SBIR Phase I: Reconfigurable Sparse Array Smart Antenna System via Multi-Robot Control

Award Information
National Science Foundation
Award Year:
Phase I
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Adaptive Communications Research Inc.
12581 Carmel Canyon Road, San Diego, CA, 92130
Hubzone Owned:
Minority Owned:
Woman Owned:
Principal Investigator:
Garret Okamoto
(858) 876-0079
Business Contact:
Garret Okamoto
(858) 876-0079
Research Institution:
This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project develops and evaluates a flexible sparse array smart antenna system that can be reconfigured through the use of multiple mobile robots. Current robotic systems are limited because they cannot utilize beamforming due to their limited number of antennas and the high computational requirement of beamformers. This pioneering research is made possible through recent breakthroughs for ultralow computational complexity beamforming and multi-mobile robot cluster control. Unlike current beamformers, the antennas in the sparse array will not be physically connected together but instead each robot will have a single antenna. By developing new signal processing and robotic control techniques, robotic communications will be enabled where impossible today due to range, dead spots, or interference. Over-the-air measurements will make it possible to finally evaluate how key issues (distance between robots, geometric shape of the sparse array, etc.) affects system performance. The broader impact/commercial potential of this project is that it can revolutionize commercial robotic systems and other applications in the wireless industry. Enabling multi-robot collaborative communications makes reliable communications possible in worst-case environments. Performance evaluation of sparse arrays will provide valuable insight for collaborative communications for other applications such as distributed sensor networks while the beamformer?s ultralow computational requirement makes it feasible to be added to current and future wireless systems. Creation of a new class of robotic communications will enable robots to be more effective in current applications and create new markets for the robotic sector. The use of robots has increased exponentially with robots increasingly relied upon for defense, law enforcement, and manufacturing, but communication limitations prevent robots from being effective in many situations. Preventing this critical loss of communications for robots searching for people trapped in collapsed buildings or while on scout missions can save lives and have a great societal impact. This research will foster new fields of scientific and technological understanding by enabling Academia and Industry researchers to evaluate the advances made through this pioneering research, which will enable performance optimization for smart antenna systems whether the antennas are physically connected or at different locations.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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