Space

April 24, 2013

Space station communications test bed checks out; experiments begin

NASA’s Space Communications and Navigation (SCaN) test bed has begun its experiments after completing its checkout on the International Space Station.

The SCaN test bed is an advanced, integrated communications laboratory facility that uses a new generation of software-defined radio technology to allow researchers to develop, test and demonstrate advanced communications, networking and navigation technologies in space. This radio communication technology is based on a new standard that enables radio characteristics and functionality to be changed simply by altering the software. It can be transferred to any radio built to the standard. The cost savings and efficiency of this new technology will improve NASA’s data communications in the future.

“The space station serves as a dynamic test bed for the technologies needed for future human and robotic exploration,” said International Space Station Program Manager Michael Suffredini. “SCaN is an example of the technologies that are being matured in low-Earth orbit and used to increase science return of many different types of spacecraft.”

Checkout activities completed in February established the status and health of the payload, including the antenna systems and software on each of three SDRs. The test bed will help technology developers and mission planners understand how they will be used in future missions.

“With the development and deployment of this test bed, NASA has enabled significant future advancements by gaining knowledge and understanding of SDR development,” said John Rush, technology and standards director for SCaN at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “That has created expertise across the agency that will define and develop the next generation of SDRs for future missions.”

Initial experiments under way include advancing in S-band and Ka-band SDR technology and enhancing the capabilities of the existing communications paths, especially in the Ka-band. Researchers expect the test bed to operate aboard the space station for as long as six years.

“The SCaN Test bed represents a significant advancement in SDRs and its applications for NASA,” said David Irimies, project manager for the SCaN test bed at NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland. “Investigating these SDR technologies in the dynamic space environment increases their technology readiness level and maturity, which in turn can be used for future missions as risk reduction.”

An experiment with NASA’s latest Tracking and Data Relay Satellite-K will be the first in-orbit test and demonstration of a TDRS spacecraft acquiring and successfully auto-tracking a Ka-band user in low-Earth orbit.

This reconfigurable in-orbit laboratory provides broad participation to NASA, industry, academia and other government agencies. These experiments will contribute data to the Space Telecommunications Radio Standard Compliant repository and will enable future hardware platforms to use common, reusable software modules to reduce development time and costs.

NASA continues to solicit proposals to participate in the development, integration and in-orbit execution of research and technology experiments and demonstrations using the test bed. The first users outside NASA are expected to demonstrate experiments on the SCaN test bed by 2014.

Glenn Research Center leads the SCaN test bed multi-center team, which includes the agency’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.; Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif.; and Johnson Space Center in Houston. General Dynamics of Scottsdale, Ariz., and Harris Corp. of Melbourne, Fla., developed SDRs under cooperative agreements with NASA. The SCaN Program Office in the Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington manages, oversees and funds the test bed.

 




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines October 24, 2014

News: U.S., South Korea delay transfer of wartime control - The U.S. and South Korea have delayed transferring wartime operational control of allied forces by taking on a “conditions-based approach” and scrapping the previously set deadline of 2015.   Business: Exclusive: Lockheed, Pentagon reach $4 billion deal for more F-35 jets - Lockheed Martin and U.S. defense...
 
 

News Briefs October 24, 2014

French moving troops toward Libyan border A top French military official says the country is moving troops toward the Libyan border within weeks and, along with U.S. intelligence, is monitoring al Qaeda arms shipments to Africa’s Sahel region. A French base will go up within weeks in a desert outpost just a hundred kilometers (60...
 
 
Navy photograph

Navy to commission submarine North Dakota

Navy photograph The PCU North Dakota (SSN 784) during bravo sea trials. The crew performed exceptionally well on both alpha and bravo sea trials. The submarine North Dakota is the 11th ship of the Virginia class, the first U.S....
 

 

Boeing announces SF Airlines order for Boeing converted freighters

Boeing announced Oct. 23 that SF Airlines has placed an order for an undisclosed number of 767-300ER passenger-to-freighter conversions (Boeing Converted Freighters). SF Airlines, a subsidiary of Shenzhen, China-based delivery services company SF Express, will accept its first redelivered 767 in the second half of 2015. “SF Express aims to become China’s most respected and...
 
 
LM-C130

Another Super Herc Little Rock Rollin’

  Lockheed Martin delivered another C-130J Super Hercules to the 61st Airlift Squadron at Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark., Oct. 23. Little Rock AFB’s new C-130J was ferried from the Lockheed Martin Aeronautics facility ...
 
 

United Technologies beats third quarter profit expectations

United Technologies Corp. Oct. 23 reported third-quarter profit of $1.85 billion as sales increased across all its businesses and the aerospace giant reported favorable tax settlements. The Hartford, Conn.,-based company said it had profit of $2.04 per share and earnings, adjusted for non-recurring gains, came to $1.82 per share. The results topped Wall Street expectations,...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>