Line-of-Sight (LOS) Low Probability of Detection/Intercept (LPD/LPI) Millimeter Wave Communication
Navy SBIR 2019.2 - Topic N192-091
NAVAIR - Ms. Donna Attick -
Opens: May 31, 2019 - Closes: July 1, 2019 (8:00 PM ET)


TITLE: Line-of-Sight (LOS) Low Probability of Detection/Intercept (LPD/LPI) Millimeter Wave Communication


TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Air Platform, Battlespace, Information Systems ACQUISITION PROGRAM: PMA265 F/A-18 Hornet/Super Hornet

The technology within this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR), 22 CFR Parts 120-130, which controls the export and import of defense-related material and services, including export of sensitive technical data, or the Export Administration Regulation (EAR), 15 CFR Parts 730-774, which controls dual use items. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign nationals (FNs), their country(ies) of origin, the type of visa or work permit possessed, and the statement of work (SOW) tasks intended for accomplishment by the FN(s) in accordance with section 3.5 of the Announcement. Offerors are advised foreign nationals proposed to perform on this topic may be restricted due to the technical data under US Export Control Laws.


OBJECTIVE: Develop a Frequency Agile Line-of-Sight (LOS) Low Probability of Detection/Intercept (LPD/LPI) data networking communication capability suitable for airborne platforms utilizing the millimeter wave spectrum and taking advantage of the physical signal propagation characteristics in that band.


DESCRIPTION: This SBIR topic seeks development of the capability for airborne platforms to establish frequency agile LOS LPD/LPI high bandwidth networks over millimeter wave spectrum. Recent development in commercial wireless communications has begun to utilize this spectrum. Whereas in those applications the focus is on maximizing the range and availability of those datalinks, efforts under this topic would also utilize regions of the spectral band that exhibit high loss due to atmospheric attenuation and absorption in order to achieve a LPD/LPI communications link. It is expected that the solution can support a minimum data throughput of 1 Gb/s at 1 nautical mile under all weather conditions.


Current efforts utilizing this spectral band have limited capability in terms of frequency, power, and data rate agility throughout the spectrum. The proposed solution would need to demonstrate the ability to adapt to atmospheric conditions, link requirements, and interference levels.


The goals of this effort are categorized into three technology thrusts:

A.   Ultra Wideband Antenna Agility

-  Electronically steered array (nominal 360 degrees in Azimuth and nominal 90 degrees Elevation)

-  High gain beam forming (analog and/or digital)

-  Support multiple simultaneous links

-  Wideband >10 GHz nominal

-  Conformal form factor desired

-  Support Angle-of-Arrival (AoA) determinations


B.   Resilient Waveform Agility

-  Operation in a minimum of two frequency sub-bands within the 30 - 300 GHz region.

-  10 GHz nominal instantaneous bandwidth (2 GHz minimum)

-  40 dB nominal processing gain (10 dB minimum)

-  1 Gb/s nominal data throughput at 1 nautical mile under all weather conditions (ITU-R Rec. PN.837-1).

-   Ability to dynamically adjust frequency in real-time

-   Ability to mitigate the effects of interference by 30 dB over the processing gain

-   Ability to adjust output power over a range of 60 dB

-  Utilize Forward Error Correction (FEC)

-   Ability to integrate Encryption and Transmission Security measures into a fully developed solution

-  Fast recovery from saturation


C.   Cognitive Link Management

-  Support direct RF conversion of Multifunctional Information Distribution System (MIDS) waveforms to enable MIDS over millimeter wave links

-  Support multiband (VHF/UHF/L/S/C) RF waveform conversion and relay

-  Support a nominal 5 nanoseconds timing accuracy between link nodes

-  Support multiple simultaneous links (in-beam and multi-beam)

-   Ability to determine and track relative position and range to other link nodes

-   Ability to dynamically adjust frequency, power, FEC, and data rate to maximize LPD/LPI and adapt to the atmospheric conditions, link requirements and interference levels.

-  Support Internet Protocol (IP) based links

The desired physical and environmental characteristics of the fully developed solution may include the following: Qualification testing to include MIL-STD-810, MIL-STD-704F, and MIL-STD-461G

Operating temperature -40°C to +71°C Weight 15 lbs. or less

Airborne operation to 60,000 ft. 350 cubic inch volume



It is anticipated that hardware elements such as mixers, signal generators, and signal analyzers that are required to develop, test and demonstrate direct RF conversion performance already exist. Therefore, the proposed effort should utilize Commercial Off-the-Shelf (COTS) equipment as much as practical.


Work produced in Phase II may become classified. Note: The prospective contractor(s) must be U.S. owned and operated with no foreign influence as defined by DoD 5220.22-M, National Industrial Security Program Operating Manual, unless acceptable mitigating procedures can and have been implemented and approved by the Defense Security Service (DSS). The selected contractor and/or subcontractor must be able to acquire and maintain a secret level facility and Personnel Security Clearances, in order to perform on advanced phases of this project as set forth by DSS and NAVAIR in order to gain access to classified information pertaining to the national defense of the United States and its allies; this will be an inherent requirement. The selected company will be required to safeguard classified material IAW DoD 5220.22-M during the advanced phases of this contract.


PHASE I: Develop an initial concept for achieving the objectives in the Description. Validate the approach through modeling, simulation and experiments to assess the technical feasibility and characterize performance. The Phase I effort will include prototype plans to be developed under Phase II.


PHASE II: Further refine the approach in Phase I and develop prototype HW/SW to demonstrate the adaptive link management, antenna and waveform performance in relevant environments. This should include: 1) operation under nominal conditions; 2) RF interference conditions which can include intentional interference; 3) simulated adverse weather conditions; 4) demonstrating the ability to relay MIDS and multiband waveforms; and 5) multiple simultaneous links.


It is probable that the work under this effort will be classified in Phase II (see Description for details).


PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: Support integration and demonstration of technology into the airborne platform. Perform final testing that would include demonstrating the suitability of any hardware and software for application into an airborne environment. Commercial uses for millimeter wave-based technology are currently under development. Much of the technology developed under this effort can be leveraged by the private sector for use in applications involving cellular communications, autonomous systems, wireless networking, and wireless video.



1.   “Analog Devices Ahead of What's Possible.” (2018). Analog Devices (Microwave and mmWave Tx/Rx). mmwave-tx-rx.html


2.   MIL-STD-704F Aircraft Electric Power Characteristics. Department of Defense, 2004.\

3.   MIL-STD-810G Environmental Engineering Considerations and Laboratory Tests. Department of Defense, 2008.


4.   MIL-STD-461G Requirements for the Control of Electromagnetic Interference Characteristics of Subsystems and Equipment. Department of Defense, 2015. 461_8678/


5.   FCC Office of Engineering and Technology Bulletin Number 70. Millimeter Wave Propagation: Spectrum Management Implications. Federal Communications Commission, 1997.


6.   Haykin, S. “Cognitive Dynamic Systems: Perception-Action Cycle, Radar, and Radio.” IEEE, Vol 100, No.7, 2012.


7.   “ITU Radiocommunication Assembly (Rec. ITU-R PN.837-1 Characteristics of Precipitation for Propagation Modelling).” ITU, 1994.!!PDF-E.pdf


8.   Kojima, C., Fuijo, S., Nishikawa, K., Ozaki, K., Li, Z., Honda, A., . . . Ohashi, Y. “Novel Two-Step Beam Search Method For Multi User Millimeter-Wave Communication.” 28th Annual International Symposium on Personal, Indoor, and Mobile Radio Communications (PIMRC): Montreal, 2017.


9.   Lee, J., Kang, M., Oh, J., and Lee, Y. “Space-Time Alignment for Channel Estimation in Millimeter Wave Communication with Beam Sweeping.” 2017 IEEE Global Communications Conference: Singapore.


10.   “mmWave Transceiver System.” National Instruments, 2018.


11.   Wang, X., Kong, L., Kong, F., Qui, F., Xia, M., Arnon, S., and Chen, G. “Millimeter Wave Communication: A Comprehensive Survey.” IEEE Communications Surveys and Tutorials, Vol. 20, Issue 3, 2018.


12.   Wang, Y., Zhang, Z., and Li, H. “Universal Quickest Sensing of Spectrum Change in Millimeter Wave Communications: A Data Driven Approach.” IEEE Global Communications Conference: Singapore, 2017.


13.   FIPS 140-2 Security Requirements for Cryptographic Modules, National Institute of Standards and Technology, 2001.


14.   "Commercial Solutions for Classified Handbook Version 3." National Security Agency, 2017.


KEYWORDS: Millimeter Wave; Agile; Cognitive; Communication; MIDS; Adaptive



John Propst





Onassis Empederado





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