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Reconfigurable Power-Aware EVA Radio, Phase I

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

Reconfigurable Power-Aware EVA Radio, Phase I
Advanced Extra Vehicular Activity (EVA) radio system is a pivotal technology for the successful support of the International Space Station beyond 2020 and future human space exploration missions. It facilitates surface operations, enables crew mobility, and supports point to multi-point communications across rovers, Lander, habitat, and other astronauts. Driven by Communications, Command, Control, and Information interoperability, tight power budgets, and extreme miniaturization, this mobile radio platform must be power efficient and highly adaptive. Intelligent Automation, Inc. (IAI) and its sub-contractor, Purdue University, propose to develop a power-efficient, miniaturized, reconfigurable EVA radio system using state-of-the-art RF micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) and software defined radio (SDR) technologies; and middleware with power aware algorithms. Modern FPGA devices are bridging the gap between high speed digital design and digital signal processor (DSP) implementation. The SDR-based architecture allows the radio to support multiple bandwidth, waveforms and energy profiles; even those developed after the mission began, via cognitive middleware. Therefore, it can lower the mission cost by upgrading the EVA radios when needed. The MEMS tunable filters proposed are based on miniaturized evanescent-mode cavities, which are 95% smaller than conventional cavities and are capable of providing very high Q and excellent tuning range. More »

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