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Optical Precision Navigation, Timing and Communications System for Small Spacecraft Swarms

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: 80NSSC20C0651
Agency Tracking Number: 206757
Amount: $124,935.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: Z8
Solicitation Number: SBIR_20_P1
Solicitation Year: 2020
Award Year: 2020
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2020-07-29
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2021-03-01
Small Business Information
2730 Saint Giles Lane
Mountain View, CA 94040-4437
United States
DUNS: 022768516
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 John Hanson
 (408) 898-0376
Business Contact
 John Hanson
Phone: (408) 898-0376
Research Institution

CrossTrac Engineering, Inc., in cooperation with its partners, Cateni, Inc., and GMH Engineering, proposes to develop a system for the precision relative navigation and time synchronization and gigabit data transfer for swarms of small spacecraft based on the optical terminal currently under development at CrossTrac.nbsp; This will include an integrated software defined radio compatible with small spacecraft and designed specifically for the coordinated operation and precise navigation of multiple small spacecraft operating in a swarm as well as the software necessary to manage the network and determine the relative positions of the users.nbsp; The ldquo;PNTC Systemrdquo; will provide users with precise knowledge of their positions to the centimeter level, synchronize user clocks to sub-nanosecond level, provide giga-bit-per-second communications and coordinate the operations of the optical network using its integrated RF solution.nbsp; NASA is exploring a number of multispacecraft swarm missions that depend on the coordinated, time synchronized action and/or observations of multiple spacecraft with accurately measured relative positions.nbsp; These swarm missions, among other things, can be formed into sparse aperture systems providing unprecedented image resolution; can be used to explore phenomena that vary simultaneously in time and space; and can perform distributed RF communications, imaging the RF emissions of galactic sources.nbsp; Furthermore, a series of spacecraft in lunar or Martian orbit can use this system to provide PNTC services to nearby.nbsp; The growth of the CubeSat industry over the past decade and the related increase in launch opportunities for these spacecraft couple with the need by NASA users for improved PNT services and increased data collection capabilities combine to make the development of the PNTC terminal not just desirable for current users, but enabling of future missions requiring orders of magnitude more precise PNT services.

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

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