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Spring 2001



MPRG Works on $15 Million Military Communictions Effort

The department's Mobile & Portable Radio Research Group (MPRG) is collaborating with Raytheon Company on a $15 million project to develop advanced technologies for the Airborne Communications Node (ACN) for military communications.

Other team members on the Phase II project for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) are BAE SYSTEMS, LGIC, Inc., General Dynamics, Zeger-Abrams, Lucent Technologies, HRL, and Ball Aerospace. MPRG's work on the project is expected to represent more than $1 million in funding.

The ACN payload will act as a surrogate satellite that will relay voice and data communications among ground forces, enabling them to communicate well beyond line-of-sight. While it will be capable of being hosted on a variety of airborne platforms, the current plan is to test the first prototype on an unmanned aerial vehicle, according to Brian Woerner, lead investigator for the MPRG project.

"Raytheon's ACN is a multi-mission, scalable payload that can be used not only as a communications relay to improve battlefield support, but also will be capable of surveillance and information operations," said Hank Orejuela, vice president of Raytheon's Information and Advanced Systems business area.

MPRG's effort on the project will focus on reconfigurable antennas, signal processing techniques, mobile networking innovations, optical networks, and several enabling technologies. The project will tap Tech's expertise in overloaded array processing, robust demodulation, reconfigurable antennas, and single channel interference mitigation techniques.

Department faculty members on the project include Woerner, Jeff Reed, Bill Tranter, Warren Stutzman, and William Davis.

The Bradley Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Virginia Tech

Last Updated, July 25, 2001
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