NASA is seeking innovative neuromorphic processing methods and tools to enable autonomous space operations on platforms constrained by size, weight, and power (SWaP). To address this need, Intellisense Systems, Inc. (Intellisense) proposes to develop a new Neuromorphic Enhanced Cognitive Radio (NECR) device based on neuromorphic processing and its efficient implementation on neuromorphic computing hardware. NECR is a low-SWaP cognitive radio that integrates the open source software radio framework with a new neuromorphic processing module to automatically process the incoming radio signal, identify the modulation types and parameters of the signal, and send the identification results to the controller module to properly decode the incoming signal. Due to its efficient implementation on neuromorphic computing hardware, NECR can be easily integrated into SWaP-constrained platforms in spacecraft and robotics to support NASA missions in unknown and uncharacterized space environments, including the Moon and Mars. In Phase I, we will develop the concept of operations (CONOPS) and key algorithms, integrate a Phase I prototype software in a simulated environment to demonstrate its feasibility, and develop a Phase II plan with a path forward. In Phase II, the NECR algorithms will be further matured, implemented on commercial off-the-shelf neuromorphic computing hardware, and then integrated with radio frequency (RF) modules and radiation-hardened packaging into a Phase II working prototype device. The Phase II prototype will be tested to demonstrate its fault and mission tolerances and delivered with documentation and tools to NASA for applications to CubeSat, SmallSat, and rover flight demonstrations.
NECR technology will have many NASA applications due to its low-SWaP and low-cost cognitive sensing capability. It can be used to enhance the robustness and reliability of space communication and networking, especially cognitive radio devices. NECR can be directly transitioned to the Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate (HEOMD) Space Communications and Navigation (SCaN) Program to address the needs of the Cognitive Communications project.
NECR technology’s low-SWaP and low-cost cognitive sensing capability will have many non-NASA applications. The NECR technology can be integrated into commercial communication systems to enhance cognitive sensing and communication capability. Automakers can also integrate the NECR technology into automobiles for cognitive sensing and communication.