Increasingly complex and the larger numbers of small spacecraft place ever worsening demands on sensor and avionic subsystem connectivity and integration. At the same time, accelerating spacecraft development schedules mean less time available for fully custom system implementation on every project. Spacecraft system developers and operators need commonality for avionic and sensor subsystem integration. Common components, software, interface specifications support technology reuse, speeding development and testing, lowering costs and significantly improving system reliability.
Simultaneously, spacecraft must benefit from the latest wireless communications, sensors, avionics and component technologies. Short-range (i.e. wireless local area networks, WLAN or Wi-Fi) systems have now evolved to support the high level of reliability required by small spacecraft avionics system and sensor interconnectivity. This makes practical wireline to wireless replacement for a large part of spacecraft’s internal and nearby communications requirements.
Wireless communications replacing wires is likely to reduce size, weight and power (SWaP); however, more importantly, this change simplifies and adds flexibility to system development and maintenance. Simplification also fosters common interfacing and thereby subsystem component and software reuse. New Wi-Fi systems support higher data rates often exceeding those of legacy wired systems. The ease of adding redundancy to these systems as well improves overall system reliability.
Innoflight’s radiation hardened Wi-Fi systems development provides a path to more efficient, reliable and cost effective spacecraft avionics and sensor system implementation.
By leveraging Innoflight’s high reliability WLAN technology, the wireless communication system can be integrated into radiation hardened flight hardware and surrounded with an intelligent object-oriented management system thus making it an asset for NASA’s Lunar to Mars mission and other potential customers interested in future space exploration. Potential customers include companies integrating spacecraft or aircraft (including UAV/UAS), companies developing subsystems for use on these vehicles, a variety of NASA and DoD offices, and so forth.
Considering that this is a core technology with applicability to a tremendous portion of these markets, we expect a large potential customer base. Innoflight has experience with Air Force Research Laboratories, Space Vehicles (AFRL/RV), and Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC), Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and National Reconnaissance Office (NRO.