Orlando, Florida (April 4, 2011)—Clarcona Technology, a strategic consulting and engineering research company for high performance wireless communications, was awarded an SBIR (Small Business Innovative Research) Phase 1 contract through the United States Air Force to develop a chaos-based modulation solution for improved security of satellite-to-satellite communications.
In this effort, Clarcona will develop a chaos sequence generator design along with associated algorithms. Based on these designs, the company will simulate a low probability of intercept, low-data rate chaos-based waveform for communicating position and navigation information between orbiting CubeSats, a type of nanosatellite approximately the size of a 10 cm cube.
Nanosatellites were conceived to reduce the vulnerability of mission critical, large satellites by reducing the overall satellite signature. In order to accomplish the same mission of a large satellite, however, multiple nanosatellites collaborating together are needed.
“Inter-satellite communications is now a critical component of the overall system,” said Brent Horine, principal and managing member, Clarcona Technology. “We believe chaos-based modulation brings unique capabilities to solve this challenge. It provides a clear technology path to significantly enhance the security of satellite-to-satellite communications.”
Although chaos appears to be random, it is absolutely deterministic. A key aspect is its sensitivity to initial conditions and circuit parameters. This makes it susceptible to errors due to single event upset (SEU) in space radiation environments. Clarcona is developing techniques to harden the chaos system to SEU. The company also is working to make chaos radiation-hard, and is working toward innovations in the communications waveform.
Clarcona’s chaos-based chip/algorithm end product will be housed in a 3U transceiver form factor.