BFTN(e) Multi-Layer Spatial Multiplexer (MLSM) for RF Networking
Navy SBIR 2014.1 - Topic N141-079
SPAWAR - Ms. Elizabeth Altmann - [email protected]
Opens: Dec 20, 2013 - Closes: Jan 22, 2014

N141-079 TITLE: BFTN(e) Multi-Layer Spatial Multiplexer (MLSM) for RF Networking

TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Information Systems

ACQUISITION PROGRAM: Battle Force Tactical Network, ACAT III, for PMW/A 170 Program Office

OBJECTIVE: A Spatial Multiplexer will enable Spatially Divided Multiple Access (SDMA) transmit-receive paired nodes to correlate half-rate sub-streams dynamically, facilitating flexible channel modulation across up to 4 wideband High Frequencey (HF), 4 wideband Very High Frequencey (VHF) or 4 wideband Ultra High Frequency (UHF) radio pathways. This advancement in RF Network transport of TCP/IP will enable spatial filtering between transmit/receive pairs so that each SDMA which is also known as Multiple Inputs/Multiple Outputs for Multiple User (MIMO-MU) can nodally each have dynamically layered delivery options.

DESCRIPTION: Present designs of BFTN are underutilizing the power of "wireless" networking using multiple transmitters and receivers to establish meshed high-bandwidth TCP/IP communications (Collegiately referred to as MIMO-MU) in an Anti-Acess Area Denial (A2AD) or Satellite Communication (SATCOM) denied event. These events are predicted to last as many as 9 months without abatement and can significant impinge warfighter operations until BFTN is enhanced to advantage the user with the high-bandwidth they need. A principal challenge with these high-bandwidth RF Network layers is to dynamically route IP data traffic across a number of RF communication pathways that are "sub-netted" to allow hopping from one transport path to another and still retain TCP delivery verifications. The MLSM project endeavors to build upon academic research work conceptually architecting spatial combining and reuse of RF channels in order to layer RF Networks into cohesive multi-node MIMO-MU wireless delivery systems. The endeavor will assert testable design criteria to this cognitive research and establish design limitations commensurate to MIMO-MU Networking over RF; to produce a common routable topology across multiple sub-networks within the technical and operational requirements of US Navy Fleet operations. As the result of this project, MLSM will be tested and demonstrated in a test bed environment that closely mimics a Navy trial program such as the Fleet Experiments (FLEX) or similar Program of Record funded evaluations. If successful, the MLSM will enable expedited implementation of the BFTN(e) capability to the US Navy Fleet and assure their TCP/IP inter-networked communication even in the most stringent Radio jammed environments.

PHASE I: The offering company or organization will design a common approach to multiplex and load balance TCP/IP traffic across eight RF Networking circuits based on Exhibit 1: Concept Diagram for Spatial Multiplexing eight (8) channels of HF/UHF/VHF. This exhibit can be viewed on the SITIS website for the duration of the solicitation opening. As a Phase I deliverable, a scientific and technical report will be required that will fully document how the design will be constructed, as well as, contain sufficient underpinning research, both direct and indirect, to authenticate the achieved performance results of such a design.

Exhibit 1: Concept Diagram for Spatial Multiplexing 8 channels of HF/UHF/VHF

PHASE II: Utilizing design from Phase I effort, develop a bench-top prototype that would be used to validate required performance in a laboratory environment. A Program of Record sponsored field trial will authenticated the performance levels postulated during Phase I and demonstrated during the Benchtop test. Phase II deliverables, over and above the required monthly status/progress reports and the final report, will include the following, as a minimum:
1) Complete preliminary and final prototype design documents/drawings to the system and subsystem level.
2) A preliminary design review (PDR) and critical design review (CDR), and all supporting documentation for these reviews, will be provided to government stakeholders at the 50 and 75 percent point of the base effort. A Technology Readiness Review (TRR) and all supporting documentation for this review, will be provided to government stakeholders at the 50 percent point of the option effort, if awarded.
3) Formal test procedures and test plans with subsequent test inspection/reports authenticating the achieved performance results of the prototype design.
4) Preliminary demonstration of bench-top prototype design will be required within the last 30 days of the base effort, and if option effort is awarded, a fully operational demonstration will be required no later than the end of the option period. Each demonstration will consist of spatial multiplexing, load-balancing and re-routing performance levels in a laboratory emulation of three at-sea Carrier Strike Groups with simultaneously inter-operating RF Networks.
5) Bench-top prototype must be delivered to the government at the completion of the base effort, if option is not awarded. If option is awarded, prototype will be retained by company for further refinement and testing, and re-delivered to the government at the end of the option period.

PHASE III: Transition of this work effort to full production under the BFTN Program of Record (POR) will be accomplished once the MLSM design is validated and interface requirement documentation is approved for installation. Productionization of the solution will commence once installation handbooks and user maintenance manuals are completed and accepted by the SPAWAR Integrated Logistics System (ILS) organization.

PRIVATE SECTOR COMMERCIAL POTENTIAL/DUAL-USE APPLICATIONS: RF Networking is a common approach to achieve user mobility. However long-range communications in the at-sea environment still has a significant dependence on SATCOM and/or HF radio point to point voice communications. Accentuating their present Radio communications system with this MLSM offers an ability to multiplex TCP/IP output to multiple radios aboard a cargo vessel or yacht and utilize highbandwidth RF Networking as a result.

1) A. Paulraj, R. Nabar and D. Gore " Introduction to Space-Time Wireless Communications," Stanford University Textbook, Cambridge Publishers, 2003, ISBN 978-0-521-06593-1

2) Hujun Yin, and Hui Liu "Performance of Space-Division Multiple-Access (SDMA) With Scheduling," IEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications, VOL. 1, NO. 4, October 2002

KEYWORDS: BFTN; RF Networking; MIMO-MU; Load-Balancing; HF/UHF/VHF; wireless routing; Jamming, TCP/IP

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