NASA at present relies on human-controlled radio systems to control the communication of all systems it operates, but with the shortage of radio spectrum for the future operations and to achieve increased efficiency NASA is looking towards cognitive radio solutions with artificial intelligence to solve this problem. Cognitive radio is not new in the telecom operations it has been employed to solve the problem of spectrum shortage amongst the telecom operators to give high data speeds to its users. What makes more interesting is the use of cognitive radio with AI to make it more adaptable to space explorations.
Cognitive radio, is an intelligent radio technology which uses a software defined radio (SDR) to intelligently exploit the allocated spectrum for maximum efficiency. This helps a primary user (licensed user) who bought the spectrum, to detect the unused spaces which could help him in redirecting the traffic from a highly used spot in his spectrum to these white spaces, so as to provide undiminished speed in his service even when users are increasing in a particular area. This radio technique can even be used in allocating these white spaces to secondary users (unlicensed) who are to use it without causing any disturbance to the licensed users in term of interference.
NASA plans to use it for its space explorations when celestial bodies create noise in its operational frequency band, whereby using cognitive radio it can quickly move to other frequency ranges to operate and any possible interference in the unpredictable orbital mechanics could be tracked down by employing machine learning in cognitive radio techniques to create a seamless way for uninterrupted communication service.
This could also help a cognitive radio to shut down its radio system in case of severe weather conditions in space and even help satellites to make real-time decisions by using artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques in the modern space communication systems, where complex software do the operations now.
Not only in space segment, a wide employment of cognitive radio with possible use of AI could be seen in military and emergency network applications.