Miniature Frequency Agile RF Beacon Receivers for Ionospheric Effects Monitoring

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA8718-06-C-0046
Agency Tracking Number: F061-284-2810
Amount: $88,971.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2006
Solicitation Year: 2006
Solicitation Topic Code: AF06-284
Solicitation Number: 2006.1
Small Business Information
6920 Bowman Lane NE, Cedar Rapids, IA, 52402
DUNS: 028456932
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Robert Sternowski
 Principal Investigator
 (319) 431-0314
Business Contact
 Robert Sternowski
Title: President
Phone: (319) 431-0314
Research Institution
The problem to be solved is developing an affordable receiver system for ionospheric measurements. The challenges lie in developing a low-cost node that enables deployment of a large measurement grid to measure the spatial distribution of signal reflections over a substantial geographic area; identification of a suitable assortment of non-cooperative beacon signals; and signal processing algorithms to extract propagation measurements. Softronics proposes to apply its considerable expertise in propagation analysis and experimentation, spectrum occupancy, miniature low-cost receiver design, DSP hardware/software, and system integration to produce just such an affordable node. Our knowledge of algorithms for extracting power, time, and frequency data from uncooperative signals is of key importance. The expected benefits lie in more accurately predicting ionospheric/trans-ionospheric communications characteristics based on statistical or realtime observations, and thereby improving the reliability and quality of communications reflecting from or transiting the ionosphere by adapting the frequency, data rate, and other signal externals. Phase I concludes with an on-air demonstration and a final report recommending a Phase II implementation.

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

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