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High Data Rate Architecture (HiDRA)One of the greatest challenges in developing new space technology is in navigating the transition from ground based laboratory demonstration at Technology Readiness Level 6 (TRL-6) to conducting a prototype demonstration in space (TRL-7). This challenge is com- pounded by the relatively low availability of new spacecraft missions when compared with aeronautical craft to bridge this gap, leading to the general adoption of a low-risk stance by mission management to accept new, unproven technologies into the system. Also in consideration of risk, the limited selection and availability of proven space-grade components imparts a severe limitation on achieving high performance systems by current terrestrial technology standards. Finally from a space communications point of view the long duration characteristic of most missions imparts a major constraint on the entire space and ground network architecture, since any new technologies introduced into the system would have to be compliant with the duration of the currently deployed operational technologies, and in some cases may be limited by surrounding legacy capabilities. Beyond ensuring that the new technology is verified to function correctly and validated to meet the needs of the end users the formidable challenge then grows to additionally include: carefully timing the maturity path of the new technology to coincide with a feasible and accepting future mission so it flies before its relevancy has passed, utilizing a limited catalog of available components to their maximum potential to create meaningful and unprecedented new capabilities, designing and ensuring interoperability with aging space and ground infrastructures while simultaneously providing a growth path to the future. The International Space Station (ISS) is approaching 20 years of age. To keep the ISS relevant, technology upgrades are continuously taking place. Regarding communications, the state-of-the-art communication system upgrades underway include high-rate laser terminals. These must interface with the existing, aging data infrastructure. The High Data Rate Architecture (HiDRA) project is designed to provide networked store, carry, and forward capability to optimize data flow through both the existing radio frequency (RF) and new laser communications terminal. The networking capability is realized through the Delay Tolerant Networking (DTN) protocol, and is used for scheduling data movement as well as optimizing the performance of existing RF channels. HiDRA is realized as a distributed FPGA memory and interface controller that is itself controlled by a local computer running DTN software. Thus HiDRA is applicable to other arenas seeking to employ next-generation communications technologies, e.g. deep space. In this paper, we describe HiDRA and its far-reaching research implications.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Hylton, Alan
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH United States)
Raible, Daniel
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH United States)
Date Acquired
February 8, 2017
Publication Date
October 17, 2016
Subject Category
Communications And Radar
Space Communications, Spacecraft Communications, Command And Tracking
Report/Patent Number
Meeting Information
Ka and Broadband Communications Conference(Cleveland, OH)
Funding Number(s)
WBS: WBS 405034.
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
Optical Communications
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