Orlando, Florida (May 2, 2011)—Clarcona Technology, a strategic consulting and engineering research company for high performance wireless communications, was awarded an SBIR (Small Business Innovative Research) Phase 1 contract through the Office of Naval Research to develop a high performance spectral management/satellite receiver modem. In this effort, Clarcona will develop reconfigurable modem processor capable of monitoring entire bands of spectrum, supporting hundreds of channels and waveforms.
The U.S. military is increasingly reliant upon effective satellite communications in order to execute its missions. This has resulted in a capacity crisis for satellite throughput and a well-documented need to utilize satellite capacity more efficiently and dynamically.
The Clarcona solution will increase spectrum utilization and spectrum efficiency in satellite operations—providing the warfighter with more timely and comprehensive information. The company will develop and demonstrate a flexible system which monitors the spectrum occupancy of an entire satellite band, such as Ka, at user selectable resolutions, commissions waveforms based upon spectral analysis, implements these waveforms on-the-fly without disrupting other waveform processing, and identifies intruders based upon spectrum analysis.
Realization of this full-band operation and superior dynamic range is based on superconducting analog-to-digital (ADC) convertor technology developed by HYPRES, which serves as a subcontractor on this project. HYPRES’ ADCs—the world’s fastest digital circuits—feed Clarcona’s hybrid modem, which is composed of an FPGA that, in turn, feeds a GPU.
Advancements in GPU performance have, in large part, been driven by the video gaming industry. Recently, however, researches have realized the opportunity to design supercomputers using GPUs because of their massively parallel operation. Clarcona is re-writing traditional waveform algorithms to run on these massively parallel processors. The significant advantage of the GPU, as opposed to an FPGA, is that it’s much easier to reprogram thanks to its higher level language (i.e. C, C++).
The Clarcona spectral management/satellite receiver modem will eventually support at least 10 waveforms. It will tolerate noise floor variations over 10 dB and will also be used for intruder detection and defeat.