(Press-News.org) The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) recently selected Southwest Research Institute to provide the flight low-rate crosslink wireless communications platform for the System F6 Program.
The System F6 Program, which is envisioned to culminate in an on-orbit demonstration in 2015–2016, is designed to validate a new space mission concept in which a cluster of smaller, wirelessly connected spacecraft replaces the typical single spacecraft carrying numerous instruments and payloads. This "fractionated" architecture enhances survivability, responsiveness and adaptability compared to the traditional monolithic spacecraft. The SwRI K-band radio is a core element of the open source F6 Developers Kit (FDK), which allows any spacecraft to participate in an F6-enabled cluster.
SwRI's K-band wireless crosslink radio incorporates a continuously active communications channel with guaranteed availability and latency via a Time Division Multiple Access (TDMA) protocol to provide a reliable, robust and flexible solution for a variety of mission communications needs. Unique to SwRI's K-band radio is a core architecture that accommodates a continuous data link among the cluster members and also supports inclusion of third-party, point-to-point, high-rate data links. The SwRI-developed F6 Wireless Inter-Module Communications System (F6WICS) protocol incorporates a data link layer ready for integration with higher level network protocols to allow distributed computing with unique mechanisms for maximizing bandwidth allocations.
"As a nonprofit organization, Southwest Research Institute is ideally suited to support the DARPA System F6 FDK through the development of the K-band crosslink solution," says Dr. Mark Tapley, a staff engineer in the SwRI Space Science and Engineering Division and principal investigator for the wireless system. "System F6 is truly a game-changing paradigm for space missions that has broad applicability across not only national security programs, but also traditional scientific missions in which mission durability, reconfigurability, distributed measurements and expandability are enabling technologies."
Founded in 1947, SwRI has been a pioneer in complex radio-frequency system development for commercial and government clients. SwRI is a leading provider of spacecraft avionics and instrumentation for NASA, DOD, ESA and the commercial space industry. SwRI has provided avionics systems for more than 60 missions without an on-orbit failure and currently serves as the principal investigator institution for NASA's Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX), New Horizons and Juno missions, as well as for the Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) mission instrument suite. SwRI is also developing eight microsatellites for the Cyclone Global Navigation Satellite System (CYGNSS), NASA's first spaceborne Earth Venture-class mission.
Approved for Public Release, Distribution Unlimited END
DARPA selects SwRI K-band space crosslink radio for flight development as part of System F6 program
ELSE PRESS RELEASES FROM THIS DATE:
When will genomic research translate into clinical care -- and at what cost?
BOSTON – Genomic research is widely expected to transform medicine, but progress has been slower than expected. While critics argue that the genomics "promise" has been broken – and that money might be better spent elsewhere -- proponents say the deliberate pace underscores the complexity of the relationship between medicine and disease and, indeed, argues for more funding. But thus far, these competing narratives have been based mostly on anecdotes. Ramy Arnaout, MD, DPhil, a founding member of the Genomic Medicine Initiative at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC), ...
Rainfall, brain infection linked in sub-Saharan Africa
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- The amount of rainfall affects the number of infant infections leading to hydrocephalus in Uganda, according to a team of researchers who are the first to demonstrate that these brain infections are linked to climate. Hydrocephalus -- literally "water on the brain" -- is characterized by the build-up of the fluid that is normally within and surrounding the brain, leading to brain swelling. The swelling will cause brain damage or death if not treated. Even if treated, there is only a one-third chance of a child maintaining a normal life after post-infectious ...
Researchers seek longer battery life for electric locomotive
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Norfolk Southern Railway No. 999 is the first all-electric, battery-powered locomotive in the United States. But when one of the thousand lead-acid batteries that power it dies, the locomotive shuts down. To combat this problem, a team of Penn State researchers is developing more cost-effective ways to prolong battery life. The experimental locomotive's batteries, just like automotive batteries, are rechargeable until they eventually die. A leading cause of damage and death in lead-acid batteries is sulfation, a degradation of the battery caused ...
Outsourced radiologists perform better reading for fewer hospitals
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Experience working for a particular hospital matters when it comes to the performance of radiologists who work for outsourcing teleradiology companies, according to a team of researchers, whose finding could have important implications, given the growing use of telemedicine. "More than half of all hospitals now use teleradiology services," said Jonathan Clark, assistant professor of health policy and administration, Penn State. "Hospitals send their X-rays, CT scans, MRIs and other images to outsourcing companies who then forward the images to ...
Scripps physicians call for change in cancer tissue handling
SAN DIEGO – Genetic sequencing technology is altering the way cancer is diagnosed and treated, but traditional specimen handling methods threaten to slow that progress. That's the message delivered this week in a column appearing in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) by Scripps Clinic physicians Eric Topol, Kelly Bethel and Laura Goetz. Dr. Topol is a cardiologist who serves as chief academic officer of Scripps Health and director of the Scripps Translational Science Institute (STSI), leading Scripps' genomic medicine research efforts. Dr. Bethel ...
Research update: Jumping droplets help heat transfer
CAMBRIDGE, MA -- Many industrial plants depend on water vapor condensing on metal plates: In power plants, the resulting water is then returned to a boiler to be vaporized again; in desalination plants, it yields a supply of clean water. The efficiency of such plants depends crucially on how easily droplets of water can form on these metal plates, or condensers, and how easily they fall away, leaving room for more droplets to form. The key to improving the efficiency of such plants is to increase the condensers' heat-transfer coefficient — a measure of how readily heat ...
Your brain on Big Bird
Using brain scans of children and adults watching Sesame Street, cognitive scientists are learning how children's brains change as they develop intellectual abilities like reading and math. The novel use of brain imaging during everyday activities like watching TV, say the scientists, opens the door to studying other thought processes in naturalistic settings and may one day help to diagnose and treat learning disabilities. Scientists are just beginning to use brain imaging to understand how humans process thought during real-life experiences. For example, researchers ...
Study reveals new survival strategy for bacteria exposed to antibiotics
Researchers have uncovered a new way that some bacteria survive when under siege by antibiotics. This survival mechanism is fundamentally different from other, known bacterial strategies. Understanding it may be useful for designing drugs that target hard-to-treat bacterial strains, such as drug-resistant tuberculosis, an increasingly urgent public health problem. The study is based on Mycobacterium smegmatis, a cousin of the microbe that causes TB, and its response to the TB drug isoniazid. The research, by Yuichi Wakamoto of the University of Tokyo and Neeraj Dhar ...
Steroids that only nature could make on a large scale -- Until now
LA JOLLA, CA – January 3, 2013 – Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have achieved a feat in synthetic chemistry by inventing a scalable method to make complex natural compounds known as "polyhydroxylated steroids." These compounds, used in heart-failure medications and other drugs, have been notoriously problematic to synthesize in the laboratory. The researchers demonstrated the new strategy by synthesizing ouabagenin [wa-bah-jenn-in], a close chemical cousin of ouabain, which Somali tribes once used as a potent poison on the tips of their arrows but ...
Coral records suggest that recent El Nino activity rises above noisy background
VIDEO: By studying a set of fossil corals that are as much as 7,000 years old, scientists have dramatically expanded the amount of information available on the El Nino-Southern Oscillation, a... Click here for more information. By examining a set of fossil corals that are as much as 7,000 years old, scientists have dramatically expanded the amount of information available on the El Nino-Southern Oscillation, a Pacific Ocean climate cycle that affects climate worldwide. The ...