NASA STTR 2022-I Solicitation

Proposal Summary

Proposal Information

Proposal Number:
22-1- T5.05-1391
Subtopic Title:
Advanced Solar Sailing Technologies
Proposal Title:
Embedded Sail Antenna Technology

Small Business Concern

Nexolve Holding Company, LLC
290 Dunlop Boulevard, Southwest, Suite 200, Huntsville, AL 35824 - 1128
(256) 337-6752                                                                                                                                                                                

Research Institution:

Utah State University
1415 Old Main Hill, Room 64, UT 84322 - 1415
(435) 797-9277                                                                                                                                                                                

Principal Investigator:

Brandon Farmer
290 Dunlop Blvd. SW STE 200, AL 35824 - 1128
(865) 405-2401                                                                                                                                                                                

Business Official:

Paul DuPre
290 Dunlop Boulevard, Southwest Suite 200, 35824 - 1128
(256) 836-7785                                                                                                                                                                                

Summary Details:

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) :                                                                                                                                                          
Begin: 2
End: 4
Technical Abstract (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words):

A n

A new patch antenna array composed of thin-film materials is proposed to create a significant improvement in the specific mass and specific volume of the antenna array. This innovation will enable the combination of the patch antenna array with a solar sail to address the need for a High Gain Antenna (HGA) option for deep space solar sail missions. The primary objective of the proposed research is to refine the design of the patch antenna array with capability to achieve 30 to greater than 50 dBi performance in either the X, K, or Ka frequency band. A secondary objective of the research is to present how this patch antenna array can be integrated into a solar sail architecture and deployment mechanism. These objectives will be achieved by constructing components of the patch antenna array from thin flexible materials and combining the antenna array with the structure of the solar sail. The patch antenna array deploys with the deployment of the solar sail, and the unique features of the antenna design create the required separation between the patch elements and the ground plane element of the antenna array.

A deployable HGA will enhance the capabilities of smaller spacecraft. The satellite paradigm has shifted considerably from the use of traditional large and expensive satellites to smaller and more cost-effective models. Advancements in technology are leading to small spacecraft like CubeSats developing the capabilities to perform interplanetary and deep space missions. A significant challenge associated with using smaller spacecraft for these missions is the communication framework required to transmit and receive data across such vast distances The proposed patch antenna array differs from traditional communications solutions in the fact that the aperture size is not restricted by the size of the spacecraft. The deployable thin film HGA approach will allow the antenna to be sized according to mission needs.

Potential NASA Applications (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words):
  • Solar Cruiser mission
  • Europa Clipper mission
  • New Moon Explorer mission
  • Artemis program
  • Solar Polar Imager – SPI solar sail
Potential Non-NASA Applications (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words):

Communication Antennas:

  • SpaceX – Starlink
  • OneWeb – OneWeb Constellation
  • Amazon - Project Kuiper Constellation
  • Capella Space - Synthetic Apertures
Duration:     13

Form Generated on 05/25/2022 16:22:16