Reliable, Lightweight and Volume Efficient Electrical Harnessing Utilizing Powerline Communication

Period of Performance: 05/11/2006 - 05/10/2007


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Esker Technologies, LLC
5915 N. 55th Street
Milwaukee, WI 53218
Principal Investigator


Esker Technologies, LLC (Milwaukee, WI) in collaboration with the University of Wisconsin Space Science Engineer Center is proposing to develop a low-power, low-loss, robust, radiation hardened power and data handling system for use in satellite systems. This innovation is based on Esker s proprietary ZeroWire technology. During phase I, we will adapt the ZeroWire power line communication system to satellite power distribution infrastructures. This communication system will be based around a family of modular components to create a flexible low bandwidth distributed network over the power distribution wiring. This system eliminates the need for dedicated communications cabling, which could reduce the weight and volume of complex wiring inside the satellite. This low bandwidth network would provide autonomous diagnostic capabilities to verify the health and status of power distribution grid and devices throughout the satellite. These in-situ capabilities could reduce the checkout time of satellite assemblies from months to days or even hours. The communication modules will be designed to have low power use, and will be radiation hardened, EMI/RFI resistant, and survivable in the space environment. The ZeroWire technologies developed will also have commercialization opportunities beyond space, for data communication networks in automotive, heavy equipment, aircraft, and nautical industries.