On March 13, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) opened Phase 2 of its broad agency announcement (DARPA-BAA-15-24) for the Shared Spectrum Access for Radar and Communications (SSPARC) program. The proposal deadline is April 27.
DARPA is soliciting innovative research proposals in the area of spectrum sharing between radar and communications systems, following on prior work carried out in the coexistence thrust of Phase 1 of the Shared Spectrum Access for Radar and Communications (SSPARC) program. Proposed research should investigate innovative approaches that enable revolutionary advances in science, devices, or systems. Specifically excluded is research that primarily results in evolutionary improvements to the existing state of practice.
This BAA solicits work enabling coexistence of communications systems with existing or nearfuture radar systems. Multiple awards are anticipated. The anticipated duration of projects awarded under this BAA is 11 months, with a subsequent 11 month option period that starts up to 2 months before the end of the base effort. Final reports from coexistence projects performed under SSPARC Phase 1 are available to proposers. A subsequent BAA is anticipated under SSPARC Phase 2 for research on codesign of communications and radar systems and other related topics.
Spectrum congestion is a growing problem. It increasingly limits operational capabilities due to the increasing deployment and bandwidth of wireless communications, the use of net-centric and unmanned systems, and the need for increased flexibility in radar and communications spectrum to improve performance and to overcome sophisticated countermeasures. Radar and communications jointly consume most of the highly desirable spectrum below 6 GHz. SSPARC seeks to develop sharing technology that enables sufficient spectrum access within this desirable range for radar and communications systems to accomplish their evolving missions.
The SSPARC program seeks to support two types of spectrum sharing.
- Spectrum sharing between military radars and military communications systems (“military/military sharing”) increases both capabilities simultaneously when operating in congested and contested spectral environments.
- Spectrum sharing between military radars and commercial communications systems (“military/commercial sharing”) preserves radar capability while meeting national and international needs for increased commercial communications spectrum, without incurring the high cost of relocating radars to new frequency bands.
Although SSPARC technology is expected to be widely applicable, the research focus of the program is on the following spectrum sharing challenge:
- S-band, 2 GHz – 4 GHz
o Ground or naval-surface
o Electronically steered phased array
o Multifunction – combines air surveillance, air tracking, non-cooperative target identification, and optionally, weather monitoring
- Communications system
o Ground or naval-surface
o Military system type: Mobile Ad-hoc Network (MANET)
o Commercial system type: Small-cell broadband
Full information can be found here.