Improved Ionospheric Modeling for Reduced OTH Range Errors
Agency / Branch:
DOD / USAF
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.
Small Business Information at Submission:
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