NASA STTR 2017 Solicitation

FORM B - PROPOSAL SUMMARY


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 171 T11.02-9927
RESEARCH SUBTOPIC TITLE: Distributed Spacecraft Missions (DSM) Technology Framework
PROPOSAL TITLE: Optical Intersatellite Communications for CubeSat Swarms

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (SBC): RESEARCH INSTITUTION (RI):
NAME: CrossTrac Engineering, Inc. NAME: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
STREET: 2730 Street Giles Lane STREET: 77 Massachusetts Ave.
CITY: Mountain View CITY: Cambridge
STATE/ZIP: CA  94040 - 4437 STATE/ZIP: MA  02139 - 4307
PHONE: (408) 898-0376 PHONE: (617) 253-3906

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Dr. John Eric Hanson
john.hanson@crosstrac.com
2730 Street Giles Lane
Mountain View, CA 94040 - 4437
(408) 898-0376

CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Dr. John Eric Hanson
john.hanson@crosstrac.com
2730 Street Giles Lane
Mountain View, CA 94040 - 4437
(408) 898-0376

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 3
End: 4

Technology Available (TAV) Subtopics
Distributed Spacecraft Missions (DSM) Technology Framework is a Technology Available (TAV) subtopic that includes NASA Intellectual Property (IP). Do you plan to use the NASA IP under the award?
No

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
The growing interest in CubeSat swarm and constellation systems by NASA, the Department of Defense and commercial ventures has created a need for self-managed inter-satellite networks capable of handling large amount of data while simultaneously precisely measuring the distances between the spacecraft. CrossTrac Engineering, Inc., in cooperation with our partners Professor Kerri Cahoy of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Mr. Paul Graven of Cateni, Inc., proposes to develop a free space optical communications and ranging system with inherent precision pointing as a 1U module for 3U and larger CubeSats requiring intersatellite crosslinks. Based on technology developed by Professor Cahoy and her team at MIT, the module will enable small satellites to achieve the sub-milliradian pointing control of the optical beam necessary to close laser crosslinks at ranges from 200 km to 1000 km with input power of less than 20 W and data rates of 100 Mbps and greater, all within a 10 cm x 10 cm x 10 cm (1U) volume or smaller. The proposed work is directly aligned with the STTR solicitation T11.02 and the objectives of Technology Area 5.1 Optical Communications and Navigation in the NASA 2015 Technology Roadmap.1 Optical crosslinks are a key technology that will enable new multi-spacecraft CubeSat and microsatellite missions. These missions include large constellations for global data distribution and rapid response Earth imaging and asset tracking as well as swarm missions that, among other tasks, can be formed into sparse aperture systems providing unprecedented image resolution. These swarm missions require precise relative position knowledge as well. The optical terminal being developed under this effort will provide this sub-mm level relative position knowledge. Furthermore, the free space optical crosslinks can be used to make atmospheric composition and thermophysical measurements (e.g., via laser occultation).

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The optical communications terminal and networking concept developed under this effort will provide new capabilities to small spacecraft operating in constellations and swarms, allowing them to transfer large amounts of data around the network while simultaneously measuring the positions of the spacecraft relative to one another. This development will support NASA constellation and swarm missions, providing a high data rate network and precision metrology system. Swarms of spacecraft, relying on the close coordination of action to perform a mission in unison that cannot be performed by a single spacecraft, can use this technology to explore Earth-Sun interaction by measuring spatial variations in electromagnetic fields and create large sparse aperture imaging systems with unprecedented resolution, among other applications. These swarm missions can be performed around other celestial bodies, comets, near-Earth objects just as well as they can around the Earth.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
In many ways, commercial ventures have led the way in the development of capable CubeSat platforms and the exploitation of their capabilities to meet customer needs. The optical terminal and related network will enhance the capabilities of existing imaging and asset tracking CubeSat constellations by providing a means to move large amounts of data through the constellation quickly, reducing data transfer latency and making more efficient use of ground stations. Proposed constellations that intend to provide data services to customers throughout the world even in remote locations will require crosslinks to provide immediate connections between users and distributed ground stations. Optical crosslinks will be necessary for these users to move the large amounts of data they produce. Swarms of spacecraft, relying on the close coordination of action to perform a mission in unison that cannot be performed by a single spacecraft, can use this technology to create large sparse aperture imaging systems with unprecedented resolution, among other applications. Similar missions are being explored by the Department of Defense and the National Reconnaissance Office.

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)
Navigation & Guidance
Relative Navigation (Interception, Docking, Formation Flying; see also Control & Monitoring; Planetary Navigation, Tracking, & Telemetry)
Spacecraft Instrumentation & Astrionics (see also Communications; Control & Monitoring; Information Systems)
Transmitters/Receivers

Form Generated on 04-19-17 12:45