COMBINING TECHNOLOGIES TO FOSTER IMPROVED TSPI ACCURACY AND INCREASE SHARING OF THE FREQUENCY SPECTRUM
AffiliationAir Force Flight Test Center
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AbstractThe loss of radio frequency (RF) spectrum for use in testing has steadily increased the likelihood that users of the few remaining frequencies available to test ranges will experience scheduling conflicts and interference with nontest users. A gradual increase in the base of test customers engaged in scientific, military, and commercial R&D, point toward a near term situation in which more test customers will be competing for fewer frequencies. The test ranges, often operating in close geographical proximity with other communications-intensive functions as well as with each other, will also encounter increasing out-of-band and adjacent-channel interference. This projected growth of R&Drelated testing constrained to operate in a diminished RF spectrum (and a more confined test space), will undoubtedly stimulate the development of new products that make more efficient use of the RF spectrum. This paper describes one such innovative approach to spectrum sharing. The authors assess the operational need for an affordable miniaturized avionics instrument package based on a C-band radar transponder integrated with a Global Positioning System/Inertial Measurement Unit (GPS/IMU). The proposed approach would make use of frequencies already allocated for use by existing C-band aeronautical transponders. It would augment the format of the transponder output data to include the vehicle position obtained from an onboard GPS/IMU. Existing range instrumentation radars, such as the venerable AN/FPS-16, could be modified with lowcost upgrade kits to provide uniformly higher accuracy over the entire transponder coverage range.
SponsorsInternational Foundation for Telemetering