Modular Antenna System for Tracking Satellites by adaptations of existing terminals

Award Information
Department of Defense
Solitcitation Year:
Solicitation Number:
Air Force
Award Year:
Phase I
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Small Business Information
4865 Sterling Drive, Boulder, CO, -
Hubzone Owned:
Woman Owned:
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
Principal Investigator
 Dean Paschen
 Director of Advanced Programs
 (303) 449-5211
Business Contact
 Theresa Boone
Title: President
Phone: (303) 449-5211
Research Institution
ABSTRACT: The goal of this Phase I program is to develop and evaluate the feasibility of concepts that will allow existing vehicular and man-portable SATCOM terminals operating in the 20/44 GHz range to be adapted to track satellites in all kinds of orbits. Although most SATCOM terminals in this band are designed to interact primarily with satellites in geostationary (GEO) orbits, there is a significant opportunity for improving their capacity if they are reconfigured to interact with satellites in non-GEO orbits. A main objective of the effort is to reuse as much existing hardware and technology as possible to minimize the cost of implementing the proposed solution. In order to accomplish this, FIRST RF has developed innovative Doppler correction, acquisition and tracking, and antenna aperture concepts that will be investigated during the proposed Phase I effort. These concepts are designed to preserve the radio interface of the antenna as well as the largest possible percentage of existing control and steering hardware and electronics. FIRST RF believes this approach mitigates risk and will provide US Air Force with a low-cost concept that can be quickly and reliably deployed. BENEFIT: Although the specific urgent objective of the solicitation is to pursue technologies that address expanded capabilities of SATCOM terminals at 20/44 GHz, FIRST RF recognizes that the proposed technologies have considerable relevance in other SATCOM applications. In fact, because of the desire to reuse as much existing hardware as possible, FIRST RF"s proposed approach is comprised of several standalone modules, including the aperture, Doppler correction, tracking, and acquisition modules. As with the desired application at 20/44, one or more of these modules can be applied in concert to update different parts of existing terminals or generate completely-new SATCOM technology. As these modules are implemented, ground terminals for satellite communications will gain access to satellites in a broader variety of orbits, increasing their applicability to a wider range of DoD assets. Additionally, the modular approach generates solutions that are more readily repaired or replaced at the component level, making implementation and maintenance less expensive than conventional all-in-one approaches. Because of these key benefits, FIRST RF believes the proposed approach represents an important paradigm shift in next-generation SATCOM terminals.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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