Ground Based Sensor for measurement of V and W band satellite link propagation channel

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA8750-13-C-0228
Agency Tracking Number: F131-045-0971
Amount: $149,992.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2013
Solicitation Year: 2013
Solicitation Topic Code: AF131-045
Solicitation Number: 2013.1
Small Business Information
5340 Airport Blvd., Boulder, CO, -
DUNS: 125961123
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: Y
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Leo Diaz
 Staff Engineer
 (303) 449-5211
Business Contact
 Jeanne Hill-Jurik
Title: Contracts Manager
Phone: (303) 449-5211
Research Institution
ABSTRACT: AFRL is poised to benefit from unlicensed 5 Ghz uplink and 5 Ghz downlink spectrum at V- and W-bands for SATCOM links for airborne ISR assets and the data products they generate, such as full motion video and EO/IR imagery and data. Prior to going operational with V/W SATCOM, it is necessary to understand and empirically characterize atmospheric propagation physics such as signal attenuation, phase distortion and depolarization. AFRL"s Wideband SATCOM Communications Experiment (WSCE) program aims to develop the space and ground hardware to execute the atmospheric characterization mission. Unfortunately, WSCE, which is the stepping stone to the operational system is years away. Instead of waiting for WSCE ground sites to become available, this SBIR topic seeks to characterize the channel through ground-based radiometry at sites around the globe either within the bounds of a WSCE ground station or as a standalone system. FIRST RF has assembled experts in radiometry and RF remote sensing, passive millimeter wave antenna and component design, and active millimeter wave / RF electronics design. The proposed architecture includes multi-band/-spectral radiometers/sensors for thorough link characterization, as well as the systems to process, reduce and disseminate the data. BENEFIT: The immediate benefit of the proposed technology is to support the characterization of atmospheric phenomena on millimeter wave satellite/ground links through multi-band and multi-spectral sensors. The proposed architecture can either be operated as a standalone system on a US DoD installation, or as part of a WSCE ground station, and finally as a complement to an operational downlink hubsite. The proposed system will predict and report pending fade events to allow for network traffic rerouting minutes ahead of a condition or event which would affect an operational loss of data.

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

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