NASA looks to use cognitive radios to meet increased demand for space data and optimize the efficiency of space communications systems.
The agency said Saturday software-defined radios such as cognitive radios apply artificial intelligence to utilize unused but licensed portions of the electromagnetic spectrum without human intervention.
Cognitive radios could also address communications challenges posed by the space environment, such as the electromagnetic radiation emitted by celestial bodies that can disrupt some frequencies.
“Glenn Research Center is experimenting in creating cognitive radio applications capable of identifying and adapting to space weather,” said Rigoberto Roche, a NASA cognitive engine development lead at Glenn.
Roche added that AI-powered radios will work to transmit data outside the range of the interference or remove distortions within the range through machine learning.
NASA engineers and researchers test cognitive radio technologies in the space environment through the Space Communications and Navigation Testbed aboard the International Space Station.
The SCaN testbed features three software-defined radios as well as various antennas and tools that can be configured using ground-based systems or other spacecraft.