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.