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Transformational/Over-the-Horizon Communications Technology


Lead Center: GRC

Participating Center(s): GSFC


The proposer is expected to identify new ideas, create novel solutions and execute feasibility demonstrations. Emphasis for this subtopic is on the far-term (≈10yrs.) insofar as mission insertion and commercialization but it is expected that the proposer proves fundamental feasibility via prototyping within the normal scope of the SBIR program. The over-the-horizon communications technology development will focus research in the following areas:


  • Systems optimized for energy efficiency (information bits per unit energy).
  • Advanced materials; smart materials; electronics embedded in structures; functional materials; graphene-based electronics/detectors.
  • Technologies that address flexible, scalable digital/optical core processing topologies to support both RF and optical communications in a single terminal.
  • Nanoelectronics and nanomagnetics; quantum logic gates; single electron computing; superconducting devices; technologies to leapfrog Moore’s law.
  • Quantum communications, methods for probing quantum phenomenon, methods for exploiting exotic aspects of quantum theory.
  • Human/machine and brain-machine interfacing; the convergence of electronic engineering and bio-engineering; neural signal interfacing.


The research should be conducted to demonstrate theoretical and technical feasibility during the Phase I and Phase II development cycles and be able to demonstrate an evolutionary path to insertion within approximately 10 years. Delivery of a prototype of the most critically enabling element of the technology for NASA testing at the completion of the Phase II contract is expected.


Phase I deliverables shall include a final report describing theoretical analysis and prototyping concepts. The technology should have eventual commercialization potential. For Phase II consideration, the final report should include a detailed path towards Phase II prototype hardware.

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