24/7 Monitoring of Active Satellites using Passive Radio-Frequency (RF) Sensors

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA9451-19-C-0502
Agency Tracking Number: F171-026-0068
Amount: $750,000.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: AF171-026
Solicitation Number: 2017.1
Solicitation Year: 2017
Award Year: 2019
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2018-11-20
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2020-11-20
Small Business Information
101 N. Wilmot Road, Tucson, AZ, 85711
DUNS: 112803689
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Richard Wallner
 (303) 768-7006
Business Contact
 Lonnie Taylor
Phone: (520) 519-4498
Email: lbt@rincon.com
Research Institution
Rincon Research Corporation (RRC) has developed a low-cost passive-RF-based system that generates high-accuracy tracking observations using the RF signals broadcast by active satellites. In Phase I, RRC demonstrated that this system can track active deep-space satellites 24x7 in all weather, that it can distinguish closely spaced objects (CSOs) by their different RF emissions, and that the resulting orbit determination (OD)/ephemeris accuracy is more than an order of magnitude more accurate than current Space Surveillance Network (SSN) and Joint Space Operations Center (JSpOC) capabilities. There were 13 technical goals for this SBIR, and RRC successfully demonstrated 9 of those goals during Phase I using our research and development (R&D) passive RF network, and we provided a clear path forward to demonstrating the remaining four goals during Phase II. In Phase II, RRC will design and integrate an operational-quality passive RF collection system, and install it at a customer-designated site. The installed sensor will demonstrate that the technology is robust and deployable, that each site can be built for less than $1 million, and that the system can cue optical sensors to rapidly locate and track satellites through full-day and full-dark conditions and provide multi-phenomenology confirmation of satellite location and maneuvers.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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