Thursday, December 26, 2013

Atmospheric effects on satellite V and W radio frequencies

The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), Space Vehicles Directorate, in collaboration with the Space and Missile Systems Center, Military Satellite Communications Directorate, and NASA Glenn Research Center, plan to conduct fundamental research to increase knowledge and understanding of atmospheric effects on radio frequency signal propagation in the V and W bands. The Air Force announced the research effort in a Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) on Monday.

Known as the W/V-band Satellite Communications Experiment (WSCE) program, “specifically, the objective is to statistically characterize channel propagation effects in the V (71 - 76 gigahertz) and W (81 - 86 GHz) frequency bandwidths of the electromagnetic spectrum,” the AFRL said in the BAA. “Channel propagation effects can include, for example, signal attenuation, phase dispersion, and depolarization. It is necessary to correlate the long-term channel behavior to atmospheric and meteorological parameters. Measured data will be used to develop and validate modeling and design tools that can be used to design and assess future military satellite communication architectures.”

The Air Force invites companies interested in participating in the research to submit a proposal to the AFRL at Kirtland Air Force Base by Feb. 7. The Air Force anticipates awarding a minimum of one contract. Anticipated period of performance is approximately 108 months.

Cost of the overall WSCE program is estimated to be $30 million. The initial task order is estimated to not exceed $2 million.

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