This firmware is now open, so this project is no longer an idea, to contribute check out:
The ath9k_htc driver is upstream on the Linux kernel and supports QCA's newest USB 802.11n devices. We have open firmware for carl9170 through carl9170.fw but ath9k_htc has no open firmware yet. One possible project is for a student to work on open firmware for ath9k_htc.
You can get code under NDA through QCA once its ready for public consumption you can post it under a GPL Compatible license.