NASA SBIR 2017 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 171 Z8.02-9670
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Small Spacecraft Communication Systems
PROPOSAL TITLE: Low-SWAP Ka-band Antenna for Inter-Satellite Links

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Kymeta Government Solutions
12277 134th Court Northeast
Redmond, WA 98052 - 8713
(425) 896-3700

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Margo Godon
12277 134th Court Northeast
Redmond, WA 98052 - 8713
(805) 459-3796

CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Jess Stefani
12277 134th Court Northeast
Redmond, WA 98052 - 8713
(425) 658-8705

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

Technology Available (TAV) Subtopics
Small Spacecraft Communication Systems 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)
Kymeta Government Solutions (KGS) proposes to apply technology and manufacturing advancements developed by Kymeta Corporation to produce a low-SWAP-C metamaterial antenna that is intended to operate in the inter-satellite link frequency bands between 22.55-23.55 GHz and 25.25-27.5 GHz.

This antenna will leverage TFT technology, which is used to build flat panel computer monitors, television screens, and smart phone displays, to tune the radiating elements of the aperture. This technology allows for the manufacture of a single aperture that can be tuned to operate on two separate frequencies, allowing for simultaneous transmit and receive. The transmit and receive beams can be controlled individually, allowing each to have its own frequency, pointing angle, and polarization. This technology allows the use of one antenna where two are typically required, resulting in dramatic size, weight, power, and cost benefits to the platform.

Kymeta has built dual frequency antennas using this technology ranging in frequency from Ku-band (11 GHz) to Ka-band (30 GHz) and in aperture diameters ranging from 20 cm to 70 cm.

This antenna is well suited for 12U or larger platforms which benefit from simultaneous transmit and receive, wide scan range, fast scanning rates, and the ability to dynamically update the polarization of the antenna.

KGS objectives for the Phase I effort are: (1) Identify requirements for a low-SWAP Ka-band ISL antenna for small spacecraft, and (2) perform modeling, analysis, and conceptual design for a dual frequency antenna that operates in both the TDRSS forward and return link bands.

This analysis will result in performance predictions for the dual frequency antenna which will be used to determine whether a dual frequency aperture or two single frequency apertures are the best solution to meet mission requirements. If this project is selected for a Phase II award, Phase II will complete design and fabrication of the selected antenna solution.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
This low-SWAP Ka-band ISL antenna is a small, lightweight antenna which provides high gain without the use of mechanical steering or phase shifters. This technology enables a high data rate communications solution for small satellites which, when paired with sensors, would provide NASA with the ability to receive high volumes of sensor data from geographically distributed satellites. This has potential applications to a variety of NASA interests, including communications and Earth observation activities.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The Northern Sky Research (NSR) Small Satellite Markets report released in October 2016 describes a market of nearly 300 launches of small satellites between 1 and 100 kg every year between 2018 and 2024. Potential commercial customers in this market are those who would benefit from the high data rate communications that results from a Ka-band connection, as well as those companies for whom the reduction in latency of communication would prove a benefit. KGS expect significant growth in this area resulting from the growth of small satellite constellations both in commercial and government markets. The U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command (SMDC) has publically announced plans to perform a demonstration using Ka-band communications within a constellation of 16 small satellites. Commercial space companies like Space X, Iridium, and OneWeb have also publically announced very large-scale satellite constellations that would benefit from Ka-band inter-satellite link antennas.

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