Air Force researchers approach industry for network control and waveform generation in cognitive radio

Oct. 3, 2023
Air Force wants new techniques that enable RF and microwaves that autonomously find open radio frequencies and choose the most efficient RF waveforms.

ROME, N.Y. – U.S. Air Force researchers are asking industry for new ways to design cognitive radio waveform generation and network control to enable RF communications that are fast, efficient, and able to adapt to environmental conditions.

Officials of the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory Information Directorate in Rome, N.Y., issued a broad agency announcement last week (FA8750-22-S-7006) for the Adaptive Waveform Generation for Extreme RF (AWGER) project.

The four-year program seeks new kinds of cognitive radio techniques that enable wireless communications that autonomously find open radio frequencies and choose the most efficient RF waveform to avoid interference, achieve necessary range, and send data quickly.

Cognitive radio describes an RF transceiver that intelligently can detect which communication channels are in use, which ones are not, and instantly move into vacant channels. The same principles could apply to radar, electronic warfare (EW) and other RF and microwave applications.

Related: The sensor- and signal-processing challenges of electronic warfare

The AWGER program aims at effective design tradeoffs between RF spectral efficiency, linearity, and power efficiency. One of the major issues in cognitive radio is obtaining an adaptive transmitting waveform based on environmental measurements.

The Air Force Research Laboratory is soliciting white papers that describe technologies for cognitive waveform generation; machine learning or other cognitive techniques for building waveforms from fundamental digital processing blocks; adjusting to waveforms based on varying RF environments and interference; simulate RF environments and physical layers for waveform evaluation; and resiliency to adversarial attacks.

The project also explores new kinds of RF network control through network throughput analysis and control within varying RF environments; coordinating and handshaking of physical layer changes between nodes in a network; and network layer simulation and network control evaluation.

Finally, the AWGER project seeks to create a unified scenario evaluation environment with over-the-air demonstrations consisting of virtual nodes from emulation and physical nodes; and integrated demonstration of network control and waveform generation. The AWGER project should be worth nearly $50 million through 2027, split among several different contractors.

Related: Adaptive and bistatic electronic warfare

Companies interested should email white papers to the Air Force's Gerald Wohlrab by 4 Nov. 2022 at [email protected]. The Air Force will accept white papers until 30 Sept. 2027.

Email technical questions or concerns to the Air Force's Gerald Wohlrab by 4 Nov. 2022 at [email protected], and business questions to Amber Buckley at [email protected].

More information is online at

About the Author

John Keller | Editor-in-Chief

John Keller is the Editor-in-Chief, Military & Aerospace Electronics Magazine--provides extensive coverage and analysis of enabling electronics and optoelectronic technologies in military, space and commercial aviation applications. John has been a member of the Military & Aerospace Electronics staff since 1989 and chief editor since 1995.

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