GPS Autonomous Micro-Monitor (GAMMA)
ABSTRACT: The Air Force and other DoD components require accurate knowledge of the ionospheric environment to understand and predict its impacts on vital radio-based systems, including communications, navigation, and surveillance systems. ASTRA proposes the"GAMMA"GPS autonomous micro-monitor to meet these Air Force and DoD needs. In response to the STTR Topic AF112-065 we propose to investigate the development of next-generation, advanced light-weight, low-power, autonomous, GPS-based ionospheric monitors. These monitors will use innovative designs to exploit miniaturized 2-frequency GPS technology, GPS receiver software techniques, ionospheric measurement algorithms, and robust housing. These GPS-based ionospheric monitors will be lightweight, low-power, fully autonomous, and able to provide fully processed and highly accurate ionospheric TEC and scintillation parameters in near-real-time (at least 5-minute updates) in highly compressed, small data packets suitable for relay via low-data-rate satellite link. These new receivers will be suitable for host platforms such as oceanic buoys (moored or mobile), or remote solar-powered unmanned sites. They could also be used as disposable monitors deployed into theater locations. The new GAMMA receiver will build on ASTRA's recent successful Phase-II STTR contract for the development of the CASES dual frequency GPS space weather monitors. BENEFIT: These new receivers will provide high quality ionospheric data including TEC and scintillation parameters, but they will be suitable for host platforms such as oceanic buoys (moored or mobile), or remote solar-powered unmanned sites, thus making data potentially available from previously inaccessible locations. This will be of great benefit for the DoD in producing global maps of the ionosphere, since 70% of the earth is covered in water. It will also enable regional maps from hostile locations. There is commercial interest also in monitoring and specifying the ionosphere using GPS receivers, especially in scintillation-prone environments.
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Atmospheric & Space Technology Research Associates
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