RF Communications for Unmanned Aircraft Systems

NuWaves Engineering Awarded Small Business Innovation Contract by US Army

By Mike Ball / 23 Sep 2016

ViaSat Environment Generator diagram

NuWaves Engineering, a provider of radio frequency (RF) and microwave solutions, has announced that it has been awarded a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I contract by the U.S. Army’s Redstone Test Center (RTC) to research and develop a Mode 5 Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) simulation and RF injection system.

NuWaves has partnered with ViaSat for the SBIR research and development project. The team will leverage ViaSat’s VRG-1000 IFF Environment Generator product to develop a solution that allows for the injection of up to 1,000 simulated tactical aircraft into a passive Mode 5 receiver in order to enhance the capability of the U.S. Army’s Joint Scalable Tactical Emulated Network (JSTEN). The six-month Phase I project will involve research and development activities, including the preliminary design of a new linear RF power amplifier. A four-month Phase I Option and 24-month Phase II phase, both to be funded per the U.S. Army’s discretion, would allow for an operational prototype system to be fully designed, developed, built, tested, demonstrated and delivered to the U.S. Army.

“NuWaves looks forward to working with ViaSat to help improve and enhance the U.S. Army’s ability to accurately simulate a critical mass of tactical aircraft,” said Jeff Wells, president and CEO of NuWaves Engineering. “Our team is poised to deliver a high-performance, high-value IFF simulation and stimulation solution in support of the warfighter.”

“The world’s RF signal environment continues to get more complex, putting more pressure on the ability of today’s communication systems to perform in the midst of extreme signal depth and diversity,” said Ken Peterman, senior vice president and general manager, Government Systems Division, ViaSat. “In working with NuWaves, we can further advance the Mark XIIA IFF testing capabilities of the VRG-1000, and provide a dense, realistic IFF environment that will reduce the cost of flight testing.”

ViaSat’s Radio Frequency Generator, VRG-1000, includes 50 independent IFF interrogator and 25 independent transponder platforms. The portable test set brings high-density signal testing on-location to an installed or in-development IFF system, to replicate crowded airspace and reduce flight test time by evaluating a system in a lab.

Posted by Mike Ball Mike Ball is our resident technical editor here at Unmanned Systems Technology. Combining his passion for teaching, advanced engineering and all things unmanned, Mike keeps a watchful eye over everything related to the unmanned technical sector. With over 10 years’ experience in the unmanned field and a degree in engineering, Mike’s been heading up our technical team here for the last 8 years. Connect & Contact