NASA STTR 2015 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 15-2 T5.01-9993
RESEARCH SUBTOPIC TITLE: Autonomous Communications Systems
PROPOSAL TITLE: Wideband Autonomous Cognitive Radios for Networked Satellites Communications

NAME: Bluecom Systems And Consulting, LLC NAME: The Regents of the University of New Mexico
STREET: 801 University Southeast, Suite 100 STREET: 1700 Lomas Boulevard Northeast, Suite 2200, MSC-011247
CITY: Albuquerque CITY: Albuquerque
STATE/ZIP: NM  87106 - 4345 STATE/ZIP: NM  87131 - 0001
PHONE: (505) 615-1807 PHONE: (505) 277-1264

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Christos Christodoulou
ECE Department, University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131 - 0001
(505) 277-6580

CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Dr Sudharman Jayaweera Kankanamge
801 University Southeast, Suite 100
Albuquerque, NM 87106 - 4345
(505) 615-1807

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 3
End: 6

Technology Available (TAV) Subtopics
Autonomous Communications Systems is a Technology Available (TAV) subtopic that includes NASA Intellectual Property (IP). Do you plan to use the NASA IP under the award?

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Wideband Autonomous Cognitive Radios (WACRs) are advanced radios that have the ability to sense state of the RF spectrum and the network and self-optimize its operating mode in response to this sensed state. During the just finished Phase I STTR project, Bluecom Systems was able to develop a comprehensive design for realizing such a WACR and demonstrate the proof-of-concept operation in a hardware-in-the-loop simulation. The developed design consists of three modules: a cognitive engine, a Software-defined radio (SDR) platform and a reconfigurable RF front-end. The key module that makes the radio a WACR is the cognitive engine that acts as the brain of the system. The objective of this Phase II project is to prototype a Space Telecommunications Radio System (STRS)-compliant plug-n-play cognitive engine, called the Radiobot 1.0, that can transform any suitably designed SDR in to a WACR.

During Phase II, Bluecom will build on the success of Phase I to develop a suite of algorithms that will make up the cognitive engine: Algorithms for spectrum knowledge acquisition and protocols for cognitive communications. The latter will specifically be aimed at networks formed by clusters of smaller satellites such as CubeSats. Next, these algorithms will be implemented on an FPGA System-on-Chip (SoC). Radiobot 1.0 prototype will be completed by developing a plug-n-play interface between the FPGA-implemented cognitive engine and any STRS-compliant SDR. WACR technology operation will be demonstrated by integrating this Radiobot 1.0 cognitive engine with suitable SDR platforms and in particular those that operate in Ka band.

Beyond obvious benefits to NASA in realizing autonomous and intelligent communication networks required to exploit the full potential of networked clusters of CubeSats, Radiobot 1.0 will also find commercial applications in first-responder/emergency/public safety communications, autonomous systems and drones as well as many other military communications.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Phase II plug-n-play prototype, Radiobot 1.0, will allow NASA to achieve wideband autonomous cognitive radio (WACR) technology with minimal modifications to existing SDRs. Autonomous and intelligent communications networks made of WACRs will be ideal to explore the full potential of networked clusters of satellites (such as CubeSats) including improving performance of current space communications links as well as exploring new communications paradigms. Moreover, our planned Ka-band development and testing will be aligned with NASA?s goal of transitioning future systems to this band.

They can enable cognitive cooperative communications techniques leading to new approaches to achieve mission success in certain situations. For example, cognitive cooperative relaying in a cluster of satellites can provide a data path for observing the night side of Mars. WACRs can also be ideal for achieving delay tolerant networking in earth monitoring or unmanned lunar/planetary exploration missions with CubeSat networks: Cognitive cooperative communications enabled by WACRs can be used to link data to a ground station reliably with minimum delay. Other applications include, a) facilitating higher bandwidth and fewer dropouts in imagery sent over "short" distances such as LEO spacecraft-to-ground, b) agility to avoid interference with other systems and to adapt waveforms, and c) optimizing bandwidth within power limitations particularly at very long ranges such as interplanetary operations.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Beyond NASA applications, WACR technology enabled by our Phase II prototype Radiobot 1.0 may also find many other applications in small satellites and autonomous systems such as unmanned aerial vehicles or drones. There is a significant market opportunity created by the needs of major defense contractors and manufacturers of such systems. Another huge non-NASA application area of WACR technology is in first-responder/emergency/public safety communications. Reliability, interoperability and infrastructure-less operation are some of the key requirements on such systems and WACRs are uniquely position to meet these requirements. The spectrum-, network- and self-aware operation of WACRs can indeed be a robust solution for emergency/first-responder communications systems.

Recently, the spectrum awareness of WACRs and their ability to operate over a large spectrum range has attracted interest of DoD agencies to this technology. In particular, Bluecom is in discussions with several DoD agencies in developing WACR technology for overcoming the issue of spectrum encroachment by unauthorized transmitters and cognitive anti-jamming.

TECHNOLOGY TAXONOMY MAPPING (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.)
Ad-Hoc Networks (see also Sensors)
Circuits (including ICs; for specific applications, see e.g., Communications, Networking & Signal Transport; Control & Monitoring, Sensors)
Network Integration

Form Generated on 08-29-16 14:51