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Improved Ionospheric Modeling for Reduced OTH Range Errors

Award Information

Department of Defense
Air Force
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2010 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
AF 09-057
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
2223 Drake Avenue SW 1st Floor HUNTSVILLE, AL 35805
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2010
Title: Improved Ionospheric Modeling for Reduced OTH Range Errors
Agency / Branch: DOD / USAF
Contract: FA9453-10-M-0105
Award Amount: $99,999.00


This proposed effort will develop an innovative technique to increase the accuracy of over the horizon radar (OTHR). Q-Track proposes to exploit thousands of amateur and military radio links (such as the ALE network) to observe drift in ionosphere conditions. These observations will provide real-time updates to ionospheric computer models resulting in increased geo-location accuracy. Coupled with dual frequency GPS measurements, this method promises to provide real time ionospheric monitoring (RTIM) across the globe and support Global Assimilative Ionospheric Models (GAIMs). Q-Track Corporation proposes (1) to distill useful information such as total electron content, attenuation, and critical frequency from this network, (2) integrate these data with other existing RTIM systems such as dual-frequency GPS, and (3) create a semi-analytic model that will provide sufficient accuracy to reduce HF radar range errors to better than 10 km. The ionospheric model that will be used for this Phase I effort with be USU-GAIM. Furthermore, if successful in Phase I, we will extend our analysis in Phase II to include MIMO data processing from ultra-wide band signals with an OTHR prototype being developed by Q-Track under Air Force contract FA8718-09-C-0024. BENEFIT: The intended beneficiary is the American warfighter by improving the geo-location accuracy of OTHR. The beneficiaries, however, extend beyond the DOD C3I community to the numerous instances where the shifting ionosphere impacts human activities. This includes all skywave radio frequency transmissions below about 2 GHz whether communications, navigation, or surveillance. In particular, work completed under this effort could improve commercial ionospheric modeling programs used extensively by the GPS and amateur radio communities.

Principal Investigator:

Eric Richards
Senior RF Scientist

Business Contact:

Jerry Gabig
Small Business Information at Submission:

Q-Track Corporation
3414 Governors Drive SW Suite Q Huntsville, AL 35805

EIN/Tax ID: 550810580
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No