pass filters. The future missions (Jason-CS / Sentinel A, and Jason-CS / Sentinel B) can significantly benefit from this low-power receiver ASIC that has on-chip ADC, digital filters and is optimized for RFI mitigation.
Other example missions that can benefit from a radiation-hardened, high-speed, low-power ADC include solar system exploration missions (Europa Clipper, TSSM, VESPER, MARVEL, comet nucleus return, New Discovery and Living with a Star), Mars missions (MAVEN) and lunar orbiters and landers. The Jupiter-bound missions, such as the Europa Clipper and Io Volcano Observer missions, can greatly benefit from the ADC due to its high radiation hardness.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
While the initial development of the ASIC targets the stringent requirements of NASA's space-based Earth observing radiometer applications, the receiver back-end also has wide applicability to commercial and defense space missions that measure the humidity of soil, atmosphere or the height of the ocean surface, as an example.

The developed system is also very similar to the ones used to read out kinetic inductance detector (KID) arrays that have wide applicability to radio astronomy experiments. One of the large scale experiments is Large Size Telescope (LST). The developed ASIC can be scaled to support KID array readout.

The standalonerad-hard ADC has impressive performance and finds strong market potential in defense, communication, test equipment, medical imaging, high-energy physics experiments and high speed digitizer boards. The Government defense space industry, including satellite programs of Air Force, NRO, MDA, and Army will benefit from a high-performance radiation-hard ADC. Among these programs are AEHF upgrades, GPS follow-ons, MDA's PTSS, Air Force's TacSat family, Operationally Responsive Space (ORS), and Army's SMDC nanosat family. The defense CubeSat programs, including NRO's Colony program and the Air Force SENSE program will also benefit. Commercial space platforms that will benefit from the proposed rad-hard ADC include both LEO and GEO telecommunication satellites, such as Intelsat, Direct TV, XM radio, Orbcomm and Iridium.

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.)
Analytical Instruments (Solid, Liquid, Gas, Plasma, Energy; see also Sensors)
Circuits (including ICs; for specific applications, see e.g., Communications, Networking & Signal Transport; Control & Monitoring, Sensors)
Condition Monitoring (see also Sensors)
Data Modeling (see also Testing & Evaluation)
GPS/Radiometric (see also Sensors)
Interferometric (see also Analysis)
Models & Simulations (see also Testing & Evaluation)
Spacecraft Instrumentation & Astrionics (see also Communications; Control & Monitoring; Information Systems)

Form Generated on 04-26-16 15:14