NASA SBIR 2022-I Solicitation

Proposal Summary

Proposal Information

Proposal Number:
22-1- Z8.02-1723
Subtopic Title:
Communications and Navigation for Distributed Small Spacecraft Beyond Low Earth Orbit (LEO)
Proposal Title:
Adapting 100G Optical Comm to Unique NASA Small Satellite DSM Applications

Small Business Concern

Fibertek, Inc.
13605 Dulles Technology Drive, Herndon, VA 20171
(703) 471-7671                                                                                                                                                                                

Principal Investigator:

Dr. Brian Mathason
13605 Dulles Technology Drive, VA 20171 - 4603
(703) 471-7671                                                                                                                                                                                

Business Official:

Tracy Perinis
13605 Dulles Technology Drive, VA 20171 - 4603
(703) 471-7671                                                                                                                                                                                

Summary Details:

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) :                                                                                                                                                          
Begin: 3
End: 5
Technical Abstract (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words):

Our proposal addresses expanding the bandwidth of free space optical (FSO) communications to 100G for lunar and Lagrange points while using available low-cost and low size, weight, and power (SWaP) technologies. We propose to develop 100G space laser transceiver technology using terrestrial optical fiber communications (fibercom) 100G, photonic integrated circuits, coherent modules for long-range space-based free space optical (FSO) links. Our link budget indicates that 100G-200G is feasible with a ground station telescope of 1-6 meters in diameter, with smaller 10-20 cm satellite telescopes, and can support lunar, L1 and L2 ranges. The SBIR enables extending DSM optical communication to Mars, Venus, Asteroids and planetary bodies and Lagrange points.

  • Key enablers to expand NASA human spaceflight operations, telerobotic, astronaut HD video and SMD science for Lunar missions.
  • Enables NASA Heliophysics vision for affordable, sun-sensing SmallSat constellations at L1, L2 for space weather, astronaut safety missions and SMD heliophysics science.
  • Technical approach leverages terrestrial fibercom photonic integrated circuit (PIC) providing advanced technology at low cost for space.
  • Ready for program insertion in 2025.
Potential NASA Applications (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words):
  • NASA state-of-the-art mesh networked lasercomm capability to support SCaN deployment of optical communications.
  • Deep Space & Heliophysics – Space weather, Sun studies out to L1, L2 at 100 Gbps
  • Near Earth science missions – Increased data rate for SmallSat sensors 
  • Near Earth and cis-lunar, lunar orbital, Lagrange Point L1, L2
  • Future NASA SmallSat and CubeSat constellations with science missions that need optical coms to support high data rates including multispectral imaging sensors and radar
Potential Non-NASA Applications (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words):
  • DoD and U.S. Government for intelligence imagery. GEO, MEO, LEO
  • CLPS commercial lunar payload services companies
  • High data-rate, low cost commercial optical communications from LEO/GEO satellites
Duration:     6

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