Radio Inspire

How To Learn Sign Language

NASA Space Communications and Navigation


[ Music ] Okay SIM control we’re
ready to go to run. Thank you. Well Jim, it looks like
the GPS residual’s down. They ought to be calling
us here any minute. Yeah I agree. It’s looking pretty good. Probably just waiting
on C-band tracking. Discovery, take GPS. Copy. Take GPS. All right, looks like it took. Yup. Well Jim, you ready
to get some lunch? That was a great run. Yeah I agree. Let’s do it. All right. Maybe we can find
that new restaurant. Navigation is the science
of following a planned path from one point to another. This includes using a GPS,
or Global Positioning System, to navigate your car to a
destination, guide a hiker through the woods, or help
first responders locate you in an emergency. GPS is also used by
financial institutions to timestamp transactions like
the swipe of a credit card or a cash withdrawal
from an ATM. Accurate timing is
also necessary to support critical
applications in space such as NASA’s communication
and tracking networks. [ Music ] NASA’s Small Business Innovation
and Research, or SBIR program, supports the development of
technologies that benefit NASA, encourages private
sector commercialization of innovations, and in
turn provides spin-offs that improve our
lives every day. SBIR program is very important
to developing technology for NASA as it insulates
NASA programs from the risks associated with the far reaching
technology development. It also gives NASA
access to the efficiencies and the capabilities
of small businesses. The small business innovative
research program develops technologies in three phases. In phase one, a six-month
conceptual study is performed to determine feasibility
of the idea. In phase two, a two-year
hardware development or software development
is undertaken. At the end of that time, a
prototype is delivered for NASA. Phase three is when the
prototype is incorporated or adopted by an
internal NASA program or by a large American business
for further development. Most US rocket launches take
place along the US eastern launch range at either
Kennedy Space Center or Cape Canaveral
Air Force Base. In the event of a failure, the NASA range flight safety
systems provides a means to prevent that launcher from
reaching populated areas. Three, two– As part
of the effort to improve safety
during launches, NASA is developing a system that uses Global Positioning
System Receivers placed directly on-board the launch vehicle to track its trajectory
during ascent. The SBIR program allows us to
help guide outside expertise and exploring fundamental
problems and interests that NASA has. We’re looking at ways to
mitigate possible interference of the GPS signals on a launch
vehicle using commercial GPS receivers. So it usually involves
antenna technology to look at multiple satellites and
compare different signals and be able to cancel out
any potential interference. The SBIR program funds
a number of initiatives that support navigation
from the time of launch throughout
interplanetary transfer. These initiatives may one
day help navigate spacecraft in deep space using x-ray and gamma ray pulsar
based navigation. Pulsars are rapidly
spinning stars, which broadcast a
repeating signal. They are, in fact, lighthouses
in the cosmos that can be used to help spacecraft
navigate through space. We do have a success to talk
about through the SBIR program and that is with x-ray
navigation we have developed a catalog of pulsars that
are good for our purposes, and we’ve also developed
first generation algorithms to analyze the data. We are in the process
of building instruments for x-ray navigation– one
to fly on the space station and perhaps elsewhere. One area where we have a
gap in our knowledge is in onboard autonomous
navigation. So we want to have pinpoint
landings on various objects and when the round-trip light
time becomes prohibitive, you want on-board
autonomous nav. And that’s an area of
focus that we would like to delve into more. The SBIR also funds a
number of technologies that support navigation
once we reach the surface of other planets. There have been a number of
successes in the SBIR subtopic for planetary surface
navigation. In particular, there’s been
a phase two effort that’s developed a GPS-like
capability that, for surface planetary navigation
position fixing that operates over ranges between one
and say 10 kilometers. Here we have an example
of a piece of hardware that could be deployed on a
suit or perhaps a vehicle or, and would also be deployed
on the fixed nodes on towers. This was developed as part of the phase two
and delivered to us. There’s also been
successes in the areas of celestial navigation for
planetary surface navigation as well as Bayesian filtering
for surface navigation. The development of these
cutting-edge mission-critical technologies not only
help us navigate our way through deep space,
they help us get to where we’re going
right here on earth. Turn left on second street. I’m not an expert on
GPS’s but it looks like Tim, we’ve arrived. Yeah, this place
looks incredibly good. Well that was some of the best
driving I’ve ever seen Bob. It’s not quite as
good as your flying of the space shuttle
but- I try to do my best. So whether you swipe
your ATM card, make a call on your cell
phone, or try to find your way to a new restaurant, many of the
advancements in communication and navigation technologies
that we enjoy today started with technology developed
in partnership with NASA. [Music]

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