Reconfigurable EVA Radio with Built-In Navigation Capability

Period of Performance: 01/01/2009 - 12/31/2009


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Intelligent Automation, Inc.
15400 Calhoun Dr, Suite 190
Rockville, MD 20855
Firm POC
Principal Investigator


Intelligent Automation, Inc. and its sub-contractor, Purdue University, propose to develop a power-efficient miniaturized reconfigurable EVA radio system with built-in 3D navigation capability. It uses the state-of-the-art RF MEMS and software defined radio (SDR) technologies to achieve extreme miniaturization, power saving, and reconfigurability. Its 3D navigation function is based on proven pseudo Doppler and monopulse direction finding techniques. The wireless communications and navigation functions share the same S-band signal (2.4~2.483 GHz) and can operate up to 10km with position accuracy of 300 meters (3 sigma). The radio is designed to work with a mobile ad hoc network so the coverage for communications can be increased indefinitely by adding more nodes. This radio system can be used for transmitting voice, telemetry, and video among fixed and mobile asset, including lunar/Mars base stations, landers, habitats, rovers, and astronauts. Modern FPGA devices are bridging the gap between high speed digital design and DSP implementation. The SDR based architecture allows the radio to support multiple bandwidth, waveforms, and energy profiles, even those developed after the mission began, via cognitive middleware. The MEMS tunable filters proposed is based on miniaturized evanescent mode cavities, which are 95% smaller than conventional cavities and are capable of providing very high Q and excellent tuning range.