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Committee on Universal Radio Frequency System for Special Operations Forces Standing Committee on Research, Development, and Acquisition Options for U.S. Special Operations Command Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences
THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS 500 Fifth Street, N.W. Washington, DC 20001 NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. This is a report of work supported by Contract H92222-07-D-0014, DO #3, between U.S. Special Operations Command and the National Academy of Sciences. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the organizations or agencies that provided support for the project. International Standard Book Number 13: 978-0-309-13242-8 International Standard Book Number 10: 0-309-13242-8 Limited copies are available from: Additional copies available from: Division on Engineering and Physical The National Academies Press Sciences 500 Fifth Street, N.W. National Research Council Lockbox 285 500 Fifth Street, N.W. Washington, DC 20055 Washington, DC 20001 (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313 (202) 334-3111 (in the Washington metropolitan area) http://www.nap.edu Copyright 2009 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America
The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Charles M. Vest is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academyâs purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. Charles M. Vest are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council. www.national-academies.org
COMMITTEE ON UNIVERSAL RADIO FREQUENCY SYSTEM FOR SPECIAL OPERATIONS FORCES LAWRENCE DELANEY, Chair, Titan Corporation (retired) BRIAN AGEE, B3 Advanced Communications Systems MARK BUCKNER, Oak Ridge National Laboratory R. MICHAEL BUEHRER, Virginia Polytechnic Institute JOHN CAFARELLA, Independent Consultant PHILIP DICKINSON, Independent Consultant JAMES FREEBERSYSER, BBN Technologies RITA GONZALES, Sandia National Laboratories ANDREW IVERS, L-3 Linkabit PETER KIND, Institute for Defense Analyses GARY MINDEN, University of Kansas JOSEPH MITOLA, Stevens Institute of Technology ROBERT NOWAK, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (retired) GLEN ROUSSOS, L-3 Communications ROBERT TINGLEY, Charles Stark Draper Laboratory Staff CARTER FORD, Study Director NORMAN HALLER, Consultant KAMARA BROWN, Research Associate ENITA WILLIAMS, Research Associate (through October 2008) URRIKKA WOODS, Program Associate v
STANDING COMMITTEE ON RESEARCH, DEVELOPMENT, AND ACQUISITION OPTIONS FOR U.S. SPECIAL OPERATIONS COMMAND JACQUES GANSLER, Chair, University of Maryland A. MICHAEL ANDREWS, L-3 Communications KENNETH BOWRA, Oak Ridge National Laboratory LAWRENCE DELANEY, Titan Corporation (retired) CHIP ELLIOTT, BBN Technologies MICHAEL HOPMEIER, Unconventional Concepts, Inc. JOSEPH MANCUSI, Narus Government Solutions RANDALL MURCH, Virginia Polytechnic Institute WILLIAM NEAL, The MITRE Corporation ROBERT NOWAK, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (retired) ALTON ROMIG, JR., Sandia National Laboratories PAUL ROSENSTRACH, The Charles Stark Draper Laboratory JULIE J.C.H. RYAN, George Washington University HARRY SCHULTE, Raytheon Missile Systems ANNETTE SOBEL, University of Missouri JOHN SOMMERER, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory DWIGHT STREIT, Northrop Grumman Corporation DAVID WHELAN, The Boeing Company Staff MICHAEL CLARKE, Director CARTER FORD, Program Officer NORMAN HALLER, Consultant DANIEL TALMAGE, JR., Program Officer KAMARA BROWN, Research Associate URRIKKA WOODS, Program Associate MARGUERITE SCHNEIDER, Administrative Coordinator vi
Preface The U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) was formed in response to the failed rescue attempt in 1980 of American hostages held by Iran. Among its key responsibilities, SOCOM plans and synchronizes operations against terrorist networks. Special operations forces (SOF) often operate alone in austere environments with only the items they can carry, which makes equipment size, weight, and power needs especially important. Specialized radios and supporting equipment must be carried by the teams for their radio-frequency (RF) operations. As warfighting demands on SOCOM have intensified, SOCOMâs needs for significantly improved radio-frequency (RF) systems have increased. STATEMENT OF TASK In September 2007, SOCOMâs acquisition executive discussed with the National Research Councilâs (NRCâs) SOCOM Standing Committee whether the state of the art could produce a suitable handheld RF system with universal capabilities for SOF missions. The NRC agreed to conduct a technical study and negotiated the statement of task (SOT) with SOCOM to address the following areas: â¢ Examine the current state of the art for both handheld and manpackable platform-mounted radio frequency (RF) systems available or in development by industry, national and service laboratories, and university research establishments; â¢ Based on special operations forces (SOF)-unique RF requirements, determine which frequencies could be provided by handheld systems. The handheld system should provide SOF capabilities such as command and control; situational awareness and tracking; navigation and geolocation; hostile force tagging, tracking, and locating; signals intelligence; SOF blue force tracking; communications; and counter improvised explosive devices; â¢ Determine if such a system could be deployed in a reasonable time period at a technology readiness level and utility of use to SOF; â¢ Evaluate methods of using extant systems; and â¢ Issue a report that provides recommendations to address the above.1,2 1 In this report the committee used the term âRF systemâ to include the radio, display, power amplifier, antenna, and power source. Looking ahead, a âuniversal RF systemâ would enable a robust complement of capabilities and attributes of the type envisioned for future operations by SOF. The committeeâs ultimate vision of the universal RF system includes a âmodularâ handheld radio, a sophisticated display to support several capabilities (e.g., situational awareness), a power amplifier, antennas with up- and downconverters to cover microwave frequency bands, and required power sources. The term âmodularâ refers to the basic radio building block, to which accessories can be added as needed to realize the full range of universal RF capabilities. vii
viii PREFACE THE COMMITTEE APPROACH The Committee on Universal Radio Frequency System for Special Operations Forces was formed to conduct the study (see Appendix A for short biographies of the committee members). One of the committeeâs early challenges was to determine how it would fulfill the SOT. The committee met with the sponsor in June, July, and August of 2008 to receive more information on matters relevant to the taskingâfor example, the type of information it would need to understand fully the commandâs needs for RF systems. The committee also met and corresponded with outside experts well versed in radio technologies (see list of meetings in Appendix B). Based on its meetings and the committeeâs own expertise, it was clear that the task was intended to go beyond merely studying âwhich frequencies could be provided by handheld systems.â Rather, a comprehensive RF-system approach would be required to fulfill the intent of the study. In bounding its approach, however, the committee notes that a separate NRC entity, the Committee on Sensing and Communications Capabilities for Special Operations Forces, is studying sensor technologies for SOCOM that may have unique communications requirements and systems. That report is scheduled for delivery to SOCOM in the summer of 2009.3 During the course of the study, the committee developed a list of capabilities and associated attributes for universal RF systems that could meet the mission needs of the sponsor. These capabilities and attributes were based on information the committee received from military and commercial sources and on the committeeâs expertise in this field. In this report, the capabilities and attributes are analyzed with regard to their enabling technologies and, most importantly, the time frames for their likely availability.4 Three time frames were considered: the near term (2009-2011), the medium term (2011- 2013), and the far term (beyond 2013). The committee focused especially on the near term, recognizing that SOCOM desired a significant advance in capability within approximately 2 years. Finally, the committee estimated time frames for either modifying existing RF systems or developing advanced universal RF-system design concepts. The committee also offered recommendations concerning various aspects of the acquisition by SOCOM of such systems. The months between the committeeâs last meeting and the publication of the report were spent preparing the draft manuscript, reviewing and responding to the external peer review comments, editing the report, and conducting the required security/public release review necessary to produce this version of the report that does not disclose information as described in 5 U.S.C. 552(b). It was mutually determined by SOCOM and the NRC 2 Readers should be aware that in discussions SOCOM, which is fully versed in knowledge of the Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS) system development process and its goals, specifically asked the committee to consider and assess RF system opportunities other than the JTRS. 3 The ad hoc committee notes that the scope of a separate NRC study, Sensing and Supporting Communications Capabilities for Special Operations Forces: Report 1, is complementary to the scope of this report. 4 Early in the committee's deliberations the matter of delineating specific technology readiness levels was raised. Convinced that the technology readiness definitions used by the Department of Defense (DOD) are too formulaic to be broadly applicable across the radio technologies considered in this report, the committee decided to discuss the capabilities in terms of time frames when different levels of enabling technology would be ready for a system to be of utility of use to SOF. General descriptions of the technology levels are given here for the near term (minimal modifications to existing products), the medium term (extensive modifications as well as new development), and the far term (ground up development). The DOD numerical system of technology readiness level (TRL), which extends from 1 to 9, would correspond, roughly, to the committeeâs system of near term (TRL 7-9), medium term (TRL 4-6), and long term (TRL 1-3).
PREFACE ix that the full report contained information as described in 5 U.S.C. (b) and therefore could not be released to the public in its entirety. The committee thanks all who contributed to this effort, including the individual committee members who volunteered considerable time and energy, the supporting staff of the National Academies, and the many outside experts who provided necessary information to inform committee deliberations. Finally, the committee greatly appreciates the opportunities to interact with the knowledgeable SOCOM representatives, who shed much light on how their forces operate and emphasized the importance of this work to their warfighters. Lawrence Delaney, Chair Committee on Universal Radio Frequency System for Special Operations Forces
Acknowledgment of Reviewers This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the National Research Councilâs (NRCâs) Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their review of this report: David Borth, Motorola, Inc., William Bridges, California Institute of Technology (emeritus), Gary Brown, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Joel Engel, JSE Consulting, William Neal, The MITRE Corporation, Harry Schulte, Raytheon Missile Systems, John Stenbit, TRW, Inc. (retired), and George Swenson, University of Illinois (emeritus). Although the reviewers listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by R. Stephen Berry, University of Chicago. Appointed by the NRC, he was responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring committee and the institution. x
Contents TOWARD A UNIVERSAL RADIO FREQUENCY SYSTEM FOR SPECIAL OPERATIONS FORCES 1 Overarching Needs and Response, 1 Current State of the Art for Radio Frequency Systems, 1 Synopsis of Findings and Recommendations, 21 Selected Findings and Recommendations, 22 APPENDIXES A Biographical Sketches of Committee Members 27 B Meetings and Participating Organizations 33 C Selected Findings and Recommendations from Previous National Research Council Reports Related to Power and Energy Sources 34 xi