Media Invited to see Space Hardware Bound for Japan
CLEVELAND -- NASA's Glenn Research Center will host a media event at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 10, to showcase a new communications testbed to be installed on the International Space Station.
The testbed, due to launch from Japan later this year, is called the SCaN Testbed, or the Space Communications & Navigation Testbed. It will be the first space hardware to provide an experimental laboratory to demonstrate many new capabilities, including new communications, networking and navigation techniques that utilize Software Defined Radio technology. The SCaN Testbed includes three such radio devices, each with different capabilities. These devices will be used by researchers to advance this technology over the Testbed's five year planned life in orbit.
"A Software Defined Radio is purposely reconfigured during its lifetime, which makes it unique," says Diane Cifani Malarik, project manager for the SCaN Testbed. This is made possible by software changes that are sent to the device, allowing scientists to use it for a multitude of functions, some of which might not be known before launch. Traditional radio devices cannot be upgraded after launch.
By developing these devices, future space missions will be able to return more scientific information, because new software loads can add new functions or accommodate changing mission needs. New software loads can change the radio's behavior to allow communication with later missions that may use different signals or data formats.
During the event, reporters at Glenn's Power Systems Facility will have the opportunity to tour the High Bay Clean Room in which the Testbed is located and see the Telescience Support Center, from which Glenn employees will control and monitor the Testbed once it's installed on station.
Additionally, reporters will be able to speak with Badri Younes, deputy associate administrator of NASA's Space Communications & Navigation Program and Glenn project managers and researchers who have been involved in the multi-year project.
After the event, the SCaN Testbed will be prepared for shipping to the Tanegashima Space Center in Japan on Feb. 13, to begin processing for the scheduled launch this year aboard a Japanese H-IIB Transfer Vehicle.
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