Dynamic Broadband RF Spectrometer

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Navy
Contract: N00039-07-C-0004
Agency Tracking Number: N061-090-0988
Amount: $68,559.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2006
Solicitation Year: 2006
Solicitation Topic Code: N06-090
Solicitation Number: 2006.1
Small Business Information
6780 Northern Blvd Ste 100, East Syracuse, NY, 13057
DUNS: 153924188
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Eric Wandel
 Project Manager
 (812) 490-7947
Business Contact
 Michael Laquidari
Title: VP of Finance & Administr
Phone: (315) 463-2266
Email: mlaquidari@ras.com
Research Institution
The concept of a dynamic, real-time broadband spectrometer will be devised and simulated for proof of concept. The proposed architecture will monitor or span a broadband spectral region in a rapid fashion and will be reconfigurable and adaptive. This broadband, reconfigurable and scalable spectrum monitoring system is essential for maximum utilization of available spectral resources to meet the growing demands on information throughput and tactical platform limitations. The resulting system will be scalable for broadband coverage and is suitable for integration in a multi-channel receiver. Various channelized approaches are proposed, including a channelized monobit architecture. The final implementation uses a new paradigm of multiple receiver architectures and will result in a hybrid system. BENEFITS: The utility of a fast, real-time broadband spectrometer, or spectrum analyzer, can be found in numerous applications, both military and private commercial. Within military applications, the broadband spectrometer could be inserted into future JTRS radio family members as a pre-planned product improvement to provide real-time spectral allocation. Key findings and technologies developed during this effort applicable to broadband receivers, spectral calculation and signal reception can be readily used in related DoD efforts involving ELINT systems upgrades and/or enhancements. Other applications include signal intelligence (SIGINT), Ship’s Signals Exploitation Equipment (SSEE) and electronic warfare (EW) systems. All of these applications involve monitoring and analysis of signals of interest with a typical desire to monitor a broad bandwidth with quick refresh rate and with as little distortion as possible. Within the private commercial sector, wireless communications of all types require a great deal of scrutiny when it comes to regulated spectral use. This may vary over time, such as day time and night time power levels for AM broadcasting, vary by location, or vary by frequency. Most types of transmissions for commercial use are regulated by power, pattern and spectral mask, at a minimum. Some of the more recent services being provided operate on the basis of using available spectrum as determined at the time of use. As an example, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has spent considerable effort in the past several years developing some engineering principles upon which they could base regulations to allow additional service providers to obtain access to existing spectrum, perhaps that which is already licensed to other parties. Limiting or preventing interference between devices has been the goal, while simultaneously permitting more intensive and efficient spectrum use. A type of device using dynamic spectral estimation is referred to as a cognitive, or “smart,” radio system. “Software defined radios” is another term now common in commercial applications. The system proposed by this SBIR could lead to improvements allowing smart radios to more quickly and more accurately sense the environment to determine a series of possible actions for optimizing performance at that time. Key design drivers would include the ability to provide a compact spectrometer with sufficient bandwidth and dynamic range. This particular commercial possibility will be explored to determine the existing regulatory guidelines as well as to survey the existing technology in use to accomplish the spectral calculations.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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