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Communications and Navigation


NASA seeks proposals to produce high impact developments in communications and navigation technologies to support space science and exploration missions, including the return of humans to the lunar surface. Missions are generating ever-increasing data volumes that require increased performance from communications systems while minimizing spacecraft impact. This requires higher peak throughput from the communications systems with lower flight communication system cost, mass, and power per bit transmitted.  Long range, deep-space optical communications systems are needed to support data-intensive missions beyond Mars orbit. Effective communications on a non-interference basis are also required in complex RF environments such as inside a launch vehicle fairing or spacecraft cavity, where new analysis methods are needed for predicting the RF environment. Similarly, missions have a need for more precise timing, guidance, navigation, and control to meet their mission objectives while conserving resources. This requires new and more efficient trajectory planning methods, increased onboard autonomous navigation, and improved precision of onboard instrumentation while minimizing cost, mass, and power. This focus area supports development of innovative technologies for optical and quantum communications systems, cognitive communications, flight dynamics and navigation, transformational communications approaches, electric field prediction methods, and timing, guidance, navigation, and control that will provide a significant improvement over the current state of the art.


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