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Space


Airborne Wideband Terminal [AWT]

The Airborne Wideband Terminal [AWT] program will develop and field a common-design, cost-effective, beyond-line-of-sight terminal providing high-capacity communications to support command and control (C2) networks, intelligence dissemination, mission data, and target/threat updates. The AWT design is envisioned to minimize the number of platform-unique component designs and to easily support further development spirals to enhance its capability.

The AWT will:

  • Provide EHF SATCOM communications in support of strategic and non-strategic nuclear operational requirements. The AWT will provide the assured, protected, highly survivable communications demanded by the NCA and the strategic nuclear forces, ensuring compatibility with evolving satellite architectures;
  • Equip airborne platforms with high-capacity EHF satellite communications. The AWT will support existing and emerging requirements to exchange mission information between ground and airborne elements of the Theater Air Control system, including: off-loading near real time sensor information, receiving ATOs and ATO updates, transmitting/receiving imagery, targeting, weather, threat updates, and mission status/assessments;
  • Facilitate airborne platforms' need to receive a continuous, high-speed, one-way flow of information; and,
  • Provide potential to evolve to meet other emerging DoD beyond-line-of-sight communication needs.

The Airborne Wideband Terminal program is scoped as a spiril development, embracing the legacy Extremely High Frequency (EHF) Milstar Low Data Rate (LDR) and Medium data Rate (MDR)capability; Advanced EHF (AEHF) capability when fully defined; Global Broadcast Service (GBS) receive-only capability; and a future expanded capability which includes military 2-way Ka, commercial Ku, and/or X-band. The terminal architecture goal is to accommodate, with minimal terminal impact, increased capability spirals as user requirements evolve and technology advances.

The AWT will provide EHF SATCOM communications in support of strategic and non-strategic nuclear operational requirements. The AWT will provide the assured, protected, highly survivable communications demanded by the NCA and the strategic nuclear forces, ensuring compatibility with evolving satellite architectures. AWT will equip airborne platforms with high-capacity EHF satellite communications. The AWT will support existing and emerging requirements to exchange mission information between ground and airborne elements of the Theater Air Control system, including: off-loading near real time sensor information, receiving ATOs and ATO updates, transmitting/receiving imagery, targeting, weather, threat updates, and mission status/assessments. AWT will facilitate airborne platforms' need to receive a continuous, high-speed, one-way flow of information and provide potential to evolve to meet other emerging DoD beyond-line-of-sight communication needs.

The Government is interested in simultaneous connectivity with various capabilities as this impacts processor and antenna designs. Simultaneous GBS-receive capability and Milstar/AEHF transmit/receive capability is of special interest. Terminals will have to accommodate integration into both ARINC 404/600 and MIL-STD-1788 racks. The Government is interested in efforts to evolve to more modular, reconfigurable, reprogrammable and layered terminal architecture designs. Applicability of the Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS) architecture is of special interest. The Government considers the antenna system as part of the terminal. The antenna system includes the radome, the antenna, the power amplifier, the Low Noise Amplifier (LNA)/Low Noise Block (LNB), and the antenna pointing function. The Government would like a standardsized antenna system interface, which would allow for a family of antenna systems, to include the antenna that is chosen to be developed for the B-2 platform.

The Government is interested in an antenna system which can be installed simply with limited protrusion into the airflow (not to exceed 10 inches) and with a minimum number of holes through the fuselage. Some platforms may also be interested in minimal protrusion (not to exceed 2 inches). An efficient aperture capable of an EIRP of 60 dBw at EHF is targeted. Power amplifier technology to meet this EIRP is of interest. The receive G/T goal is 9 dB/K. Maximum antenna coverage is desired. The Government is interested in an antenna that will track the satellite. Production advancements and anticipated commercial markets that will reduce costs are of special interest.

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Page last modified: 21-07-2011 13:04:03 ZULU