NASA SBIR 2006 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 06-2 O1.10-9697
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Surface Networks and Orbit Access Links
PROPOSAL TITLE: Smart Multifunction Antenna for Lunar/Planetary Surface Network

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Wang Electro-Opto Corporation
2140 Newmarket Parkway, Suite 110
Marietta, GA 30067 - 8766
(770) 955-9321

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Johnson Wang
2140 Newmarket Parkway, Suite 110
Marietta, GA 30067 - 8766
(770) 955-9311

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
NASA is planning a series of human and robotic missions to explore the Moon and later Mars. According to NASA SBIR topic O1.10, directionally selectable, steerable antennas for mounting on human helmets, robots, and fixed structures (e.g. habitats) are needed in surface networks for these missions. These antennas must meet the specific performance requirements for lunar/planetary surface network and the demanding transport and operational space environments. In Phase-1 research, WEO established specific RF performance and physical/environmental requirements for the antenna, and designed, fabricated, and tested a breadboard smart antenna model to see whether it is feasible to meet these requirements. The Phase-1 results demonstrated the feasibility of this technical approach, thus justify Phase-2 research. WEO now proposes a two-year Phase-2 program to develop a brassboard "Smart Multifunction Antenna for Lunar/Planetary Surface Network." In the proposed Phase-2 research, the deliverables include an optimized brassboard model of a smart multifunction antenna. The parts and materials used in the hardware, the fabrication process, as well as other issues regarding this brassboard model will be compatible with and scalable to those of the final deliverable antennas for Phase-3 and deployable models, which must meet NASA's stringent transport and operational requirements, constraints of space mission environment, and the limited weight and size for mounting on astronauts and robots, fixed nodes, and other platforms.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Wireless is considered to be the most important technology for the coming decade; and antenna is its center piece. The proposed smart multifunction antenna has non-NASA military and commercial wireless applications. The basic technology of the smart multifunction antenna technology can be applied to other platforms facing an ever greater number of wireless systems with increasing bandwidth in both military and commercial applications. Military applications include many JTRS (Joint Tactical Radio System) platforms, aircraft, tanks, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), the Future Combat System (FCS), etc. Commercial applications include cell phone array antennas for basestations, WLAN (Wireless Local Area Network), WiFi, WiMax, etc. In addition to terrestrial communications, the technology is also applicable to communications between the earth and satellites for both military and commercial users. Key components of the smart antenna technology also have other wireless applications in which the WEO antenna technology has major performance and cost advantages.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
As announced in NASA 2006 SBIR O1.10, NASA needs directionally selectable, steerable antenna arrays for human spacesuits, robots, and fixed structures (e.g. habitats). The proposed "Smart Multifunction Antenna for Lunar/planetary Surface Network" is expected to cover various frequency bands at high transmission rate for data, video, and voice for lunar, Mars, and planetary exploration missions. The proposed smart multifunction antennas will also be small, low-profile, and platform-conformable for mounting on the limited room on human, robot, and other small platforms in surface networks as well as other space applications. The timeline for the human missions is starting with a human return to the moon by 2020. Robotic missions involving surface networks on the drawing board are likely to start several years earlier. The lead center for surface exploration is Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) of Cal Tech, which is supported by other NASA centers closely related to the procurement and operation of the surface networks.

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.


Form Generated on 08-02-07 14:39