Business

August 22, 2018
 

Northrop Grumman, DARPA set new standard for wireless transmission speed

Northrop Grumman and DARPA 100 gigabits per second link demonstrated over 20 kilometer city environment on Jan. 19, 2018 in Los Angeles.

REDONDO BEACH, Calif. — Northrop Grumman and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency have set a new standard for wireless transmission by operating a data link at 100 gigabits per second over a distance of 20 kilometers in a city environment.

The two-way data link, which featured active pointing and tracking, was demonstrated Jan. 19, 2018 in Los Angeles.

The blazing data rate is fast enough to download a 50 Gigabyte blue ray video in four seconds. The demonstration marked the successful completion of Northrop Grumman’s Phase 2 contract for DARPA’s 100 Gbps (100G) RF Backbone program.

The 100G system is capable of rate adaptation on a frame by frame basis from 9 Gbps to 102 Gbps to maximize data rate throughout dynamic channel variations. Extensive link characterization demonstrated short-term error-free performance from 9 to 91 Gbps, and a maximum data rate of 102 Gbps with 1 erroneous bit received per ten thousand bits transmitted.

The successful data link results from the integration of several key technologies. The link operates at millimeter wave frequencies (in this case, 71-76 gigahertz and 81-86 gigahertz) with 5 gigahertz of bandwidth, or data carrying capacity, and uses a bandwidth efficient signal modulation technique to transmit 25 Gbps data streams on each 5 gigahertz channel. To double the rate within the fixed bandwidth, the data link transmits dual orthogonally polarized signals from each antenna. Additionally, the link transmits from two antennas simultaneously (spatial multiplexing) and uses multiple-input-multiple-output (MIMO) signal processing techniques to separate the signals at two receiving antennas, thus again doubling the data rate within the fixed bandwidth.   

According to Louis Christen, director, research and technology, Northrop Grumman, “This dramatic improvement in data transmission performance could significantly increase the volume of airborne sensor data that can be gathered and reduce the time needed to exploit sensor data.”

100G hardware will be flown aboard the Proteus demonstration aircraft developed by Northrop Grumman subsidiary Scaled Composites.

“Next generation sensors such as hyperspectral imagers typically collect data faster, and in larger quantity than most air-to-ground data links can comfortably transmit,” said Christen. “Without such a high data rate link data would need to be reviewed and analyzed after the aircraft lands.”

By contrast, a 100G data link could transmit high-rate data directly from the aircraft to commanders on the ground in near real time, allowing them to respond more quickly to dynamic operations.

The successful 100G ground demonstration sets the stage for the flight test phase of the 100G RF Backbone program. This next phase, which started in June, demonstrates the 100G air-to-ground link up to 100 Gbps over a 100 km range and extended ranges with lower data rates. The 100G hardware will be flown aboard the Proteus demonstration aircraft developed by Northrop Grumman subsidiary Scaled Composites.

Northrop Grumman’s 100G industry team includes Raytheon, which developed the millimeter wave antennas and related RF electronics and Silvus Technologies, which provides the key spatial multiplexing and MIMO signal processing technologies.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines – January 14, 2019

News Plan calls for U.S. troop pullout from Syria to take months, bringing hundreds more troops in to assist – The U.S. military said Jan. 11 it has started taking steps to meet President Donald Trump’s demand for a complete military withdrawal from Syria. The announcement fueled concern about how quickly the U.S. will abandon...
 
 

News Briefs – January 14, 2019

Turkey says its Syria offensive doesn’t hinge on U.S. pullout Turkey’s foreign minister says a planned Turkish military offensive against U.S.-allied Kurdish fighters in northeast Syria doesn’t depend on whether the United States withdraws its troops from the region. Mevlut Cavusoglu said in an interview with NTV news channel on Jan. 10 that Turkey would...
 
 
NASA photograph

Dragon back on earth as crew revs up ISS science

NASA photograph International Space Station Configuration. Four spaceships are parked at the space station including the Northrop Grumman Cygnus resupply ship and Russia’s Progress 70 and 71 resupply ships and the Soyuz M...