N221-035 TITLE: DIGITAL ENGINEERING - Multi-Beam Antenna Scheduling Optimization
OUSD (R&E) MODERNIZATION PRIORITY: General Warfighting Requirements (GWR)
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Sensors
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 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 an algorithmic approach to optimally schedule transmit/receive communications in a command-and-control network using multi-beam antennas.
DESCRIPTION: Existing Navy command and control networks create a force-level track picture by fusing sensor measurements from all members of the deployed group. The measurements are sent from the sensing unit to all other units by a series of pairwise exchanges using directional, single-beam antennas. Command and control networks use time-division multiple access (TDMA) to create the pairwise, transmit/receive schedule to send measurements from each sensor to all other sensors in the network for fusion. Command and control networks also support the flow of sensor data to directly support Engage on Remote (EOR), which requires more dedicated information exchange to achieve required latencies.
New antenna technologies are being developed that permit multiple beams to be formed by the antenna array, providing the possibility to transmit or receive simultaneously in multiple beams. Creating such an antenna, compatible with the existing command and control networks, is a significant technological development. The development of a new transmit/receive scheduling method is required to derive operational benefit from this technological development. There are no known current solutions that addresses this developed technology need. A solution is needed to develop an algorithmic approach to optimally schedule transmit/receive communications in a command-and-control network using multi-beam antennas.
Several possible configurations are of interest. Configuration 1 contains one unit with a multi-beam antenna while the remaining units have single beam antennas. Configuration 2 contains a random mix single-beam and multi-beam antennas. Configuration 3 is composed entirely of multi-beam antennas. These configurations are representative of the evolution from an initial operational capability to a final operational capability of the new antenna technology. It is required that a single scheduling approach be able to support all configurations.
The term multi-beam can be interpreted to mean 2 beams, but the ability to scale the scheduling concept to a larger number of beams must be addressed. The intent is to demonstrate, in modeling and simulation, improved network performance using the multi-beam scheduling versus single-beam scheduling. Network performance metrics must be defined to quantify the performance improvement of the various multi-beam configurations relative to the single beam configuration.
Media Access Control (MAC) protocols for multi-beam antennas are discussed in the Wang and Kuperman references. These approaches may be relevant for the exchange of track measurements among units to produce the fused track picture. The Raviv reference discusses the inclusion of priorities and deadlines in the schedule creation, which may be relevant to scheduling transmission of EOR support data. A single scheduling approach that supports both track measurements and EOR data is required. The solution will be validated by testing in a laboratory environment which will be provided by the performer. The prototype solution will be delivered to the Navy for further testing and development assisted by the performer.
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), formerly the Defense Security Service (DSS). The selected contractor must be able to acquire and maintain a secret level facility and Personnel Security Clearances, in order to perform on advanced phases of this contract as set forth by DCSA and NAVSEA 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 advance phases of this contract.
PHASE I: Develop a concept for an algorithmic approach to optimally schedule transmit/receive communications and demonstrate the concept meets the parameters in the Description. Concept feasibility will be demonstrated through analysis, modelling, and simulation. The Phase I Option, if exercised, will include the initial design specifications and capabilities description to build a prototype solution in Phase II.
PHASE II: Develop, demonstrate, and deliver a prototype algorithmic approach to optimally schedule transmit/receive communications based on the results of Phase I. Demonstrate the prototype meets the parameters described in the Description through testing in a laboratory environment. The laboratory environment will be provided by the performer.
It is probable that the work under this effort will be classified under Phase II (see Description section for details).
PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: Support the Navy in transitioning the technology to Navy use. The scheduling concept will be merged with existing command and control software to assist in generating the TDMA transmit/receive schedule. Working prototype scheduling algorithms, will be delivered to the Navy for testing and further development. Work with the program of record prime contractor for integration into the scheduling algorithm to be deployed. The prime contractor will be responsible for integrating the suite of scheduling concepts that best support the requirements of the network capability to be deployed in conjunction with the company assisting in the integration processes.
This technology will also benefit commercial radio industries that have a need to handle many transmissions at the same time over networks.
KEYWORDS: Multi-beam antenna; transmit/receive scheduling; fused track picture; pairwise exchange; time-division multiple access (TDMA); media access control
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