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2013 R&D 100 Winner
Software-Defined RadioRadio communication is critical to the success of extraterrestrial exploration and operations. Remote data collection has accelerated rapidly in recent years, requiring greater bandwidth and reliability. Future missions by NASA and other organizations will likely rely on technologies that exploit the Ka-band, a range of frequencies extending from 20 to 30 GHz that allow high-speed broadband Internet connectivity and digital video and audio transmission. The NASA/Harris Ka-Band Software Defined Radio (SDR) from NASA Glenn Research Center and Harris Corp. is the first SDR transceiver to operate in the Ka-band and sets the stage for replacing unique fixed-function, single-vendor mission radios with reprogrammable SDRs. Qualified for operations aboard the International Space Station, the new radio offers in-orbit re-configuration, multi-waveform operation and fast deployment. Compatible with NASA’s existing satellite communications network, the highly modular hardware and software architecture is unique in its use of re-configurable field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs), a first for SDR.

Technology
Ka-band software-defined radio

Developers
NASA Glenn Research Center
Harris Corp.


Development Team

NASA Glenn Research Center NASA/Harris Ka-Band Software-Defined Radio (SDR) team.

 










Jeffery Anderson, Harris Corp. Joseph Downey, NASA Glenn Research Center Sandra Johnson, NASA Glenn Research Center

 






Thomas Kacpura, NASA Glenn Research Center Kevin Moran, Harris Corp. Richard Reinhart, NASA Glenn Research Center

 







The NASA/Harris Ka-Band Software-Defined Radio (SDR) Development Team
Thomas Kacpura, Principal Developer, NASA Glenn Research Center
Jeffery Anderson, Harris Corp.
Joseph Downey, NASA Glenn Research Center
Sandra Johnson, NASA Glenn Research Center
Kevin Moran, Harris Corp.
Richard Reinhart, NASA Glenn Research Center

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