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Lightweight Communication Equipment for Interceptor Communications


OBJECTIVE: Develop a light weight and low power communication system to enable small kill vehicle communications in flight. DESCRIPTION: Current light weight kill vehicles have limited data communication abilities once separated from the interceptor missile. To enable longer range intercepts with smaller kill vehicles, communication equipment needs to be made smaller, lighter, and more power efficient. A significant need exists for enhanced, highly reliable, high speed, in-flight communications between the Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS) Fire Control and Interceptor/Kill Vehicles in an operational fading channel environment potentially perturbed by nuclear weapons effects. Any proposed communications schemes must have the lowest possible weight impact on the kill vehicle. Communication links between Communication Ground Terminal relayed through the Interceptor third stage should be considered. Advanced secure interceptor communication systems (<200 grams and 3"x2"x 0.5"in size) will be required for future systems. The system must establish link(s) between the kill vehicle and ground control with an estimated transmission range for the kill vehicle of 50 km with peak transmission power of<5 Watts. They must also be able to receive updates at ranges up to 1000 km. Significant reduction in the area and geometric shape of antennas for the kill vehicle is also requested including fractal antenna designs that are capable of receiving signals from a large range of orientations. PHASE I: During the Phase I contract, the proposer will conduct an initial design evaluation of their proposed system and perform any laboratory/breadboard experimentation or numerical modeling needed to verify the proposed method. The deliverable will be an initial design for a prototype system with accompanying theoretical/numerical performance estimates. PHASE II: If selected for a Phase II, the proposer will complete a detailed prototype design to government performance requirements. The prototype will then be fabricated and tested in a simulated environment to verify theoretical/design assumptions. The final deliverable will be a detailed performance analysis of the experiment and an initial design of an engineering development model of the resulting system. PHASE III: Phase III selections will have adequate support from a MDA contractor. The proposer shall continue testing and development with a MDA contractor to refine performance and reliability characteristics. COMMERCIALIZATION: Long range line of sight communications systems for satellites or aircraft.
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