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Algorithms & networking protocols for secure, wireless high-frequency communications systems



OBJECTIVE: Develop algorithms and networking protocols for secure, wireless high-frequency communications systems that are dependable, survivable, and jam resistant, with low probability of detection, interception, and exploitation in nuclear/EMP environments. 

DESCRIPTION: High-frequency radio communication systems have long been valued for beyond line-of-sight links, but have fallen out of favor since the growth of satellite communications. HF has received renewed interest as of late due to saturation of the satellite communication spectrum, but commercially-available HF radios still suffer from low data rates, high bit error rates, and susceptibility to signal degradation during storms and solar activity. The proposed communications methods must support a data rate of at least 300 KBPS, have a minimum range of 500 miles, and a bit error rate (BER) of less than 1E-5. Preference will be given to systems operating within 3-30 MHZ. Proposed systems must show a valid approach to implementing jam resistance and probabilities of detection, interception, and exploitation than currently available technologies. Specific metrics are to be proposed by the researchers and agreed to by the government. The communication system must be able to support both based stations to mobile distributed (i.e., mobile to mobile) communications. Algorithms and protocols proposed must be designed to survive Electromagnetic Pulses (EMPs) and nuclear explosion events. Systems should not include or rely on external systems which are unlikely to survive an EMP or nuclear explosion i.e. commercial wireless/cell phones and commercial Internet. Proposed hardware / software, if any, must be available from approved supply chains. Algorithms and protocols developed under this effort must be designed with SWaP (size, weight, and power) constraints in mind, as target applications include military aircraft with size and power constraints. The expected outcome of the effort includes algorithms and protocols that can be hosted aboard an HF radio for field experimentation. 

PHASE I: Develop a viable wireless communication schema, identifying networking protocols and other algorithms that can meet the HF BER, data throughput and range goals, and perform a technology feasibility assessment. Develop/deliver computer based model as well as simulation results versus theory using an industry standard M&S tool (i.e., MATLAB, Simulink, Riverbed Modeler etc.) of the proposed schema. Provide specific limitations of current & developing capabilities; potential solutions; and technical areas requiring additional research and development supporting the potential solutions. Identify limitations and threat susceptibility with each schema and supporting equipment. Propose limitations to be further investigated in Phase II. 

PHASE II: Implement identified networking protocols and algorithms in an HF radio hardware system, using COTS components where practical. Perform bench & limited field testing to validate model predictions for link budget, BER, data throughput, range, and sunspot impact. 

PHASE III: Commercial: Provide enhanced HF radios for maritime (Global Maritime Distress & Safety System,) forestry, construction and law enforcement applications. Military: Provide a high-bitrate, reliable, survivable alternative to the current HFGCS system and its compatible radios. 


1: "Wideband FM Demodulation and Multirate Frequency Transformations." Santhanam,Balu and Liu,Wenjing. 15 Dec 16.

2:  "A new wideband high frequency channel simulation system." Mastrangelo, J.F., Lemmon, J.J., Vogler, L.E., Hoffmeyer, J.A., Pratt, L.E., and Behm, C.J. IEEE Transactions on Communication, Vol 45 Iss 1, Jul 1997, pg. 26-34.

3:  "High Frequency Electromagnetic Propagation/Scattering Codes." Geshwind, Frank & Rokhlin, Vladimir, 01 Sep 2000.

4:  "A Real-Time Software Simulator of Wideband HF Propagation Channel." Guo, Yang & Wang, Ke. 2009 International Conference on Communication Software and Networks.

KEYWORDS: Advanced HF, Wideband, HF, High Frequency, Algorithm, Network Protocol, Networking 


Jared Feldman (AFRL/RITF) 

(315) 330-4714 

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