The SBIR is producing product valuable to NASA across a breadth of missions such as ISS, TIROS, Stardust, Mini-Sat, and CubeSats. The scintillation-hardening improves the reliability of GPS for lower-orbit missions and the STRS-compliance permits mission redundancy. A software-defined radio implementation allows a single hardware element to function as either a conventional radio, or GPS, providing backup and redundancy for platforms such as the ISS and high-value remote sensing platforms. Packages such as the Stardust mission's return capsule can benefit from the flexibility of a software defined radio implementation that can provide GPS and communications from a single hardware system, saving cost, weight, and power. Scintillation hardening improves mission reliability and flexibility. Lower cost, low-orbit missions benefit directly from the STRS-compliant software package that enables low-cost, single-radio hardware systems that can function as a communications system or GPS system. Because scintillation effects increase at the lower altitudes, mission reliability will be improved with the scintillation hardening.
CubeSats have primarily been a university curiosity. The August 2012 launch of the Atlas V from Vandenberg AFB ferried 11 CubeSats as auxiliary payloads. Of the eleven, three are government or Department of Defense, and three are commercial satellites. Although we anticipate university interest to continue, the presence of the Department of Defense and commercial satellites in this launch indicates this market is about to open up with significant funding and resources. We believe there is great potential for STRS products and our GPS waveform in CubeSats. The most likely commercial product though, is software services. Similar to the dilemma confronted by Red Hat software in 1993, there is an established tier or monopoly of space product contractors and suppliers. To penetrate the market, we must provide a disruptive product that will compel system integrators to investigate our product. 'Free' is a powerful economic force, and one that has been successful in switching many markets from traditional suppliers to smaller and more agile software developers. Our business model is to develop the STRS Eclipse-based software tools and distribute them open source. We will also publish a scintillation-hardened GPS software as open source. Because schedule is equivalent to cost for many programs, we will provide subscriptions and consulting for those programs desiring direct assistance.