JTRS Compliant Waveform for LCS Unmanned Vehicle Communications
Navy SBIR 2014.1 - Topic N141-035
NAVSEA - Mr. Dean Putnam - [email protected]
Opens: Dec 20, 2013 - Closes: Jan 22, 2014

N141-035 TITLE: JTRS Compliant Waveform for LCS Unmanned Vehicle Communications

TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Sensors, Electronics, Battlespace


RESTRICTION ON PERFORMANCE BY FOREIGN CITIZENS (i.e., those holding non-U.S. Passports): 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 Citizens 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 citizen who is not in one of the above two categories, the proposal will be rejected.

OBJECTIVE: The objective is to develop an innovative Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS) compliant technology that achieves LCS unmanned vehicle communication requirements.

DESCRIPTION: The Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) deploys multiple Unmanned Vehicles in support of the interchangeable Mission Packages. The Multiple Vehicle Communications System (MVCS) provides LCS Mission Packages with the capability to simultaneously communicate with multiple Unmanned Surface Vehicles (USVs) and surfaced Unmanned Underwater Vehicles (UUVs) by providing common data link and network communication services [REF 1].

The MVCS is designed as an open architecture communications system that can be adapted to support any radio. The MVCS currently uses the RT-1944/U radio for Line Of Sight (LOS) communications with USV�s. The LCS Capability Development Document (CDD) has a requirement that future spirals of the external communications equipment will be JTRS compliant. The LCS CDD also has a requirement that the mission packages must operate in a jamming environment. The RT-1944/U radio does not meet these two important requirements. There is currently not a JTRS compliant waveform that meets the MVCS data rate and anti- jamming requirements.

The threshold data rate requirement is 3.0 Mbps from each Unmanned Vehicle to the LCS seaframe and 0.2 Mbps from the LCS seaframe to each Unmanned Vehicle. The threshold number of unmanned vehicles is 3. The threshold LOS range is 10 nm with antenna heights of 90 feet on the LCS sea frame and 14 feet on the USV. The operating frequency band is 2.2 GHz to 2.4 GHz. The threshold anti-jamming requirement is that the LCS sea frame and unmanned vehicles communicate in a 30 dB Jammer/ Signal (J/S) power density environment, as measured at the antenna plane of reference, and with the jamming signal being a CW tone, swept CW tone, narrowband noise, wideband noise, clone signal, and pulsed jamming located at any point in the operating bandwidth. Various radio jamming types such as CW tone, swept CW tone, Noise, clone signal, and pulsed can break the communications link to the unmanned vehicle�s by causing packet loss or preventing the receiver from being able to acquire or process any signals. To counter these types of threats, an anti-jamming waveform and fast frequency hopping can be implemented. The current state of art employs these techniques on narrower band waveforms but not on waveforms capable of meeting the MVCS LOS data rate requirement. An innovative anti-jam waveform is needed to meet the MVCS requirements.

The waveform shall comply with the JTRS Software Communications Architecture (SCA) Specification Version 4.0, which implements waveforms, protocols, encryption, communications processes, and hardware around an open standards architecture [REF 2]. This core SCA will reduce technology refresh insertion time and lower Total Ownership Costs while allowing multiple packaging and channel configurations to match evolving warfighter requirements. Once the JTRS compliant waveform is developed, it will be tested and evaluated by the JTRS Test & Evaluation Laboratory [REF 3] and made available through the Joint Tactical Networking Center for use on any JTRS compliant radio as an affordable solution for others with requirements similar to LCS. A waveform portability assessment will be performed to ensure that the delivered waveform exhibits the maximum portability achievable with other JTRS compliant radios [REF 4].

The Phase I and II efforts will not require access to classified information. If need be, data of the same level of complexity as secured data will be provided to support Phase I and II work. The Phase III effort will likely require secure access, and NAVSEA will support the contractor for personnel and facility certification for secure access.

PHASE I: The selected company will develop a concept for a JTRS compliant waveform realized on a JTRS compliant radio that meets the requirements described above. The company will demonstrate the feasibility of the concept in meeting Navy needs and will establish that the concept can be feasibly developed into a useful product for the Navy. Feasibility will be established by material testing and analytical modeling. The small business will provide a Phase II development plan that addresses technical risk reduction and provides performance goals and key technical milestones.

PHASE II: Based on the results of Phase I and the Phase II development plan, the small business will develop a prototype JTRS compliant waveform realized on a JTRS compliant radio according to the Phase II development plan for evaluation. The prototype will be evaluated to determine its capability in meeting the performance goals defined in Phase II development plan and the Navy requirements for a JTRS compliant LOS waveform and radio. System performance will be demonstrated through prototype evaluation and modeling or analytical methods over the required range of parameters including numerous deployment cycles. Evaluation results will be used to refine the prototype into an initial design that will meet Navy requirements. The company will prepare a Phase III development plan to transition the technology to Navy use.

PHASE III: The selected company will be expected to support the Navy in transitioning the technology for Navy use. The company will develop a JTRS compliant waveform realized on a JTRS compliant radio according to the Phase III development plan for evaluation to determine its effectiveness in an operationally relevant environment. The company will support the Navy for test and validation to certify and qualify the system for Navy use.

PRIVATE SECTOR COMMERCIAL POTENTIAL/DUAL-USE APPLICATIONS: The private sector has a need for highly reliable wireless networks. Anti-jamming technology for wide bandwidth wireless networks has applications in police, civil defense, search and rescue, and industrial use wherever critical communications can be intentionally or inadvertently interfered with. One of the biggest risks in using wireless networks in the commercial arena is that everybody shares the same spectrum. The state of Georgia estimates that the Port of Savannah adds approximately $400,000 of economic value for every hour it operates. The threat of interference with wireless networks shutting down the port, whether intentional or unintentional, poses a very costly risk to critical national infrastructure. In applications such as this, the additional cost incurred by adding an anti-jam waveform can be easily justified. JTRS requires the waveform be implemented in software so that it can operate on any JTRS compliant software defined radio. Therefore, the waveform could be widely used in both military and commercial applications.

1. Munoz, Pedro. "The Littoral Combat Ship Multiple Vehicle Communications System (MVCS)." Presented at the 10th International Mine Warfare Technology Symposium, 9 May 2012, Monterey, CA. <http://www.10thsymposium.com/presentations/Wed%20pm%20A/1600%20Munoz-%20MIW%20Tech%20Symposium%20Brief.pdf>

2. Joint Program Executive Office (JPEO) for the Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS). "Software Communications Architecture Specification." Version 4.0. San Diego: JTRS Standards, 2012. http://jtnc.mil/sca/Pages/sca1.aspx

3. JTRS Test & Evaluation Laboratory. "About JTEL." 2012. Joint Tactical Networking Center (JTNC). 14 May 2013 <http://jtnc.mil/Pages/AboutJTEL.aspx>.

4. JTRS Network Enterprise Domain Test & Evaluation. "Waveform Portability Guidelines." Version 1.2.1. North Charleston: Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Atlantic, 2009. <http://jtnc.mil/sca/Documents/20091228_1.2.1_NEDTE_PORT_GUIDE.pdf>

KEYWORDS: Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS); Joint Tactical Networking Center (JTNC); Anti-Jam Waveform; Wide Band Networking Anti-Jam Waveform; Software Definable Radio (SDR); Software Communications Architecture (SCA)

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