Air Force needs software tool to manage UAV radio frequencies

NELLIS AFB, Nev., 23 Aug. 2005. U.S. Air Force leaders are asking industry to design a software-based tool to help them manage radio frequencies for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) dynamically on an as-needed basis, similarly to how an air tasking order helps manage aircraft and weapons.

Aug 23rd, 2005

NELLIS AFB, Nev., 23 Aug. 2005. U.S. Air Force leaders are asking industry to design a software-based tool to help them manage radio frequencies for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) dynamically on an as-needed basis, similarly to how an air tasking order helps manage aircraft and weapons.

This program is called UAV Battlelab Dynamic Spectrum Management and Allocation Tool, and is outlined in a broad agency announcement released Aug. 22. The solicitation number is BAA-UAVB-05-004.

As remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) and UAVs proliferate the battlespace, lack of available spectrum is becoming a critical issue, Air Force officials explain.

From this software tool, they want a dynamic process to allow the sharing and re-use of frequencies on a mission-by-mission, day-by-day basis, such as through an air tasking order-like process. Rather than allocating spectrum permanently, units should receive frequencies as needed based on the specific requirements for a given mission.

The traditional way that joint-level spectrum managers allocate and deconflict frequency assignments is largely a static process and inefficient, officials say.

The system needs to be flexible enough to factor in mission locations, en-route and egress flight paths, mission altitudes, transmit range requirements, and frequency congestion areas.

If a UAV unit stands down for weather outage, for example, the frequency bandwidth that unit normally needs should be available to other UAVs. When a UAV is on-station over the target area, the frequencies it needed during takeoff 300 miles away should be temporarily marked as available for other users.

Experts at the Air Force UAV Battlelab are interested in any systems that could perform this dynamic spectrum management and allocation function, but strongly emphasize that proposals must be based on mature technologies.

Air Force personnel will evaluate concepts based on technical merit, proposed cost, and maturity of the technologies involved. UAV Battlelab officials are asking interested companies to submit five-page concept papers by Sept. 9, 2005, to Mrs. Briggs, care of Department of the Air Force, Air Combat Command, 99 CONS, 5865 Swaab Blvd., Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. 89191-7063.

To ask questions on the objectives or preparation of the technical proposal, contact Air Force Capt. David Huber, the contracting officer, by phone at 702-652-3366, by fax at 208-828-2658, by e-mail at david.huber@nellis.af.mil, or by post at 99 CONS/LGCC, 5865 Swaab Blvd Bldg 588 Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. 89191-7063.

Also contact Capt. Josederic Scott, deputy ISR division, by phone at 702-652-0217, by fax at 702-652-0159, by e-mail at josederic.scott@nellis.af.mil.

More information on this project is available online at http://www.fbodaily.com/archive/2005/08-August/24-Aug-2005/FBO-00876008.htm.

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