Terahertz Station Keeping Equipment for Tunable Range Capabilities
ABSTRACT: Current station keeping equipment (SKE) relies on radio waves for formation flying. A significant limitation of conventional SKE signals is that they are detectable at long distances by adversaries. Passive detection schemes that employ infrared and thermal cameras, electro-optic and acoustic sensors are of interest for future SKE upgrades although they lack the capability to provide sufficiently accurate relative positioning over long ranges. To overcome these problems, we propose a terahertz (THz) relative positioning system to enable formation station keeping for large transport aircraft. In contrast with current generation SKE, our system will be essentially invisible to ground or air-based surveillance. This system will function in all weather conditions, including cloud cover and precipitation. Unlike GPS-based systems, our THz positioning system will be effectively impossible to spoof or jam. System accuracy will be more than sufficient to meet the stated requirement (500 feet longitudinal and 200 feet lateral). BENEFIT: Current military transports and station keeping equipment, covert navigation, aerial-to-aerial refueling, THz remote sensing, THz navigation systems and communications, formation flying of civilian and commercial airliners.
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Physics, Materials & Applied Math Resear
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