NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) Program
Phase II Award: Up to $500,000 for 2 Years
Rotary-Motion-Extended Array Synthesis (R-MXAS)
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.