SCaN Testbed installed on the International Space Station. (NASA)
View large image Want to be a part of International Space Station research? Here's your chance. NASA is offering opportunities for academia, industry and government agencies to develop and carry out research and technology demonstrations on the space station using the newly installed Space Communications and Navigation (SCaN) Testbed.
These opportunities will allow researchers to develop new software according to the Space Telecommunications Radio Standard, or STRS, architecture for radios and reconfigure how radios communicate in space.
The SCaN Testbed is a communications, navigation and networking demonstration platform based on the STRS. The experimental platform began its initial checkout activities on the space station Aug. 13, and will operate for at least three years.
Experiment developers will provide software components to the STRS repository and enable future hardware platforms to use common reusable software modules.
"This new testbed is comprised of three STRS-compliant, software-defined radios to be operated in space," said Richard Reinhart, principal investigator of the SCaN Testbed at NASA's Glenn Research Center in Cleveland. "This flexible testbed will allow researchers to develop new software according to the STRS architecture for the radios and reconfigure how the radios communicate on-orbit, to explore new concepts for future missions. Once proven, this new capability will enable greater science return from future NASA missions."
There are two opportunities to use the testbed on the station.
The SCaN Testbed Experiment Opportunity invites industry and government agencies to enter into Space Act Agreements with NASA to use the SCaN Testbed on space station. The SCaN Testbed Cooperative Agreement Notice invites academia to develop proposals to use the orbiting laboratory's SCaN Testbed research capabilities. NASA expects these first industry, government agency, and university demonstrations to take place by late 2013 or early 2014.
"These two announcements of opportunity provide industry, academia and government agency experimenters a unique service and facility to develop and field the latest communications, navigation and networking technologies not only in the laboratory, but also in the dynamic space environment," said David Irimies, deputy project manager of the SCaN Testbed at Glenn. "Investigators will gain valuable flight experience, raise the technology maturity level of their applications by operating within the space environment, and demonstrate future mission capabilities for a potentially key role in future NASA missions."