CARLSBAD, Calif. (KGTV) — NASA announced partnerships Tuesday, including one with Carlsbad business Vulcan Wireless, to advance Moon and Mars technology.
Thirteen U.S. companies will work with NASA to fast-track "space technologies and help maintain American leadership in space."
You may know the name Vulcan Wireless because their transceivers about the size of your hand are helping NASA map the universe.
"Of course we're the communication link so the images that come in they get transmitted through our radio waves," Kevin Lynaugh, Founder of Vulcan Wireless, said.
ASTERIA launched in 2017, "ASTERIA (Arcsecond Space Telescope Enabling Research in Astrophysics) is a technology demonstration and opportunistic science mission to conduct astrophysical measurements using a CubeSat."
Basically the telescope uses light to map stars and planets.
That was their biggest project to date. Now NASA hopes their partnership will help increase connectivity for deeper space missions.
"When you have a spacecraft floating out there, if you don't have a data link it's a brick right? So we provide the communications," Lynaugh explained it's similar to how your Wifi modem works at home.
In Vulcan Wireless's Lab, you'll find the same technology NASA uses.
"When we close this thing down and we lock it we're able to pump all the air out of it so we can simulate space environment with this," Lynaugh said. They have a machine that simulates heat, extreme vibrations, a vacuum among other equipment.
All this to ensure their equipment is prepared for space. The transceiver is equipped with rechargeable batteries, fueled by solar panels, and compact, making it ideal for NASA, military and commercial projects.
Lynaugh launched Vulcan Wireless in 1993. His passion was instilled by his father throughout his youth. He still remembers how his dad built a TV in the living room like it was yesterday.
The next step Lynaugh sees is increasing connectivity around the globe, a little closer to home, but still while using space technology.