Phase II plug-n-play prototype, Radiobot 1.0, will allow NASA to achieve wideband autonomous cognitive radio (WACR) technology with minimal modifications to existing SDRs. Autonomous and intelligent communications networks made of WACRs will be ideal to explore the full potential of networked clusters of satellites (such as CubeSats) including improving performance of current space communications links as well as exploring new communications paradigms. Moreover, our planned Ka-band development and testing will be aligned with NASA?s goal of transitioning future systems to this band. They can enable cognitive cooperative communications techniques leading to new approaches to achieve mission success in certain situations. For example, cognitive cooperative relaying in a cluster of satellites can provide a data path for observing the night side of Mars. WACRs can also be ideal for achieving delay tolerant networking in earth monitoring or unmanned lunar/planetary exploration missions with CubeSat networks: Cognitive cooperative communications enabled by WACRs can be used to link data to a ground station reliably with minimum delay. Other applications include, a) facilitating higher bandwidth and fewer dropouts in imagery sent over "short" distances such as LEO spacecraft-to-ground, b) agility to avoid interference with other systems and to adapt waveforms, and c) optimizing bandwidth within power limitations particularly at very long ranges such as interplanetary operations.
Beyond NASA applications, WACR technology enabled by our Phase II prototype Radiobot 1.0 may also find many other applications in small satellites and autonomous systems such as unmanned aerial vehicles or drones. There is a significant market opportunity created by the needs of major defense contractors and manufacturers of such systems. Another huge non-NASA application area of WACR technology is in first-responder/emergency/public safety communications. Reliability, interoperability and infrastructure-less operation are some of the key requirements on such systems and WACRs are uniquely position to meet these requirements. The spectrum-, network- and self-aware operation of WACRs can indeed be a robust solution for emergency/first-responder communications systems. Recently, the spectrum awareness of WACRs and their ability to operate over a large spectrum range has attracted interest of DoD agencies to this technology. In particular, Bluecom is in discussions with several DoD agencies in developing WACR technology for overcoming the issue of spectrum encroachment by unauthorized transmitters and cognitive anti-jamming.