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Modeling of the Attenuation Effects of the Ionosphere and Troposphere for Radio Frequency Application



TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Information Systems, Sensors

OBJECTIVE: Develop and demonstrate methods to enhance the accuracy of ionosphere models across missile defense application Radio Frequency (RF) bands to address lowering the probability of false alarm, the effect on signal to noise ratio, and the effect on track accuracy.

DESCRIPTION: Seek creative applications for modeling RF ionospheric and tropospheric effects in real time in support of future ground and flight tests. Radar wavebands of interest include UHF through X band and the K band. Numerous highly ranked, persistent effects are caused by the atmosphere, notably the troposphere and ionosphere. Some of the effects that are of interest include: ionospheric scintillation, range delay, ionospheric loss, tropospheric scintillation, tropospheric refraction and auroral clutter. Currently there are models that address the ionosphere effects on the RF bands and to a lesser extent the effects of the troposphere. These models produce medium to high fidelity results; however, there are current limitations in the development of real time modeling of these effects within the specified bands. The desired model should enable the prediction and preparation for the effects on the radar systems in regards to performance, fidelity, and/or resolution in real time. Techniques to achieve this may include improvements in mathematical techniques, improvements in data processing, hardware or software acceleration or a hybrid approach, optimization, or other techniques.

PHASE I: Provide a proof of concept of the model. The model should capture the key areas where new development is needed, suggest appropriate methods and technologies to realize the desire of real-time modeling based on the research performed, and incorporate new technologies researched during design development. The contractor should identify the attenuation effects along the RF bands for the effects of the ionosphere and troposphere.

PHASE II: Based upon the findings from Phase I, the contractor should complete a detailed prototype design of the software/model incorporating government performance requirements. This prototype design should be used to form the development and implementation of a mature, full-scale capability in Phase III that could run in real time.

PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: Scale-up the capability from the prototype utilizing the new software/model technologies developed in Phase II into a mature, field-able capability. Modeling of the effects of the ionosphere would be applicable to industries that utilize RF sensors, communications, and/or radars.


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KEYWORDS: radio wave, wave, sensor, ionosphere, ionospheric, troposphere; tropospheric, atmosphere, environment effects, radar, model, simulation, radio frequency, attenuation

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