NIAC Phase II Award: Rotary-Motion-Extended Array Synthesis (R-MXAS)

Rotary-motion-extended array synthesis (Credit: John Kendra)

NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) Program
Phase II Award: Up to $500,000 for 2 Years

Rotary-Motion-Extended Array Synthesis (R-MXAS)
John Kendra
Leidos, Inc.

R-MXAS is a revolutionary aerospace architecture for realizing a synthetic aperture imaging radiometer (SAIR) with dramatically lower size, weight and power (SWaP) than existing state-of-the-art (SOTA) methods. The space-based component of R-MXAS is a single platform comprising a 1-D sparse/decimated antenna array on a rigid tether (deployed parallel to the horizon) and one or more additional tethered antennas that rotate in a plane orthogonal to the 1-D array.

The processing that correlates the data from these antenna systems and performs image reconstruction has both space-based and ground-based components. The processing exploits the interferometric baselines formed between the rotating tethered antenna at radius R and each of the antennas of the 1-D array on the rigid tether.

2019 Phase 1 and Phase II Selections
2011-2019 Consolidated List

NIAC Phase I Awards Focused on Advanced Remote Sensing & Orbital Debris

The NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) program recently awarded 25 grants for the development of visionary new technologies. Here we’re going to take a closer look at two Phase I awards focused on advanced remote sensing and orbital debris.

Rotary Motion Extended Array Synthesis (R-MXAS)
John Kendra
Leidos, Inc.

On-Orbit, Collision-Free Mapping of Small Orbital Debris
Christine Hartzell
University of Maryland, College Park

Each award is worth up to $125,000 for a nine-month study. Descriptions of the awards are below.


NASA Invests in Shapeshifters, Biobots & Other Visionary Technology

WASHINGTON, DC (NASA PR) — NASA is investing in technology concepts that include¬†meteoroid impact detection, space telescope swarms, and small orbital debris mapping technologies that may one day be used for future space exploration missions.

The agency selected 25 early-stage technology proposals that have the potential to transform future human and robotic exploration missions, introduce new exploration capabilities, and significantly improve current approaches to building and operating aerospace systems.