NASA SBIR 2006 Solicitation


SUBTOPIC TITLE:Long Duration Command and Data Handling for Harsh Environments
PROPOSAL TITLE:Compiler for fast, accurate mathematical computing on integer processors.

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
EnTempo Corporation
1625 Shetland Ct.
Moscow, ID 83843-2480
(208) 964-2953

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
David M  Buehler
814 Mabelle St.
Moscow, ID  83843-2480
(208) 902-1328

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT ( Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
The proposers will develop a computer language compiler to enable inexpensive, low-power, integer-only processors to carry our mathematically-intensive comptutations at high speed, with excellent computational accuracy. This will enable space systems designers to select from a wide range of radiation-hard processors for math-intensive command and data handling applications such as spacecraft attitude control, advanced sensing, instrument data processing and calibration, and autonomous operation.

Integer-only processors are capable of accurate math-intensive computing if properly programmed using a fixed point computational model. This presents a major challenge to the program designer. Software tools are available to help the programmer analyze fixed point implementations, but not to create them. This kind of trial-and-error design cycle can be expensive, time-consuming and error-prone.

Our compiler will analyze system specifications, such as input data ranges and formats, architectural constraints, and a description of the computational algorithm. It will insert data scaling operations into the integer instruction stream to make the most effective use of the internal data representation. The resulting code will be an order of magnitude faster and more compact than a software floating point implementation, with very competitive computational accuracy.

This technology will be available for NASA programs immediately after Phase 2.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS ( Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
This technology has the potential to enhance all NASA on-board computing systems that involve mathematically intensive computing. This technology will enable these mathematically complex computations to be performed on smaller, faster, cheaper, low-power fixed-point processors. This will enhance mission capability for a given weight and power budget, increasing mission duration. Some examples are:
? Command and Data Handling ? math-intensive control algorithms
? Spacecraft instruments ? Signal and image processing, calibration, space-based radar, multispectral and hyperspectral imaging,
? Remote sensing pattern recognition and classification, feature extraction, feature dimensionality reduction
? Advanced sensing, planning and control for autonomous rovers

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS ( Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The technology will find a substantial market in commercial embedded, portable and mobile computing. The ability to execute mathematical operations on simple hardware will appeal to two kinds of markets:
1. Markets driven by size and power consumption
2. Markets driven by cost
Size and power consumption are critical for hand-held devices such as cellular telephones and audio players. For other kinds of embedded computing such as automobiles and appliances, the driver is cost. For example, a microwave oven might benefit from an optimizing control algorithm, but the cost of implementing the better algorithm must not increase the cost noticeably. If this technology lets the engineer implement the improved control in a $1 computer chip instead of a $100 computer chip, the company will gain a significant competitive advantages. Potential application areas are:
? Transportation ? avionics, automobiles. (A modern car contains up to 50 programmable microcontrollers, to control everything from engine parameters to air conditioning.
? Portable, hand-held equipment: cellular telephones, personal digital assistants, audio players
? Medical monitoring equipment
? Graphical display devices
? Commercial avionics

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.

Attitude Determination and Control
Guidance, Navigation, and Control
On-Board Computing and Data Management
Software Development Environments
Telemetry, Tracking and Control

Form Printed on 09-08-06 18:19