The Shared Spectrum Access for Radar and Communications (SSPARC) program seeks to improve radar and communications capabilities through spectrum sharing.
Spectrum congestion is a growing problem. It increasingly limits operational capabilities due to the increasing deployment and bandwidth of wireless communications, the use of net-centric and unmanned systems, and the need for increased flexibility in radar and communications spectrum to improve performance and to overcome sophisticated countermeasures. Radar and communications jointly consume most of the highly desirable spectrum below 6 GHz. SSPARC seeks to develop sharing technology that enables sufficient spectrum access within this desirable range for radar and communications systems to accomplish their evolving missions.
The SSPARC program seeks to support two types of spectrum sharing.
• Spectrum sharing between military radars and military communications systems (“military/military sharing”) increases both capabilities simultaneously when operating in congested and contested spectral environments.
• Spectrum sharing between military radars and commercial communications systems (“military/commercial sharing”) preserves radar capability while meeting national and international needs for increased commercial communications spectrum, without incurring the high cost of relocating radars to new frequency bands.
Although SSPARC technology is expected to be widely applicable, the research focus of the program is on the following spectrum sharing challenge.
• S-band, 2 GHz – 4 GHz
• Communications system
SSPARC treats spectrum sharing as a cooperative problem. Prior work on radar/communications spectrum sharing assumes that one of the two systems ignores the other. In cooperative spectrum sharing, information is shared between the systems in near real time. The shared information enables the systems to be kept separated (i.e., noninterfering) based on how they actually use the spectrum, not based on how they might potentially use or are predicted to use the spectrum.
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