The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is pondering ways for soldiers to connect wirelessly in dense forests and harsh natural environments where traditional communication technologies fall short, a solicitation document reveals.
“Traditional communications through dense foliage and vegetation is challenged by severe multipath and attenuation” -- scattering and weakening of signals -- “thereby limiting the warfighter’s access to critical data,” the document reads. To tackle this problem, DARPA is seeking partners to study how radio frequency signals act in thickly-wooded areas.
The agency wants to develop a framework for understanding how military radio systems, new 4G wireless technologies, millimeter wave communications can be deployed in jungles. It is asking them to develop a model that can accurately depict how radio frequency waves are propagated through different landscapes, according to the solicitation. The research will then be used to support a separate program to develop novel communications systems.
The solicitation is currently in pre-release and will officially launch May 24. Proposals are due by 6 a.m. E.S.T. on June 27. This contract will be administered by DARPA as part of the Small Business Innovation Research program, which aims provide early-stage financing to companies with fewer than 500 employees.