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High Bandwidth, Compact, Wireless, Millimeter Wave Intra-Missile Datalink


OBJECTIVE: Develop a prototype high bandwidth (>2 Gb/s) millimeter wave two-way data link for intra-missile communications. DESCRIPTION: The Joint Attack Munitions Systems Program Management Office (JAMS PMO) has an interest in investigating wireless means of communicating the interface signals between a gimbaled sensor platform and the processing electronics in a missile to eliminate the torques and"sticktion"induced into the gimbaled platform by existing cables. The large number of cables running off and on the stabilized platform of multimode seekers creates"sticktion"(undesired torque) and unwanted vibrational coupling. The addition of multiple connections makes the problem particularly challenging, and some cables (e.g. power) and gas lines (for cooled seekers) cannot be replaced practically. However, by using an RF or optical means to send some of the RADAR, IR, and semi-active laser data from the sensors on the stabilized platform to the missile electronics, the cable bundle size may be reduced. Coaxial cables needed for radar outputs are especially cumbersome because of their thickness. Transmitting data from the seeker to the guidance system requires data rates in excess of 2 gigabits per second (Gb/s). Laser communication links can achieve high data rates over short ranges, but they are impractical for such dynamic operational environments because they require precise line-of-sight alignment or links using fiber optical cables. Commercially available millimeter wave data links are beginning to provide the necessary bandwidths, and new millimeter wave technology integrated circuitry based on high mobility transistors is providing compact, inexpensive, deployable solutions.[1],[2],[3] Moreover, at certain frequencies (such as near 60 GHz) millimeter wave data links are resistant to jamming and eavesdropping because of atmospheric oxygen absorption.[4] Although millimeter wave data link technologies are rapidly maturing and are become increasingly commercially available, innovation is required to overcome the dual challenges of increasing the bandwidth (>2 Gb/s) while reducing the size, weight, power, and bit error rate in a system that will not be precisely aligned. (The transmitter will be mounted on or near a moving gimbal, while the receiver will be mounted deep within the missile body.) The purpose of this topic is to perform a feasibility study and design (Phase I), then develop and demonstrate (Phase II) a prototype millimeter wave high bandwidth (>2 Gb/s) two way data link over distances less than 1 meter. The transmitter and receiver must be able to operate independently without alignment or scanning and must fit in the form factor of a tactical missile such as the Joint Air to Ground Missile (JAGM), a seven inch diameter missile. The transmitter should be capable of being mounted on the gimbaled sensor platform, so mass (<2 kg), volume, and power consumption of the link components must be minimized. The transmission distance to the receiver will be no more than 1 m, and ranges as short as 8-12 inches are typical. More information on the available volume will be provided in the award kick-off meeting. The functioning prototype must be delivered to JAMS PMO by the end of Phase II. PHASE I: Design a prototype millimeter wave data link capable of high bandwidth (>2 Gb/s), two-way transmittal of data and communications over distances less than 1 meter without requiring alignment. The feasibility study must include a thorough link budget analysis that considers performance trade-offs between bandwidth, directionality, and propagation range in order to justify the proposed choice of operational frequencies, transmitter power, antenna gain, source modulation and detector bandwidth, etc. The deliverable will be a thorough design and development plan to demonstrate a working prototype by the end of Phase II. PHASE II: Develop and demonstrate a prototype millimeter wave data link capable of high bandwidth (>2 Gb/s), two-way transmittal of data and communications over distances less than 1 m without requiring alignment. The prototype must demonstrate the ability to transmit data at the full bandwidth of the deliverable while simultaneously requiring the minimum in size, weight, and power. The prototype will be delivered to JAMS PMO by the end of Phase II. PHASE III: Adapt the prototype to a fully functional, integrated intramissile wireless data link to all subsystems within an actual missile. Size, weight, and power should be reduced so that the transceiver(s) can smaller, lighter, and use less power than the sum of the data link systems it replaces. Such a data link will find widespread commercial use for high data rate indoor and automotive communications. Of particular interest are resilient high bandwidth indoor local area networks or quasi-permanent wireless data links in homes, businesses and urban environments in parallel with developments for wireless high definition broadcasts. REFERENCES: [1] [2] [3] [4] M.J. Rosker and H.B. Wallace, Microwave Symposium 2007, IEEE/MTT-S International, p. 773 (2007). H.J. Liebe, International J. of Infrared and Milimeter Waves, Vol. 10, p. 631 (Springer, 1989). S.T. Fiorino et al., Proc. SPIE, Vol. 7324, 732410 (2009); doi:10.1117/12.818922
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