Ocean Data Telemetry Microsat Link

Period of Performance: 05/06/2002 - 11/15/2002

$69.9K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Wavix, Inc.
8100 Professional Place, Suite 205
Landover, MD 20785
Principal Investigator

Abstract

Despite careful planning, one extremely critical aspect of oceanographic data collection has been neglected. Although it is now possible to deploy thousands of oceanographic data collection platforms that can collect prodigious amounts of data for relatively little money, there is no practical, timely way to get all that data from those remote platforms to researchers. The oceanography community has tacitly assumed that by the time they needed satellite communications for their data collection programs, a number of commercial systems would be in place to choose from. The fallacy of that assumption is suddenly very clear with the bankruptcy of nearly every satellite communication company that made it so far as having satellites in orbit. This proposal lays out the first phase of a plan for the concept, design, and development of a satellite communication system that is specifically targeted to the needs of the oceanographic community. In this phase we propose to update our awareness of the needs of the oceanographic community, develop a current set of system requirements, and with that input, develop an end-to-end satellite communication system concept. This concept will comprise the proposed constellation, satellite hardware subsystems, communications protocols, ground systems infrastructure, and ocean platform hardware. The size of the market for oceanographic data retrieval is relatively small, with potential users counted in thousands. This is the main reason there are no satellite systems that fully address the needs of this market. Wavix has developed a business plan that allows us to profitably serve this niche market at very affordable prices. There are other niche markets that such a system can serve that, when aggregated, become a significant opportunity. There is a high demand world-wide for inexpensive data transmission services. By dropping the price for such services many new markets will begin to open such as providing inexpensive e-mail and data services on ships for crew and passengers and Arctic, Antarctic, and other remote locations of scientific research. A satellite system designed to serve oceanographic research can easily accommodate these additional niche markets.