Army researchers seek to combine C- and Ku-band SATCOM channels on one 16-meter antenna

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md., 11 Jan. 2016. U.S. Army satellite communications (SATCOM) experts are surveying industry to find RF and microwave companies able to develop full-duplex SATCOM links that can operate on Ku and C bands from one SATCOM antenna measuring at least 16 meters in diameter.

Army researchers seek to combine C- and Ku-band SATCOM channels on one 16-meter antenna
Army researchers seek to combine C- and Ku-band SATCOM channels on one 16-meter antenna
ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md., 11 Jan. 2016. U.S. Army satellite communications (SATCOM) experts are surveying industry to find RF and microwave companies able to develop full-duplex SATCOM links that can operate on Ku and C bands from one SATCOM antenna measuring at least 16 meters in diameter.

Officials of the Army Contracting Command at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., issued a request for information last week (W56KGU13RA424) for the Advanced Technologies for Fixed and Transportable Satellite Earth Terminals-16-meter Dual-Band (Ku-Band and C-Band) Antenna project.

The RFI, issued on behalf of the Army Research, Development and Engineering Command (RDECOM), Communications Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center (CERDEC), is looking for SATCOM links at C and Ku bands, capable of both, but remotely selectable and only operating on one chosen band at a time.

C-band links operate on frequencies from 4 to 8 GHz for long-distance radio telecommunications and weather radar systems. C-band SATCOM signals perform better than Ku-band in bad weather due to attenuation from moisture.

Related: Ka-band VSAT tail-mounted SATCOM antenna for in-flight connectivity introduced by TECOM

Ku-band links, meanwhile, operate on frequencies form 12 to 18 GHz for SATCOM fixed and broadcast radio communications services, as well as for radar.

Army researchers are looking for a SATCOM antenna that performs at a minimum as a 16-meter or greater in diameter capable of receiving and transmitting simultaneously at the C and extended bands, officials say.

The must be able to perform Ku-band full duplex operations in the C and Ku bands using the same aperture while simultaneously maintaining power and bandwidth requirements within the FCC and INTELSAT standards.

Ultimately Army researchers want to sponsor a low-risk program that potentially leads to a test aperture at Aberdeen Proving Ground and 12 or more identical systems and system installations in various locations around the world.

Related: Marines look to ViaSat for hatch-mount SATCOM antenna for streaming video aboard KC-130J aircraft

For now, Army researchers are asking for industry white papers on the technical feasibility of combining C and Ku band capability into one aperture; the estimated time necessary to develop such a system; potential production rates; the feasibility of installing several systems simultaneously in different locations; and the performance of the system in various configurations.

Companies interested should email white papers no later than 1 Feb. 2016 to the Army's rick Dunnegan at ricky.d.dunnegan.civ@mail.mil. For questions or concerns phone Dunnegan at 443-910-1567.

More information is online at https://www.fbo.gov/notices/85eb9e98f75ffaae7378bb7361ff02d8.

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