NASA has awarded $19.4 million in funding for 20 new IT research and development programs ranging from a multi-satellite virtual private network for space-based applications (SpaceVPN) to a reconfigurable protocol chip for satellite networks.
The projects, selected from more than 200 submissions, focus on NASA's high-priority information technology areas on-board processing, space-based communications networks, mission automation, and high-end computing technologies for modeling.
The projects were funded through NASA's Advanced Information Systems Technology (AIST) program, which invests in research and development of new information technologies. The research is designed to support and enhance NASA's Earth science enterprise and applications objectives.
AIST focuses on creating mature technologies that will lead to smaller flight systems that can be built quickly and efficiently, since they will be less resource-intensive and less expensive.
According to NASA, AIST investment leads also to "more efficient ground-based processing and modeling systems that make the use of Earth science data for the good of humankind."
The investigations selected by NASA's Office of Earth Science include Mohammed Atiquzzaman (University of Oklahoma, Norman, Okla.): Seamless Handover in Space Networks; Marcos Bergamo (BBN Technologies, Cambridge, Mass.): Multi-Satellite Virtual Private Network for Space-Based Applications (SpaceVPN); Eric Byler (Lockheed Martin Aerospace Corp., Palo Alto, Calif.): Realtime-Reconfigurable Distributed-Computing for Adaptive Science Operations in Satellite Formations using Heterogeneous CPUs and Heterogeneous Connectivity; Liping Di (George Mason University, Fairfax, Va.): Integration of OGC and Grid Technologies for Earth Science Modeling and Applications; and Andrea Donnellan (NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.): Complexity Computational Environments: Data Assimilation SERVO Grid.
Also receiving funding were Stephen Durden (NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.): An On-Board Processor for a Spaceborne Doppler Precipitation Radar; Andrew Gray (NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.): Reconfigurable Protocol Chip for Satellite Networks; Jeffery Herath (NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, Va.): Radiation Tolerant Intelligent Memory Stack (RTIMS); James Joseph (Spectrum Astro, Gilbert, Ariz.): TCP/IP Router Board (TRB) with Ethernet Interfaces; Stephan Kolitz (Charles Stark Draper Laboratory, Cambridge, Mass.): Mission Automation for "A Train" Correlative Measurements Using the Earth Phenomena Observing Systems; and Jacqueline LeMoigne (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.): A Reconfigurable Computing Environment for On-Board Data Compression and Cloud Reduction.