Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 599.18K | Year: 2010
This proposed Phase II SBIR would realize a prototype of an offset Gregorian antenna design that will be delivered to NASA for integration in the D3R GPM ground validation radar system, for which RSS is currently fabricating the radar transceiver through a Phase III project. During the Phase I effort for this antenna system, Remote Sensing Solutions developed a design for a novel dual-wavelength Ku/Ka-band radar remote sensing antenna system with high integrated cross-polarization isolation (> 30 dB) and low sidelobes (< -25 dB). The design provides high gain (< 1 deg beamwidth) and matched antenna patterns in a rugged mechanical configuration that is transportable in a standard sea-container. The primary innovations realized in the Phase I design that would be implemented in the Phase II effort include: an ultra-low cross-pol reflector, a rugged compact feed with very low cross-polarization supporting multiple polarizations at Ku and Ka-band and a robust mechanical structure to meet the antenna electrical tolerances over a wide range of environmental conditions.
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 99.74K | Year: 2011
Future space-borne cloud radars will require significant technical innovations for improving remote sensing of the Earth's atmosphere and that of other planetary bodies such as Venus and Saturn's moon Titan, which have significant cloud cover. One critical innovation required is a pulse compression scheme at W-band (95 GHz) with ultra-low range sidelobe levels - on the order of 90 dB. The current space-borne cloud radar flying on CloudSat is an outstanding technical achievement but lacks sensitivity to weakly reflecting low altitude clouds. Because these clouds play a significant role in modulation the Earth's radiation budget follow-on missions will have to address this limitation. Pulse compression (coded) waveforms can maximize transmitter duty cycle usage and thus system sensitivity. However, the reflection from the Earth's surface can easily mask the cloud signal via the coded waveforms range sidelobe response. The requirement for detecting these clouds from space is severe and significant innovations are required to meet them. The proposed research addresses this requirement and is supported by staff who have significant experience in MMW system development, having built and flown the first airborne cloud radar utilizing FM chirp pulse compression.
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 124.76K | Year: 2014
This proposal discusses the development and demonstration of a swath-based airborne instrument suite intended as a calibration and validation with relevance to the ICESat II, SWOT and CryoSAT II missions. In particular our innovation will leverage prior NASA developments to focus on system miniaturization and increased performance. It will also support NASA's airborne science missions by utilizing long-endurance unmanned aircraft such as the Ikhana or the Global Hawk. These platforms become directly relevant due to the often remote nature of regions of interest, particularly as one considers the cryosphere. The Phase I will result in a system design that can be realized in a Phase II effort. During the Phase I, measurement requirements will be revisited and key technologies will be identified and incorporated where advantageous into a revised design. Data volume and system automation will be specifically evaluated and a plan for on-board data storage and compression/processing will be proposed. An accommodation feasibility study for the Ikhana will be evaluated. The Phase II effort will realize a prototype of this sensor. At the end of the Phase I, a technology readiness level of 3 will be achieved.
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 99.08K | Year: 2009
The NRC Decadal Survey recommended the Surface Water Ocean Topography (SWOT) satellite mission to address terrestrial fresh water hydrology and physical oceanography science questions. The proposed effort will develop a low-cost, Ka-band, multi-temporal baseline radar sensor designed to fly on high altitude unmanned aerial vehicle (Global Hawk) and acquire phenomenology (i.e. temporal, coherence, near-nadir scattering cross-section and vegetation attenuation) measurements in support of the SWOT mission. To realize this sensor, innovations in the sensor design, transceiver digital receiver and antenna are required. The Phase I will result in a system design for these subsystems that can be realized in a Phase II effort. During the Phase I, analytic studies and modeling will be performed to demonstrate feasibility and to perform the necessary tradeoffs. Leveraging a high altitude, FPGA-based digital receiver system developed by RSS and its development system, the digital receiver capabilities will be extended and initial laboratory testing performed. The Phase II effort will realize a prototype of this sensor.At the end of the Phase I, a technology readiness level of 3 will be achieved.
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 99.93K | Year: 2009
Remote Sensing Solutions will evaluate the critical parameters and generate a design approach for a portable, all-weather multi-wavelength antenna system suitable for supporting GPM ground validation and for use in other NASA cloud and precipitation research programs. The antenna system will have a number of unique characteristics including high gain (approximately 1 deg half-power beam width) and matched antenna beam shapes. The antenna will support multiple frequencies used for cloud and precipitation sensing. The basic design will provide Ku-band (14 GHz) and Ka-band (35 GHz) channels that can support a variety of polarization and absorption-based rain retrieval algorithms. An additional 95 GHz channel will be considered to augment the cloud-sensing capabilities of the antenna and to allow particle sizing in clouds. The antenna will have extremely high cross-polarization isolation suitable for identifying ice cloud particle habit.