Status Report

NASA GRC Solicitation: Comments for the Space Telecommunications Radio System Open Architecture Description

By SpaceRef Editor
January 18, 2006
Filed under , ,

Synopsis – Jan 17, 2006

STRS Architecture

Descripton Document – Posted on Jan 17, 2006

General Information

Solicitation Number: N/A
Reference Number: NNC06000001L
Posted Date: Jan 17, 2006
FedBizOpps Posted Date: Jan 17, 2006
Original Response Date: Mar 15, 2006
Current Response Date: Mar 15, 2006
Classification Code: A — Research and Development

Contracting Office Address

NASA/Glenn Research Center, 21000 Brookpark Road, Cleveland, OH 44135


THIS IS NOT A NOTICE OF SOLICITATION. IT IS A REQUEST FOR INFORMATION (RFI). NASA does not intend to award a contract on the basis of this information, but may release an RFP at a later date based on the need for this type of technology and its feasibility based upon the responses to this request for information (RFI). This request is for information planning purposes and to allow industry an opportunity to provide information and comments on a proposed radio architecture and related technologies for space based radios. Prospective offerors are invited to submit comments or questions to the identified point of contact, no later than March 15, 2006. In responding, use reference RFI-NNC06000001L.


The National Aeronautic and Space Administration (NASA) is developing an open architecture description for software defined radios (SDR). The Space Transceiver Radio System (STRS) SDR architecture provides architecture level specifications for hardware and software development to abstract the software waveforms from hardware platforms. The architecture strives to support existing (e.g. legacy) communications needs and capabilities while providing a path to more capable, advanced network connectivity that promotes scalable, modular, reconfigurable, and upgradeable functionality and features.

The NASA Software Defined Radio Architecture Team (SAT), comprised of HQ and multi-Center personnel, is responsible for the development of the architecture definition. The recommendations from the SAT will be given to NASA’s Space Communication Architecture Working Group (SCAWG) for consideration as a radio standard for NASA’s future communication architecture. The purpose of this request for information is to solicit comments that will be relevant to planning NASA’s future Space Communications Radio Architecture. The information being sought includes comments on the preliminary draft of the architecture definition and the industry’s estimate for the impact, in cost, schedule and risk, of complying with the specification during the design, development, and verification of the space radio. Comments are being sought from those developing and/or integrating radios for NASA, DoD, and commercial space applications.

The SAT is requesting a written report and a summary presentation from the responder. The summary presentation is expected to occur in the Reston, Virginia area, tentatively planned for February 14th and if needed, the morning of February 15th, 2006. Approximately 1- 1.5 hours (depending on number of companies presenting) will be available to each company to individually brief the SAT. The audience for the presentation will include members of the SAT and possibly the Space Communication Architecture Working Group (SCAWG). The company’s history in responding to other applicable NASA solicitations, such as the Request for Information for the SCAWG, could be summarized in the presentation, but the details of the material do not have to be repeated. Presentations should be scheduled with:

Michael Collins ASRC Aerospace Reston, Virginia Phone: 571-262-3136

Written Response: The written response is due to the technical contacts listed below by March 15, 2006 and should contain the following items:

1.Contact information of the submitter a. Name of Organization

b. Name, email address, and phone number of individual responsible for the submission

2. Use of the submitted material by NASA. We desire to make all portions of the responses available to the Government community (e.g. NASA, JTRS, DoD, JPL) and contractors who have signed an NDA with the SCAWG. Therefore, unless otherwise stated or noted, all responses to this RFI shall be made publicly available. Those wishing to keep their responses confidential should state so with such wording as “‘company name’ Proprietary” or “Limited distribution. Please do not disclose outside of the US Government.”

3.STRS Open Architecture Description Comments: Please provide comments specific to the Architecture Description document, considering the following items.

a. Describe how the STRS Architecture Description Document may be improved to meet the needs of the radio, waveform,and component suppliers. Additional documents will accompany the architecture, see note below. The Description Document is intended to introduce the architecture concept.

b. Identify any limitations in the definition framework that must be addressed.

c. Provide recommendations or examples for the types of functions to be implemented as part of the Hardware Abstraction Layer (HAL), especially when FPGAs or other specialized hardware are used. (Section 10.7)

d. Identify potential parameters or specifications that may be published by the platform developer as part of the Hardware Interface Description (HID). Describe how Intellectual property could be protected while adhering to the architecture (Section 8.3)

e. Suggest techniques to optimize the infrastructure and operating environment.

f. Make recommendations to the lists of APIs (Section 10.2). Suggest potential reuse or alignment with JTRS APIs.

g. Provide suggestions to define the different mission platform classes (Section 5.1). Suggest radio platform or operational characteristics that would determine the boundaries for developing one class versus another.

h. Suggest additional high level requirements above those stated in the Concepts and Function Document (see link below).

i. NASA is considering a library of waveforms to facilitate software reuse. Provide any recommendations into the structure or contents of the library.

j. Provide any other comments of relative information that should be considered as the STRS Specification is further developed.

4. Business Case Analysis: As NASA performs a business case analysis to determine the impact of implementing an open architecture for space-based software defined radios, comments or information is sought on other, similar analysis:

a. Describe non-recurring and recurring costs (rough order of magnitudes, not quotes) to adhere to the STRS architecture. Identify high cost or high risk items that drive the costs.

b. Provide data or analysis from similar business cases analysis that might be of value, in both the formulation structure and the quantitative information

c. Suggested approach for implementing the analysis. 5. Radio Description: Provide a brief description of the organizations programmable and/or reconfigurable radios and their associated hardware and software architectures. Previous Request for Information (RFI) responses can be referenced if applicable.

6. Impact of Implementation: Describe the types of modifications you predict would be required to your current radio platforms to implement this type of architecture capability on a similar platform. Provide rough order of magnitude costs for development and maintenance costs.

7. TRL Advancement: Discuss the timeline and required steps to develop a radio that adheres to the architecture specification to a Technology Readiness Levels described below”

a. TRL 6 (System/subsystem model or prototype demonstration in a relevant environment. (ground)

b. TRL 8 Actual system completed and “flight qualified” through test and demonstration. (ground)

Note: The first document provided in the RFI is the STRS Architecture Description Document. This document overviews the architecture purpose and plans and introduces the STRS Architecture Specification. The second document provided in the RFI is the Reconfigurable Transceiver Architecture & Technology for NASA Space Communications Concept & Functions Document. This document, originally released in September 2003 overviews the types of functions expected of a reconfigurable radio for NASA missions. Portions of this work were developed under Contract NNC04CB10C with General Dynamics C4 Systems.

Additional documents such as the STRS Architecture Requirements Document, Use Case descriptions, and Specification Document (e.g. API descriptions, interface definitions) are currently in development or review. Feedback from this RFI is intended to directly influence these documents before release.

THIS RFI IS ISSUED SOLEY FOR INFORMATION AND PLANNING PURPOSES AND DOES NOT CONSTITUTE A SOLICITATION. Responders are soley responsible for all expenses associated with responding to this RFI.

The presentation and written responses must be submitted as an electronic file in either Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, or PDF.

Questions and written responses should be directed to the points of contact listed below: Their mailing address is as follows:

Richard Reinhart 21000 Brookpark Road M.S.54-8 Cleveland, Ohio 44135

Sandra Johnson 21000 Brookpark Road M.S. 54-4 Cleveland, Ohio 44135

Point of Contact

Name: Richard C Reinhart
Title: Program Engineer
Phone: (216) 433-6588
Fax: (216) 433-3478

Name: Sandra K Johnson
Title: Computer Engineer
Phone: (216) 433-8016
Fax: (216) 433-3478

SpaceRef staff editor.