Cubic Corporation has announced Nuvotronics, operating within its Cubic Mission Solutions (CMS) business division, has provided advanced multi-frequency antenna technology to enable the successful validation of NASA Goddard Space Flight Center’s (NASA-GSFC) Snow Water Equivalent Synthetic Aperture Radar and Radiometer (SWESARR), the company reported on Thursday.
“We are thrilled with the exceptional results,” said Mike Twyman, president of Cubic Mission Solutions and 2020 Wash100 Award recipient. “The achievement of these critical milestones demonstrates our ability to leverage PolyStrata technology to build wide-band phased arrays from X to W band.”
NASA does not have a global high-resolution satellite mission to track and study the amount of water contained in snow, known as Snow Water Equivalent (SWE). Throughout the past year, Nuvotronics has provided wide-band multi-frequency antenna technology for use in an airborne data validation study for the SWESARR instrument during the NASA SnowEx campaign.
Under the study, the company has collected ground measurements at multiple locations and analogous airborne measurements. Nuvotronics used a DHC 6 Twin Otter Aircraft operated by the Naval Postgraduate School’s (NPS) Center for Interdisciplinary Remotely Piloted Aircraft Studies (CIRPAS).
Nuvotronics’ microwave antenna technology enabled SWESARR to operate over six frequency bands from a single antenna aperture, ensuring overlapping measurements. Multi-frequency operation increases the quality of data collected, at a lower cost.
The company’s technology collected natural radiation coming from layers of snow to infer the volume of water held in a snowpack. Nuvotronics’ contributions include a X-Ka Band 11×12 element line array and a X-W band Vivaldi array demonstrator.
NASA-GSFC integrated the X-Ka band array with a 0.34-meter reflector and a Ka band digital beamforming back-end into the airborne instrument on an active roll compensation platform developed by another partner company. Nuvotronics’ PolyStrata technology enabled seamless integration, rich data collection and excellent noise performance in a compact radiometer.
“We are proud of the part we played in NASA’s mission to remotely measure Snow Water Equivalent, which is critical for water resource management and climate studies,” said Martin Amen, vice president and general manager of Cubic Nuvotronics.
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