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Tactical Wireless Gigabit (WiGig) for Dismounted Soldier Sensor Applications


TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Electronics 

OBJECTIVE: Demonstrate for the first time a low power, low latency, and high bandwidth WiGig (60 Ghz band) wireless data link to support intra-Soldier transmission of high definition sensor imagery. 

DESCRIPTION: The objective of this SBIR is to adapt a commercial based 60 GHz wireless technology to a Soldier Wireless Personal Area Network (WPAN) capability, providing reliable and robust communications between Soldier-borne electro optic (EO) devices and sensors within a hostile military electro-magnetic environment. Future soldier borne sensors and devices will be limited by the use of current Army intra-Soldier wireless technologies, such as Ultra Wide Band (UWB) communications are limited in being able to support transmission of full frame rate, high definition sensor imagery without significant image compression which can introduce image artifacts and latency. In the commercial/consumer market WiGig-based radios have demonstrated suitable bandwidth, power consumption, and latency for dismounted Soldier applications, however they are not optimized for Soldier-borne equipment deployed in a tactical environment. This SBIR effort will be the first effort to leverage this important nascent technology and is seeking innovative solutions to implement the WiGig technology towards addressing and solving critical battlefield spectrum deficiencies associated with Soldier mounted sensors and devices. Among the applications that he 60 GHz wireless technology will benefit are communications between weapon-mounted and helmet-mounted electro-optical (EO) sensors, communications between electro-optic sensors and the Soldiers End User Device (EUD), and communications between among multiple medical sensors associated with the Integrated Soldier Sensor Systems (ISSS). Efforts under this SBIR will focus on novel solutions to adapt commercial 60 GHz transceiver chipsets and their Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) lower level layers to be used in communicating between and among soldier borne sensors and devices. These efforts ultimately will result with the delivery of very small-foot-print transceiver modules appropriate for use with existing Government provided Soldier borne sensors (TBD) with an objective of supporting multiple type of high speed serial and/or parallel interfaces. 

PHASE I: The Phase I effort will consist of trade studies and a breadboard transceiver pair suitable for use in a laboratory environment. The studies will investigate feasibility of modifications and adaptation of commercial WiGig chipsets, antennas, and associated antenna beam forming techniques to support dismounted Soldier sensor applications. The studies will produce updates and required military modifications to the commercial WiGig standard, chipsets and antennas. This Phase 1 effort will support integration with dismounted Soldier sensor systems and EUDs to enable low power, low latency, and high bandwidth wireless data transmission in a tactical environment. The Phase I effort will also address the following key enablers: 1) Identify hardware and software modifications necessary to achieve spectrum supportability in accordance with Army Regulation 5-12 (AR 5-12); 2) Radio immunity to blue force and adversaries communication systems; 3) Implementation of intra-soldier network formation techniques for non-line-of-sight wireless links to support a host of emerging soldier-borne electronic devices such as Family of Weapon Sight-Individual (FWS-I), Family of Weapon Sight-Crew Serve (FWS-CS), Family of Weapon Sight-Sniper (FWS-S), NETT Warrior EUD, Laser Range Finders, Joint Effects Targeting System (JETS), and ISSS; 4) Secured WiGig wireless communications to support transmission of secret and below data. 

PHASE II: The Phase II effort will demonstrate, for the first time, a 60GHz wireless link and interface between a high definition weapon-mounted sensor and head mounted remote display or NETT Warrior EUD. The demonstration hardware will include all modifications and adaptations identified in Phase I to implement a low power consumption (<400mw), low latency (<5ms), and high bandwidth wireless data transmission capability (>1Gbps) that is optimized for use in a tactical military environment. The hardware will be configured to optimize performance over the full range of weapon and head orientations. Prototype hardware will be designed to support a foot print of 15mm X 15mm transceiver module and a production cost goals of <$50 per chipset. 

PHASE III: This technology supports a high bandwidth, low latency wireless data link between a weapon-mounted thermal sight and helmet mounted display. The Phase III effort will transition this technology to soldier systems employing Rapid Target Acquisition (RTA) such as those used in the Family of Weapon Sights Individual (FWS-I) and Crew Served (FWS-CS) variants. This capability will also support intra-Soldier networking of multiple Soldier-borne devices such as the End User Device (EUD), Laser Range Finders (LRFs), health monitoring sensors and displays such as ISSS sensors. The most likely transition path to operational capability is through the FWS-I and FWS-CS programs of record (PORs). This capability also has the potential for insertion into the Program Executive Office, Soldier (PEO Soldier) Intra Soldier Wireless (ISW) program which currently is addressing wireless communications standards and architectures for use with a host of current and emerging soldier-borne sensors. WiGig is commercial technology that could potentially be inserted into defense systems as a result of this SBIR project. Commercial applications of the WiGig technology include personal area wireless networks for first responders, low interference wireless communications for medical applications in hospital and triage environments, and high speed file transfer for data server back-up. 


1: WiGig and the future of seamless connectivity Wifi Alliance. September 2013. Web. 14 March 2016

2: Vergun, David. New Night Vision Gear Allows Soldiers to Accurately Shoot from Hip The Official Homepage of The United States Army. 22 July 2015. Web. 14 March 2016.

3: Moorhead, Patrick. Intel and Qualcomm Partner (Yes, Really) to Move WiGig 60 GHz 802.11AD Wi-Fi Forward Forbes. 03 February 2016. Web. 14 March 2016.


KEYWORDS: WiGig, Wireless, Sensor, Thermal, Display, 60 GHz, Radios, Antennas 

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