Networked Cubesat RF Sparse Array System
Department of Defense
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
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Small Business Information
30 Lynn Avenue, Hull, MA, 02045
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
AbstractWe propose to design, develop, build and fly the elements of an orbiting large-baseline sparse array antenna system (RFSAS) using a cluster of cubesats. RFSAS will function effectively as an antenna with aperture adjustable from several meters to tens of kilometers, providing a range of sensing performances that cannot be achieved on a single spacecraft, and is very costly to deploy with traditional spacecraft technologies. RFSAS will open new capabilities for earth monitoring and space observations, with applications in: solar physics and geophysics; imaging of solar activity and coronal mass ejections in the low frequency range below the atmospheric cut-off; space weather monitoring and warning; and precise localization of RF sources and bursts on earth and in space. RFSAS antenna elements and array processing capabilities are distributed between cubesats. A prototype set of cubesats designed for a specific RFSAS application and their ground system will be prepared for launch and operations, to test and demonstrate the RFSAS system capabilities. High performance space-based sparse array antennas can then be assembled by multiplying low-cost copies of the prototype cubesat elements.
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