NASA SBIR 2017 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 17-2 S1.03-9385
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Technologies for Passive Microwave Remote Sensing
PROPOSAL TITLE: Correlation Radiometer ASIC

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Pacific Microchip Corporation
3916 Sepulveda Boulevard, #108
Culver City, CA 90230 - 4650
(310) 683-2628

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Anton Karnitski
3916 Sepulveda Boulevard, #108
Culver City, CA 90230 - 4650
(310) 683-2628 Extension :19

CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Ieva Ivanauskas
3916 Sepulveda Boulevard, #108
Culver City, CA 90230 - 4650
(310) 683-2628

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 3
End: 5

Technology Available (TAV) Subtopics
Technologies for Passive Microwave Remote Sensing 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)

The proposed project aims to develop an application specific integrated circuit (ASIC) for the NASA’s microwave correlation radiometers required for space and airborne Earth sensing applications. The radiometer instrumentation installed on CubeSats and SmallSats is required to have small volume, low weight and consume low power. Currently used correlating radiometers rely on analog signal processing, thus are bulky, power hungry and cannot be reprogrammed. Analog filter parameters tend to be unstable over temperature, power supply voltage, may degrade over time, and need tuning.

The proposed low-power, rad-hard ASIC will operate with microwave correlation radiometer front ends down-converting the RF to up to 10GHz IF quadrature signals. The ASIC will include digitizers, bandpass filters, cross-correlators, totalizers, serializers, an output data interface, and an I2C interface for the ASIC’s programming. Bandpass filters will split up the digitized quadrature IF input signals into bands (up to 16), will cross-correlate the signals within each band, and will ship out the resultant data in a convenient format. Instead of analog signal processing performing a strictly defined function, the ASIC will employ a digital signal processing which can be reprogrammed to adopt specific parameters of the filter block such as the number of bands, each filter’s corner frequency, bandwidth and filter’s order. A number of innovations will be introduced to the ASIC in order to combine programmability, low power consumption and radiation tolerance.

The project’s Phase I will provide the proof of feasibility of implementing the proposed ASIC. Phase II will include finishing the design, chip fabrication, testing and delivering the ADC prototypes which will be ready for commercialization in Phase III.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The proposed correlation radiometer back end ASIC combining signal normalization, digitizing, programmable digital bandpass filtering and cross-correlation functions is expected to greatly reduce the size, complexity, power consumption and reliability of radiometer instruments. These radiometers are required for the current and future NASA's passive remote sensing instruments within Earth, planet and sun exploration missions. In addition, the proposed ASIC can find application in radiometers required for radio astronomy for measurements of the properties of the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB). Distributed Spacecraft Missions (DSM) including Constellations, Formation Flying missions, or Fractionated missions using CubeSats or SmallSats require precise position synchronization between satellites which can be implemented by using correlation radiometers tracking a common radiation source.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
In addition to its primary application in the NASA's correlation radiometry systems, the proposed ASIC is targeted for other commercial and military related systems which require small size, low power, radiation hardened radiometers. Commercial applications include radiometers employed on communication, remote sensing and navigation satellites. With the increasing deployment of small size satellites, compact radiometer based positioning is essential as well as it is crucial for swarms of satellites that should maintain certain formation. Possible military applications include satellites used for communication and surveillance. Another area of application includes synthetic aperture radar receiver modules. In case of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), both space and ground based remote sensing instruments require high precision radiometers for temperature, water vapor, pollutant, ozone and other exploration. Radiometers used for thermal imaging in security systems is yet another application area for the proposed ASIC.

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.)
Circuits (including ICs; for specific applications, see e.g., Communications, Networking & Signal Transport; Control & Monitoring, Sensors)

Form Generated on 03-05-18 17:24