Frequency Hopping Optimization (FHO) for Tactical Data Links

Navy SBIR 20.3 - Topic N203-150

Naval Information Warfare Systems Command (NAVWAR) - Mr. Shadi Azoum

Opens: September 23, 2020 - Closes: October 22, 2020 (12:00 pm ET)



N203-150        TITLE: Frequency Hopping Optimization (FHO) for Tactical Data Links


RT&L FOCUS AREA(S): Network Command, Control and Communications, 5G

TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Battlespace; Electronics; Materials


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 and utilize modern receiver digital compensations algorithms to increase tactical network capacity for tactical data links.


DESCRIPTION: Over the past two decades, algorithms have been developed that allow for multi-user detection, cancellation, and signal separation enabling overlapping channel condition such that network capacity could be effectively doubled. Overlapping channel techniques can provide significant improvements in spectrum utilization and application performance; however, such techniques or algorithms have not been used for tactical data link applications [Refs 1-4].


The goal of this SBIR topic is to increase tactical data links network capacity and throughput (i.e., node to node) by employing partially overlapping channels using leveraging techniques or algorithms that can significantly suppresses adjacent channel interference. A key aspect of this effort to achieve a higher network capacity in tactical data links is analyzing, simulating, and documenting the feasibility of implementing efficiencies on a given channel. In performing design trades, the overlapping channel solution should be implementable within the current Software Interface Specification (SiS) and not degrade current network capacity or performance (e.g., anti-jam, sensitivity, throughput). The Navy seeks innovative overlapping channel algorithms solutions for tactical data links application that can be implemented in a Field Programmable Gated Array (FPGA). Desired solutions should be software and/or firmware solutions. Trades affecting hardware receiver resources utilization (e.g., FPGA resources) and any other system software impacts are required.


Implementing this type of capability would provide greater spectral efficiency and bandwidth for tactical data links. The attributes cited above would provide substantial network improvements in reducing overall spectral access requirements while simultaneously increasing warfighter communication and data network capacity.


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 Counterintelligence Security Agency (DCSA). 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 DCSA and NAVWAR 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: Demonstrate the feasibility of new or existing partial overlapping channel techniques and/or algorithms for tactical data links application within the intended radio subsystem. Evaluate the feasibility of potential solutions through the analysis inclusive of simulations of Physical Layer (PHY)-level changes. Evaluate key metrics including channel capacity (i.e., this number depends on modulation and throughput but typically it will be about 20-30% improvement), channel overlap (20-30%), node-to-node throughput (20% improvement) and network capacity (1.2x # of nodes).  Include simulations to establish feasibility basis for the proposed techniques. Assume parameters outlined in the Description. Detail the feasibility, development and integration challenges of the proposed technology solutions as well as any other technical risks.  The Phase I effort will include prototype plans for a Multifunctional Information Distribution Systems (MIDS) Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS) TRL 6 - integration and demonstration of solution on a relevant operational laboratory environment - to be developed under Phase II. Note: Partnership with MIDS prime vendors is encouraged during Phase I efforts.


PHASE II: Prototype and demonstrate a MIDS JTRS TRL6 partial overlapping channel solution(s), encompassing both the design of the algorithms and anticipated effects. Conduct evaluations by testing the algorithms against baseline network performance, receiver sensitivity and A/J metrics on a MIDS JTRS TRL 6 relevant operational laboratory environment to test and validate performance and/or any adverse impact. Prepare and document a report that discusses the results, analysis of the performance, challenges and/or shortfalls, and risks and recommendations for transition. Prepare a Phase III development plan to transition the technology for Navy and potential commercial use.


Note: The expected TRL for this project is TRL 6 (i.e., prototype demonstrated in a relevant laboratory environment). Partnership with MIDS prime vendors is encouraged to support tasks for this Phase II effort and enable potential transition. MIDS JTRS is a National Security Agency-certified type 1 encryption system; hence, information assurance (IA) compliance will apply during Phase II and subsequent transition efforts. Work produced in Phase II and subsequent efforts will be classified (see Description section for details).


PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: Support the Navy in transitioning the algorithms and solutions to Navy use. Refine the algorithms, software code, validation, documentation, and IA compliance. Perform test and validation to certify and qualify software and firmware components for Navy use. Implement the capability in the form of fast, efficient algorithms that, once proven, can be coded in software-defined radios.


Partial overlapping channel algorithms have tremendous application in the area of dense enterprise wireless local area networks and commercial cellular communication. Partial overlapping channel technology has wide commercial applications to address LTE, 5G, and WIFI technology deployment due proximity with other interferences, spectrum challenges, etc.



1.       Mishra, A., Shrivastava, V., Banerjee, S., and Arbaugh, W. “Partially Overlapped Channels Not Considered Harmful.” University of Wisconsin and University of Maryland, 2006.  

2.       So, J. and Vaidya, N. “Routing and channel assignment in multi-channel multi-hop wireless networks with single network interface.” Technical Report, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, 2005.   

3.       Meyer, Raimund; Gerstacker, Wolfgang H.; Schober, Robert; and Huber, Johannes B. “A Single Antenna Interference Cancellation Algorithm for GSM.” University of British Columbia, 2005.  

4.       Gardner, William A. “Suppression of Cochannel Interference in GSM by Pre-demodulation Signal Processing.” Statistical Signal Processing, Inc., 2013.


KEYWORDS: Partial Overlapping Channels; Spectrum Utilization; Tactical Data Links; MIDS; Multifunctional Information Distribution Systems; Network Capacity




The Navy Topic above is an "unofficial" copy from the overall DoD 20.3 SBIR BAA. Please see the official DoD DSIP Topic website at for any updates. The DoD issued its 20.3 SBIR BAA on August 25, 2020, which opens to receive proposals on September 25, 2020, and closes October 22, 2020 at 12:00 noon ET.

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