NASA SBIR 2017 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 171 S1.02-9156
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Technologies for Active Microwave Remote Sensing
PROPOSAL TITLE: Improved Microwave Photonic Links via Receive-Side Nonlinear Signal Processing

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
NuCrypt LLC
1840 Oak Avenue, Suite 212-S
Evanston, IL 60201 - 3697
(847) 733-8750

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Dr. Gregory S. Kanter
1840 Oak Avenue Suite 212-S
Evanston, IL 60201 - 3697
(847) 733-8750

CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Susan Kumar
1840 Oak Avenue, Suite 212-S
Evanston, IL 60201 - 3697
(847) 733-8750

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

Technology Available (TAV) Subtopics
Technologies for Active 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)
We propose to significantly enhance the state-of-the-art of photonically-assisted microwave measurement and distribution systems by incorporating a highly efficient nonlinear optical process into the system design. The use of a nonlinearity can improve the dynamic range of the system without causing a reduction in the inherent noise-figure, thus eliminating a trade-off currently encountered when designing microwave-photonic systems. The photonic system will optically down-convert the microwave signal of interest thereby eliminating electronic mixers that can otherwise add loss, reduce dynamic range, and constrain the operating frequency range. Furthermore, we propose to exploit an emerging highly efficient modulator technology which is well suited to photonic integration. The expected net result is a high performance measurement of microwave signals over large frequency ranges (e.g. 10 - 100+ GHz) with low size, weight, and power. The systems will be well suited for integration into spacecraft as only a simple phase modulator is required at the antenna since almost all of the measurement apparatus can be connected to the modulator via low loss, low weight, and electro-magnetic interference free optical fiber.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The proposed technology can be applied to microwave measurements in a wide variety of contexts including space vehicles. Common uses would be in radar, communications, and passive and active electromagnetic sensors. Such applications are commonly found in satellites and are used extensively by NASA for navigation, data transfer, remote sensing and atmospheric/climate science. The simplicity and low part count of the designs are useful for reducing the expense of part sparing and system repair. The low SWAP and highly flexible measurement system is also well suited for portable microwave instrumentation, such as for wideband RF network analyzers, and for incorporating into built-in-self-test systems.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The proposed technology is applicable to both civilian and military aviation needs. As is the case for NASA applications, a plethora of microwave systems are onboard such aircraft and these applications also benefit from low SWAP, low part count, reconfigurable measurement bands, and flexible component locations. Electronic countermeasures are also widely deployed in military aircraft and represent an additional application. The growth of unmanned aerial vehicles and their use in surveillance and remote sensing represents another attractive market. Additional applications include microwave signal remoting from cellular towers (back-haul), radar-based process monitoring in industrial tanks, and portable RF instrumentation. In terms of communication systems an optical front end offers the ultimate in re-programmability as could be used in a universal software defined radio or for specialty applications like secure communication via frequency hop spread spectrum techniques.

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.)

Form Generated on 04-19-17 12:59