SSPARC programme

The US Defense Advanced Research Space Agency (DARPA) is seeking proposals from the industry to develop technologies that will improve bandwidth access for military systems and commercial networks, as part of its shared spectrum access for radar and communications (SSPARC) programme.

The programme specifically aims to support spectrum sharing between military radars, communications networks and military radars in between 2 and 4GHz frequency ranges, which are highly desirable for military systems and commercial networks.

DARPA programme manager John Chapin said the agency’s primary aim of the programme is to enable increased spectrum access for the systems, while ensuring protection for military security requirements.

"The longer-term vision of the programme is to create clean-sheet designs for radar and communications systems that push the state-of-the-art in both areas, while incorporating spectrum sharing as a basic requirement," Chapin added.

"We see a technical approach based on cooperation between radars and communications networks as a ‘win-win’ for the military and commercial communities."

"The programme aims to support spectrum sharing between military radars, communications networks and military radars."

Research on spectrum sharing technologies that are ideally suited for rapid adoption, beside longer-term, more fundamental changes to radar and communications system designs, are also included in the programme.

For the rapid adoption portion of the programme, the companies are required to develop software and cost-effective upgrades to current systems facilitating deployment within the next five to eight years.

The programme includes coordination with appropriate spectrum management offices in the US Department of Defense (DoD) and other federal agencies, along with planned interaction with commercial communications standards bodies.

The SSPARC innovative spectrum sharing solutions are also expected to be applicable at other frequencies.

DARPA is scheduled to host a Proposers’ Day on 26 February, at its Conference Center in Arlington, US.

Image: The SSPARC programme will develop technologies that help radars and communication networks to share spectrum. Photo courtesy of DARPA.

Defence Technology