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Dynamic Broadband RF Spectrometer

Award Information

Department of Defense
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2006 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Research Associates of Syracuse
111 Dart Circle Rome, NY 13441-
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2006
Title: Dynamic Broadband RF Spectrometer
Agency / Branch: DOD / NAVY
Contract: N00039-07-C-0004
Award Amount: $68,559.00


The concept of a dynamic, real-time broadband spectrometer will be devised and simulated for proof of concept. The proposed architecture will monitor or span a broadband spectral region in a rapid fashion and will be reconfigurable and adaptive. This broadband, reconfigurable and scalable spectrum monitoring system is essential for maximum utilization of available spectral resources to meet the growing demands on information throughput and tactical platform limitations. The resulting system will be scalable for broadband coverage and is suitable for integration in a multi-channel receiver. Various channelized approaches are proposed, including a channelized monobit architecture. The final implementation uses a new paradigm of multiple receiver architectures and will result in a hybrid system. BENEFITS: The utility of a fast, real-time broadband spectrometer, or spectrum analyzer, can be found in numerous applications, both military and private commercial. Within military applications, the broadband spectrometer could be inserted into future JTRS radio family members as a pre-planned product improvement to provide real-time spectral allocation. Key findings and technologies developed during this effort applicable to broadband receivers, spectral calculation and signal reception can be readily used in related DoD efforts involving ELINT systems upgrades and/or enhancements. Other applications include signal intelligence (SIGINT), Ship's Signals Exploitation Equipment (SSEE) and electronic warfare (EW) systems. All of these applications involve monitoring and analysis of signals of interest with a typical desire to monitor a broad bandwidth with quick refresh rate and with as little distortion as possible. Within the private commercial sector, wireless communications of all types require a great deal of scrutiny when it comes to regulated spectral use. This may vary over time, such as day time and night time power levels for AM broadcasting, vary by location, or vary by frequency. Most types of transmissions for commercial use are regulated by power, pattern and spectral mask, at a minimum. Some of the more recent services being provided operate on the basis of using available spectrum as determined at the time of use. As an example, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has spent considerable effort in the past several years developing some engineering principles upon which they could base regulations to allow additional service providers to obtain access to existing spectrum, perhaps that which is already licensed to other parties. Limiting or preventing interference between devices has been the goal, while simultaneously permitting more intensive and efficient spectrum use. A type of device using dynamic spectral estimation is referred to as a cognitive, or "smart," radio system. "Software defined radios" is another term now common in commercial applications. The system proposed by this SBIR could lead to improvements allowing smart radios to more quickly and more accurately sense the environment to determine a series of possible actions for optimizing performance at that time. Key design drivers would include the ability to provide a compact spectrometer with sufficient bandwidth and dynamic range. This particular commercial possibility will be explored to determine the existing regulatory guidelines as well as to survey the existing technology in use to accomplish the spectral calculations.

Principal Investigator:

Eric Wandel
Project Manager

Business Contact:

Michael Laquidari
VP of Finance & Administr
Small Business Information at Submission:

6780 Northern Blvd Ste 100 East Syracuse, NY 13057

EIN/Tax ID: 161276982
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No