Simplified Spacecraft Multi-Tap Avionics Bus (M-TAB)

Period of Performance: 05/05/2006 - 05/04/2007


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Aeroastro, Inc.
20145 Ashbrook Place
Ashburn, VA 20147
Principal Investigator


AeroAstro proposes to develop an innovative spacecraft communications and power bus that will solve the complexity and reliability issues identified on the Space Tracking and Surveillance System (STSS) spacecraft. The multi-tap data and power bus (M-TAB) uses a single cable to connect all nodes of the network in a chain which provides for dramatic improvements in: reliability, cost, mass, and integration and testing complexity. M-TAB will be designed to provide redundant high-power and high-bandwidth data connections to all of the spacecraft's subsystems as well as providing an accurate whole spacecraft timing source. AeroAstro intends a spiral development strategy for M-TAB, a near-term solution that will develop a bus architecture that can be implemented quickly with little or no modification to legacy avionic systems, and a far-term solution that will be compatible with the avionics standardization activities such as SPA-U. As part of the Phase I feasibility demonstration, AeroAstro intends to fabricate a laboratory testbed of the M-TAB architecture. This testbed will be the launching point for a more flight-like prototype to be developed in Phase II, one that in form and function will simulate the final M-TAB hardware and software.