Compact Type 1 Space Encryption Hardware
Agency / Branch:
DOD / USAF
Historically, military strategic satellite systems have been large in physical size and designed for lifetimes of up 10 years or more. To prevent unauthorized access to these systems their communication links are typically protected by Communications security (COMSEC) equipment. These box level security components are referred to as encryption control units (ECUs) or End Crypto Units (ECUs). Even the smallest and simplest of these ECU's tend to be expensive ($50,000 to $100,000 plus), somewhat large in size (50 to 100 cubic inches), support data rates of 100's of Mbps and consume significant power (multiple watts). Additionally, these ECU's must meet very stringent Mean Time Between Failure (MTBF) numbers (500,000 to 1,000,000 hours) and radiation environment numbers- due to the long mission life and the various orbits they may enter. As a new class of satellites (SmallSat, CubeSat, NanoSat, etc.) has emerged over the last several years, the COMSEC equipment required to provide this essential protection function has not kept pace with the corresponding the size weight and power (SWAP) reduction of this new class of satellites. This SBIR will address the unique requirements associated with this class of satellites. By tailoring the ECU to the specific environments that these satellites are exposed to and account for their shorter lifetime and radiation exposure it is possible to incorporate innovative design and development concepts that can provide small size, lightweight, low power, and low cost security solutions. BENEFIT: The space crypto technology developed under this SBIR benefits the emerging class of smaller satellites in the commercial community as well as the needs of the DoD operationally responsive space intitiative.
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