NASA SBIR 2006 Solicitation


SUBTOPIC TITLE:Reconfigurable/Reprogrammable Communication Systems
PROPOSAL TITLE:Multi-Mission microSDR

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Toyon Research Corporation
6800 Cortona Drive
Goleta, CA 93117-3021
(805) 968-6787

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Richard   Cagley
6800 Cortona Drive
Goleta, CA  93117-3021
(805) 968-6787

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT ( Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Toyon proposes to develop a low-power and compact reconfigurable radio specifically targeted to NASA mission needs. We envision the radio to be well matched to small satellites, terrestrial ground links, and autonomous vehicles. The design is based on the latest in field programmable gate array (FPGA) and general purpose processors (GPP). Typical software defined radios (SDRs) rely heavily on digital signal processors (DSPs) due to their ease of software development and ability to multitask well. Our emphasis will be on performing all baseband processing inside the FPGA due to its ability to offer over an order of magnitude increase in computational efficiency. While this approach does significantly decrease power consumption and associated platform size, it requires special considerations, particularly in terms of software development. As such, we will leverage Toyon's ongoing experience in computationally efficient waveform and associated software development using the latest in FPGA behavioral design tools. In addition, the architecture will stress logic component reuse between multiple waveforms to support rapid reconfiguration as well as reduce development time. Our RF front-end design will be a direct-conversion architecture to reduce size and provide frequency agility. The use of open-standards interfaces will provide for rapid systems integration.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS ( Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The NASA vision for space exploration is to have humans return to Earth's moon and eventually other planets, such as Mars. These missions will call for miniature space vehicles as well as an array of different types of ground stations and autonomous vehicles. As illustrated by the twin Mars rovers, equipment originally designed for a short lifetime can often greatly exceed expectations. Thus, for equipment that will be in service for years and possibly decades there is a desire to provide reconfiguration in order to adapt to new mission needs. The radio proposed in this effort will provide this utility while being sufficiently compact and low-power that it may be used on equipment that is severely resource constrained. The use of radiation-tolerant parts and the ability for the system to return to a default operating state means that the equipment will be resistant to event upset.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS ( Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
With a desire to reconfigure and reuse wireless equipment, there is tremendous interest in SDR for the military, emergency response, and consumer applications. At the same time, numerous factors have limited its penetration into these markets. With the military's ability to combine a large number of radios into a single package, JTRS does have potential; this is particularly true for its use in larger platforms that are not constrained in size and power. However, integrating SDR technology into smaller equipment, that is cost and power constrained, will require the use of more computationally efficient processing and considerations on overall architecture. The proposed concept is specifically targeted to these requirements by leveraging FPGA processing and direct-conversion RF translation. At the same time, our goal will be to exploit logic and processing reuse in order to allow rapid reconfiguration for the support of multiple waveforms.

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.

Architectures and Networks
Radiation-Hard/Resistant Electronics
Telemetry, Tracking and Control
Ultra-High Density/Low Power

Form Printed on 09-08-06 18:19