For supporting NASA Ames Research Center in the development of innovative wireless technology to adapt modular components across different missions, configurations, and development stages, we are proposing the “CUSTOmizable InterSystem Wireless Data/Energy Transfer (CUSTOS-WiT)” System. This technology will allow reliable data transfer across components, subsystems, and interfaces while simplifying system integration, reconfiguration, and testing. Key characteristics of the CUSTOS-WiT are a highly modular and scalar architecture with radiation-hardened hardware and a ruggedized design for operation in space environments. Because sensors often entail a great deal of wiring and that penetrations can be very costly and add risk, CUSTOS-WiT provides robust cutting-edge RF and ultrasound wireless alternatives to replace cables, harnesses, and avoid penetrations. The system provides customizable and miniaturized plug-&-play wireless nodes and interfaces to drive: (a) active and passive sensors; (b) intercommunication of the mission’s modules based on RF intelligent transceivers; (c) smart wireless transducers for standalone nodes and to form sensor subnets and nets; and (d) hybrid as well as ultrasound gateways for flexible communications. Key innovations include: (1) highly reconfigurable wireless communications by ultra-low power RF transmission and through solid structures non-intrusive data and energy transfer; (2) flexible Radiation-Hardened Wireless Smart Nodes (Rad-WSN) with smart transducer functionalities; (3) integrated self-diagnostics for enhanced reliability; (4) technology to meet the commonality requirement for deployment in systems across multiple missions; and (5) capability to integrate both newly emerging as well as preexisting/mature sensor technologies in a seamless way.
The target application is deployment in NASA’s small spacecraft for wireless interconnections among satellite control modules and transducers located in the spacecraft inside and outside. CUSTOS-WiT has direct relevance to NASA’s fly-by-wireless program, Glenn Research Center’s SCaN programs, Langley Research Center’s Efficient Reconfigurable Cockpit Design and Fleet Operations, and more. The Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle would also benefit along with NASA’s future Lunar Gateway, International Space Station, CubeSats (e.g. 6U/12U/24U), etc.
The Small Satellite Market is an immediate and direct market for which this product could benefit. Additionally, private spaceflight type companies and prime contractors involved in aerospace systems R&D would find use of the technology. CUSTOS-WiT is also applicable to non-space applications such as aircraft, maritime platforms, large facilities, buildings wireless monitoring infrastructure, etc.