FILLING THE GAP: ROCKET DELIVERED SHORT-TERM EXPEDITIONARY BEYOND LINE-OF-SIGHT NARROWBAND COMMUNICATIONS RELAY
Pross, John W.
Newman, James H.
Lan, Wenschel D.
Koeppen, Nicholas R., USMC
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The current Department of Defense (DoD) satellite communications (SATCOM) network consists of large, exquisite, and expensive constellations providing service across the radio frequency spectrum. However, the current SATCOM architecture is vulnerable to adversary actions including interference, jamming, directed energy, and antisatellite weapons. Despite the rise in adversary threats, the DoD continues to grow more reliant on SATCOM services in execution of all seven joint warfighting functions. The Marine Corps Operating Concept acknowledges that traditional beyond line-of-sight (BLOS) communications capabilities will be severely degraded or non-existent in the future fight. This research demonstrates a near-term solution that increases resiliency in BLOS communications consisting of a rocket-delivered expeditionary narrowband radio relay with an applicable use case. The payload of the relay consists of a software-defined radio controlled by a single-board computer and demonstrates resiliency by cross-banding signals between very high frequency and ultra high frequency transmit and receive frequencies, respectively. After a rigorous design and test process, this research culminated with an actual demonstration over the air and an attempted delivery by an actual rocket to a target altitude of 30,000 feet.
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