Spread spectrum applications in unmanned aerial vehicles
Bess, Philip K.
Shields, Michael K.
Sovereign, Michael G.
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This thesis is part of an ongoing Naval Postgraduate School research project to develop unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) using current off the shelf (COTS) technology. This thesis specifically evaluated a spread spectrum UHF data link between a UAV and ground terminal. The command and control (C2) process and its role as the fundamental premise of the warfare commander were discussed. A review of the Pioneer Remotely Piloted Vehicle (RPV), which gained such wide recognition during Operations Desert Storm and Desert Shield, was provided to the reader for familiarization with the workings of a generic UAV. An investigation of two common spread spectrum techniques and there associated benefits was made. A link budget calculation was made. The choice of a spread spectrum radio transceiver was reviewed. The requirements and design of the UAV and ground terminal antenna were discussed. A link budget analysis was performed. An atmospheric pat propagation prediction was performed. The details of an actual flight test and the data gathered were examined. Future changes to enhance the data link performance and increase its capabilities were introduced. The COTS spread spectrum data link will enhance the role of the UAV in its command and control mission for the warfare commander.
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