Air Vehicle Communication in a Denied Environment
Navy SBIR 2014.2 - Topic N142-094
NAVAIR - Ms. Donna Moore -
Opens: May 23, 2014 - Closes: June 25, 2014

N142-094 TITLE: Air Vehicle Communication in a Denied Environment

TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Air Platform, Sensors, Battlespace


RESTRICTION ON PERFORMANCE BY FOREIGN NATIONALS: This topic is "ITAR Restricted". The information and materials provided pursuant to or resulting from this topic are restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), 22 CFR Parts 120-130, which control the export of defense-related material and services, including the export of sensitive technical data. Foreign nationals may perform work under an award resulting from this topic only if they hold the "Permanent Resident Card", or are designated as "Protected Individuals" as defined by 8 U.S.C. 1324b(a)(3). If a proposal for this topic contains participation by a foreign national who is not in one of the above two categories, the proposal may be rejected.

OBJECTIVE: Design a low space, weight, and power (SWaP), innovative, encrypted, digital data link to support Wideband (WB) Radio Frequency (RF) and/or Laser Communications (Lasercom) (also known as free space optics (FSO) communications in a denied environment).

DESCRIPTION: A rising challenge in communication is the ability to ensure critical RF operations in the presence of RF Interference (RFI) sources such as radars, jammers, etc. These RFI environments can be generated from either adversaries or fratricide (friendly jamming). Recent advancements in both WB RF (2 gigahertz (Ghz)15 Ghz) and Lasercom technologies could be used to overcome many of the challenges. WB RF and/or Lasercom technologies can be used for providing anti-jam and low probability of interception and detection (LPI/LPD) communications. Recent advances in spread spectrum communications techniques such as frequency hopping and direct sequence spread spectrum have allowed for significant developments for supporting RF diversity and managing spectral bandwidths. These communication systems employ software defined modems (SDM), power amplifiers, and directional antennas. Lasercom's primary advantages for military applications are covertness, lack of RFI from any RF sources, immunity to jamming, lack of frequency allocation requirements (allowing operation in all national and international waters), and high bandwidth. A digital data link, operating at electro-optic/infrared EO/IR sensor system frequencies, that supports encryption and two-way communications is desired. In addition, this topic seeks innovative techniques that utilize the digital data link communication signals in near-real-time so as to affect timely adjustments to changes in RF environments.

PHASE I: Define and develop concepts for a wide band waveform capable of anti-jam communications at optical frequencies. Compare innovative techniques against existing techniques and quantify the performance differences. Analyze the implementation issues and determine the theoretical feasibility of each technique in steady and varying RF environments.

PHASE II: Produce prototype hardware based on Phase I concept. Develop models and simulation techniques to show achievable performance. Mechanize the waveform generation scheme and demonstrate its performance in a controlled environment. Validate the selected technique, or techniques, and demonstrate advantages.

PHASE III: Transition the developed technology to F/A-18 and F-35. Insert the technology into suitable candidate communication system identified by the Navy and effect transition of the new communication technique into that system.

PRIVATE SECTOR COMMERCIAL POTENTIAL/DUAL-USE APPLICATIONS: Communication through Jamming technology has applications in many military, police, civil defense, search and rescue, and industrial use wherever critical communications can be intentionally or inadvertently interfered with. Application by drug enforcement agency to communicate in a hostile environment as well as through unintentional interface in foreign environments will allow for continuity of command and control. The technology will also find multiple applications in cyber warfare environment to counter unknown threats from hostile sources.

1. Smith, L.E., 1994, Modulation Choices for LPI/LPD Communication Systems, Tactical Communications Conference Proceedings, Digital Technology for the Tactical Communicator, 1, doi:10.1109/TCC.1994.472090.

2. Dogu, T.M., & Ephremides, A., 2000, Covert Information Transmission Through the Use of Standard Collision Resolution Algorithms, In A. Pfitzmann (Ed.), Information Hiding, pp. 419-433, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg, doi:10.1007/10719724_29.

3. Zander, J., 1994, LPD properties of adaptive frequency hopping systems for HF communications, Sixth International Conference on HF Radio Systems and Techniques, pp. 249252, doi:10.1049/cp:19940502.

4. Tsay, M., Liao, C., Shyn, C., & Yang, T., 2007, Simultaneous AJ and LPD Evaluations for Secure Communication, Military Communications Conference, IEEE, pp. 1-6, doi:10.1109/MILCOM.2007.4455335.

5. Ennis, M., & Chuprun, S., 1997, Distributed anti-jam wireless communications network, MILCOM 97 Proceedings, 3, pp. 1298-1302, doi:10.1109/MILCOM.1997.644977.

KEYWORDS: Communications; Command And Control; Electronic Warfare; Jamming; Notch Filtering; Lasers Communications

DoD Notice:  
Between April 23 through May 22 you may talk directly with the Topic Authors (TPOC) to ask technical questions about the topics. Their contact information is listed above. For reasons of competitive fairness, direct communication between proposers and topic authors is
not allowed starting May 23, 2014, when DoD begins accepting proposals for this solicitation.
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