August 7, 2019
Christopher Simpson will build a dual-use synchronized phased array utilizing a software-defined radio to test inter-formation networking and precise navigation and timing. This device will later use 24-GHz Ka-band to allow data-rates of 1-Gbps. The prototype will be presented in March 2020 at the conclusion of the effort. The payload functions as a passive radar and directed beam by utilizing electronic beam-forming, passive illumination, and network time reference protocols. During AY 2020-2021, 2 demonstration CubeSats will be built to test this game-changing technology in formation flying.
Mr. Simpson intends to collaborate with Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) researchers developing inter-CubeSat communication using a peer-to-peer topology. The mesh network architecture MSFC researchers are developing is intended to allow for data exchange between spacecraft with no central router. The waveform currently in use will be leveraged to reduce development risk.