NASA SBIR 2008 Solicitation

FORM B - PROPOSAL SUMMARY


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 08-1 O1.02-9948
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Antenna Technology
PROPOSAL TITLE: Efficient Wearable Antennas for Astronaut EVA Communications

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Pharad, LLC
797 Cromwell Park Dr, Suite V
Glen Burnie, MD 21061 - 2581
(410) 590-3333

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Rodney Waterhouse
rwaterhouse@pharad.com
797 Cromwell Park Drive, Suite V
Glen Burnie, MD 21061 - 2581
(410) 590-3333

Expected Technology Readiness Level (TRL) upon completion of contract: 4 to 5

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
In response to NASA SBIR Subtopic O1.02 (Antenna Technology), Pharad proposes to create a new class of highly efficient body wearable antennas suitable for astronaut Extravehicular Activity RF communications. The Phase I versions of the antennas will be developed on low loss, flexible material that can be readily incorporated on the surface of, or integrated within, an astronaut's Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) spacesuit. We will leverage our extensive experience in developing electrically small, flexible, wearable, radiators to create unobtrusive antennas that are compatible with the UHF frequency band for NASA lunar or Mars exploration missions. The key innovations of our proposed research effort are the development of several new technologies: small radiator technology based on slow-wave engineering principles; efficient, small Electromagnetic Bandgap structures; and the integration of these technologies with diversity techniques to create an efficient body wearable antenna platform suitable for EMU integration. Our new technology will provide an unobtrusive, high performance body wearable radiating platform that will facilitate the next generation of astronaut RF communication systems. Throughout this effort rigorous, full-wave electromagnetic simulation tools will be used to predict the performance of the new concepts and the resulting antennas will be fabricated and tested in our measurement facilities.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The Pharad efficient, compact body-worn antenna technology is being developed specifically to improve astronaut communications. The reduced size and enhanced performance of this new antenna technology will be able to directly improve the RF characteristics and link performance of astronaut EVA communications. Current astronaut antennas are either relatively electrically large or have minimal gain. In addition, antennas that are poorly interfaced to the astronaut's spacesuit and gear can hinder an astronaut's mobility and thus their ability to accomplish their mission. We envision that the ultimate form of the antennas that are developed as part of this program will be directly integrated into the astronaut EMU suit.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
In addition to NASA, the US Army and first responders, emergency personnel and law enforcement officers who work in situations where communications is critical will benefit from the wearable antenna technology developed through this program. In the US Army's future force warrior program, there is an effort to integrate electronics and communications into the soldier wearable ensemble. Also, the ability to provide fire fighters with the capability to carry out hands-free communications without the need for obtrusive antennas helps to realize a safer communications system for such emergency personnel. In general, the elimination of obtrusive antennas through body-worn antenna technology will benefit soldiers, marines, and first responders.

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.

TECHNOLOGY TAXONOMY MAPPING
RF
Suits


Form Generated on 11-24-08 11:56