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W and V band Airborne SATCOM Transceiver


OBJECTIVE: Develop an airborne SATCOM transceiver with W-band (81 - 86 GHz) uplink and V-band (71 - 76 GHz) downlink capability. DESCRIPTION: Demand for military satellite communication capability continues to increase. The current state-of-the-art for high-bandwidth satellite communication utilizes Ku and Ka-band frequencies. In response to increasing spectrum congestion and the need for more bandwidth, the Air Force is exploring the potential to use V-band satellite downlinks and W-band for satellite uplinks. These much shorter millimeter wavelengths introduce unique technical challenges and opportunities. A disadvantage is the considerable uncertainty regarding channel propagation characteristics at these frequency bands. Potential advantages include recent advances in space qualifyable processors and millimeter-wave amplifier electronics. The key risk that will be addressed by this research topic is development of an integrated transceiver for an air platform (vehicle) such as an unmanned aerial vehicle that will allow it to communicate with a W/V-band satellite transceiver. The fundamental purpose of this research topic is to mitigate key technology risks to enable development of future air-to-satellite communication systems using W-band (for uplink) and V-band (for downlink). The specific field-of-study for this research is satellite communication (i.e., link analysis, encoding and decoding, transmission and detection, channel propagation effects, and electronics). The specific technology need addressed by this research topic is design and development of an airborne W/V-band transceiver. Innovative designs and/or research activities are solicited to support development of a W/V-band transceiver suitable for an air vehicle. Successful phase 1 and phase 2 efforts will provide tools and/or mature technologies to facilitate transceiver development. Proposers must demonstrate an understanding of satellite transceiver design, systems engineering, and implementation issues specific to air vehicles. The technical merit of a proposed transceiver concept or research activity must be demonstrated with respect to requirements resulting from a link analysis and should address a key technical risk or design problem. An optimal transceiver design concept should minimize key performance parameters of size, weight, power, and cost, while maximizing transceiver performance (capacity, flexibility, and availability). The uplink frequency band is limited to 81 86 GHz, and the downlink frequency band is limited to 71 - 76 GHz. The contractor can make reasonable assumptions for the space transceiver and size, weight, and power limits. PHASE I: Phase 1 should focus on refining a transceiver concept, identifying key technology risks and design uncertainties, and develop mitigation strategies to address those issues in a phase 2 effort. PHASE II: The phase 2 will focus on mitigating key technology risks identified in the phase 1 effort through software or hardware development, testing and demonstration. The phase 2 should result in an understanding of the key performance parameters and achievable performance for a practical realization of the revised transceiver concept. PHASE III: Phase III Dual Use Applications: Military Application: Air Force systems would benefit from high capacity satellite uplink and downlink capability at W-band and V-band. Commercial Application: There is growing commercial interest in W-band and V-band for terrestrial wireless communication. REFERENCES: 1. Jebril, A., Lucente, M., Ruggieri, M., Rossi, T.,"WAVE - A New Satellite Mission in W-band,"2005 IEEE Aerospace Conference, pp. 870 879. 2. Lucente, M., Stallo, C., Rossi, T., et al.,"Analysis and Design of a Point-to-Point Radio Link at W Band for Future Satellite Telecommunication Experiments,"IEEE Aerospace Conference, 2011. 3. Cianca, E., Rossi, T., Yahalom, A., et al.,"EHF for Satellite Communications: The New Broadband Frontier,"Proceedings of the IEEE, Vol. 99, No. 11, Nov. 2011.
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