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CTL Discusses Space Commerce Research with U.S. Representative Perlmutter

Dr. Marla Dowell joined Colorado Labs and U.S. Representative Ed Perlmutter for a discussion on aerospace-related digital communications technology research at NIST.  Dr. Dowell discussed Nist's ongoing efforts to address the key challenges identified at The Department of Commerce’s Space Commerce Workshop in 2019. The workshop focused on technology barriers, solutions, and standards needed to foster conditions for economic growth and technical advancement of the space industry.  Listen to the panel discussion here (use code cPsM1^$2) and read her talking points below.     

  • The Department of Commerce and NIST will continue to play a role in coordinating and supporting the industry-led development of standards to help propel the future growth of the 400 billion global space industry.   

  • As we work to address our climate crisis, NIST supports NASA and NOAA satellite instruments through measurements, standards, and innovative satellite instrumentation. Important for space weather monitoring, NIST is developing new materials measuring ultraviolet and extreme ultraviolet electromagnetic radiation.  

  • The work of NASCTN is helping to improve options for the space industry by taking the initial steps to support neutral validated data needed for spectrum and co-existence challenges with space assets, including developing a 5G (24/28GHz) Spectrum sharing testbed and exploring technical approaches to understand impacts of cellular systems on weather satellites and ground station receivers.  

  • CTL’s Antenna Communication and Metrology Laboratory utilizes reconfigurable industrial robots along with radio-frequency and millimeter-wave sources to support measurements needed to characterize satellite antennas for communications and remote sensing. CTL is trying new ways of providing measurements that range from exploratory to detailed characterization with the lowest available uncertainty.  

  • NIST’s NextG Channel Model Alliance is developing propagation models and working with industry, academia, and other federal agencies to expand its coverage to include THz frequencies and non-terrestrial paths. The Alliance further benefits propagation models through facilitating data gathering in areas such as atmospheric data in remote areas, developing countries, and data on new geometries for propagation from satellites that communicate on all planes. Mesh network modeling is also needed.   

  • Colorado is home to the nation’s second-largest aerospace economy. The NIST Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) supports this economy through its nationwide network of MEP centers. In Colorado, Manufacturers’ Edge serves as the NIST MEP center with regional offices across the state providing consulting, workforce development, and sustainable practices, assisting small Colorado manufacturers to overcome barriers for entry in the growing Colorado space economy.  

Released April 8, 2021, Updated April 16, 2021