The CUSTOmizable InterSystem Wireless Data/Energy Transfer (CUSTOS-WiT) System is designed to support NASA's in the development of innovative wireless technology to adapt modular components across different missions, configurations, and development stages. 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. CUSTOS-WiT provides robust cutting-edge RF and ultrasound wireless as physical layers alternatives to replace cables, harnesses, and avoid penetrations. The system provides customizable and miniaturized plug-&-play wireless nodes and API to drive: (a) 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. A core milestone is to provide ubiquitous non-intrusive wireless data transfer between spacecraft subsystems in the inside, outside, and gateways to interconnect network systems. Following the results of Phase I, the goals of Phase II are set to achieve: (1) full nodes design and implementation; (2) full design of ultrasound gateway for data/energy transfer through the spaceship walls without perforations; (3) integration of emerging ISA100 technology in addition to Phase I foundation based on Zigbee; (4) nodes and system components SWaP optimization; (5) ruggedization optimization of components towards their operation in the spacecraft environment; (6) full development of reconfiguration, health monitoring, self-diagnostics, and communication capabilities; (7) integration of baseline sensors; and (8) full API development to drive components capabilities and system features.
The target application is NASA spacecraft for wireless interconnections among control modules and transducers. CUSTOS-WiT has application to NASA’s CubeSats (e.g. TecEdSat) at ARC, the fly-by-wireless program, GRC’s SCaN programs, and the Efficient Reconfigurable Cockpit Design and Fleet Operations (ECON) project. The Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle and the Space Launch System for crewed missions would highly benefit along with NASA’s future Lunar Gateway, International Space Station, current and emerging CubeSats (e.g. 6U/12U/24U), etc.
The CUSTOS-WiT is applicable to the Small Satellite market which is a growing market due to many applications like Earth observation & meteorology, mapping, research, communications, etc. This system could be used by contractors involved in space systems development as well as private spaceflight companies and can be applied to non-space industries such as control, sensing and automation systems.