DARPA, BAE System Explore Satcom Uplink Protection

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BAE Systems will lead an industry team developing novel satellite communications (NSC) systems under a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) program. The agency awarded the team an initial $10 million contract, with options for an additional $4.3 million. The purpose of this research is to exploit new methods to defend the satellite communications uplinks against electronic attack.

“The Novel Satellite Communications program is exploiting new,” said Dr. Michael Zatman, the DARPA program manager for NSC. The research will demonstrate means to protect the space bound uplink signals against hostile jamming. The uplink is the stream of signals transmitted from the user terminal to the satellite. The means of protection will utilize advanced signal processing techniques, to ensure uninterrupted communications. The effort is expected to be completed in early 2008.

BAE Systems led the initial effort, sponsored by DARPA, to provide testing and proof of concept of new NSC algorithms and communication techniques. The company also was one of three contractor teams leading the recently completed Phase 2 efforts to progress toward increasingly realistic satellite scenarios and future field demonstrations. Phase 3 will mature the NSC algorithm suite, design a real-time demonstration system, and develop initial technology transition plans. The full system demonstration with existing satellites will be conducted during Phase 4.