MilstarSpace Micro Inc. has been awarded $100,000 by the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) to develop a software-defined radio system for military satellites. The Phase I Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract is to develop space communications hardware that interfaces with existing systems and is resistant to radiation.

Software defined radios typically have problems in high radiation environments, (including space). Such high doses of radiation not only interfere with sensitive equipment, but according to some, may impede a manned Mars mission. Space Micro’s Micro Software Defined Radio (µSDR) hardware is purportedly radiation hardened to withstand the harsh conditions of space.

Dr. Bert Vermeire, CTO at Space Micro, said “this is a big step, both for Space Micro and for the space industry. There is a definite need for a radiation hardened software defined radio for space, and we have the technology and experience to create one.”