All posts by bheavey

Contract Award: Medical Imaging Radar

November 8, 2022 – For the first time ever, WSR will be applying our remote sensing capabilities in the medical field. We were recently awarded a contract to design and prototype a digital subsystem for a novel medical device. Unfortunately, we can’t disclose much more than that at the request of our confidential customer, but it’s exciting to use our digital radar tech in new and interesting ways! 

Also, this picture is just a stock photo and has nothing to do with what we’re building ūüôā

Program Update: NASA DSI PDR Passed

We’re excited to have passed the preliminary design review (PDR) milestone in our work developing the digital subsystem to run¬†Aloft Sensing, Inc.‘s embedded PNT algorithm. Now it’s time to start implementing!

In phase 1, we’ll build out the signal processing FPGA firmware, validating it first through simulation and then running on evaluation hardware. After that, we’ll design custom hardware.

This effort is funded under NASA’s Decadal Survey Incubator (DSI) Program with the overall objective of developing, implementing, and demonstrating a hardware module that captures and digitally processes radar pulses to establish the precise relative positioning and timing of a sensor within a distributed sensing architecture such that coherent image alignment for interferometrics can readily occur and high-quality products can be achieved.

You can learn more about the objectives in the award announcement from NASA and by following our partner in the program Aloft Sensing.

Delivery: JPL CRISTAL/CIMR Digital Backend Design

October 24, 2022 – Design review passed and final delivery released to JPL for the multi-mission (CRISTAL & CIMR) digital back-end (DBE) engineering model hardware.

This compact module, destined for space flight, carries an FPGA, two high performance ADCs, a standalone processor and a full compliment of memories and interfaces.

It was a pleasure working with¬†Kayla Nguyen¬†and¬†Robert Jarnot¬†on the program. We’re looking forward to working together again in the future!

Asher Voris Joins the Team

We’re excited to welcome a new member to the growing WSR team!

Asher is an associate digital engineer at Wide Swath Research. His responsibilities cover the full stack of digital development including hardware design, embedded software and FPGA programming.

He began his professional career at SerialTek where he learned key lessons about designing for manufacturing and played an integral role in the test and validation of their PCIe/NVMe bus analyzers. Prior to this position, he attended the University of Colorado Boulder where he received a B.S. in Electrical & Computer Engineering (2021) and a minor in Computer Science (2021).

In addition to Asher’s broad set of digital design capabilities, his background in manufacturing and formalized testing brings a unique perspective to the team.

Program Update: CRISTAL/CIMR DBE Schematics

September 6, 2022 – Customer schematic review passed! This particular design is for a space-based radiometer digital backend. The hardware contains four 3.2 GSPS ADC channels, JESD interfaces linking the ADCs to an FPGA, Xilinx’s Kintex KU060, microprocessor, telemetry, spacecraft/instrument interfaces and a full complement of support components.

This design is our second centered around the KU060 targeting Class D missions, though this particular unit has been designed to also serve higher mission classes when greater reliability is needed.

Now on to layout…

Contract Award: NASA Decadal Survey Incubator

August 23, 2022 – Wide Swath Research is excited to be working with¬†Aloft Sensing, Inc.¬†as a co-investigator on “Embedded PNT Module for Distributed Radar Sensing” a program recently awarded by NASA’s ESTO office as a part of its 2021 Decadal Survey Incubation Program (DSI-21). To learn more about the program objectives, take a look at¬†NASA’s award announcement (linked below).¬†

The next next few years are going to be a lot of fun!

Thank You Ishaan Chahal

This summer we were lucky to have¬†Ishaan Chahal¬†join the team as an embedded software engineer intern. Over that period he significantly contributed to a project interfacing with MicroSemi’s PolarFire SoC in support of a program with¬†NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

We’re bummed it’s time for him to resume his studies at¬†Rice University, but hope we haven’t seen the last of him. Regardless, he’s a bright engineer and will be a valuable asset wherever he ends up.

Good luck in all your future endeavors Ishaan!

Contract Award: JPL VISAR Onboard Processor

August 1, 2022 – Wide Swath Research was awarded a contract by¬†NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory¬†to develop the firmware for the Venus Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (VISAR) onboard processor. We’re very excited to contribute to this important science, to play a part in the international development team and to have our footprint on a Venus mission!

VISAR is one of the instruments on the upcoming Venus Emissivity, Radio science, InSAR, Topography, And Spectroscopy (VERITAS) mission.

Oh yeah… and we’re also excited to work with some former colleagues like¬†Ernie Chuang¬†(and maybe even¬†Dragana Perkovic-Martin)

Torry Akins Joins the Team

Wide Swath Research proudly welcomes Torry Akins to the team as Principal Engineer (he actually joined in March, but we never formally announced it).

Torry has been developing radar electronics for nearly 30 years. Over that period he worked in the Radar & Remote Sensing Section at the¬†NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory,¬†Center for Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets (CReSIS)¬†at¬†The University of Kansas, the aviation department at¬†Garmin, he played a critical role developing SDR technology at¬†Remote Sensing Solutions Inc, and now he’s primed to do great things at WSR.

Not only does this move enhance our team, it also reunites Torry with WSR founder,¬†Brandon Heavey. The pair originally met and worked together at the University of Kansas back in 2003-2005. Below is a picture from that period with Torry fast asleep in a cargo net on NASA’s P3 during a deployment the two worked on together. No more sleeping on the job Torry ūüėČ