NRC Research and Fellowship Programs
Fellowships Office
Policy and Global Affairs

Participating Agencies

RAP opportunity at Air Force Science and Technology Fellowship Program     AF STFP

Enhanced and Assured Radio Frequency Downlinks


Space Vehicles Directorate, RV/Space and Planetary Sciences

opportunity location
13.40.01.C0061 Kirtland Air Force Base, NM 871175776


name email phone
Khanh Dai Pham 505.846.4823


This research opportunity seeks to enhance data rates and resiliency in radio frequency (RF) downlinks in existing satellite constellations. Specifically, research focuses on alternative waveforms to downlink all necessary and most of the desired evolved sensor data from a variety of orbits without increasing existing data rates and bandwidths to support existing ground elements. Moreover, it is reasonable to expect that potential technical solutions would integrate existing cognitive radio technologies to enhance current data rates and resiliency of Air Force assets with minimal impacts to their existing infrastructures. If successful, future universal waveforms and modems supported by the findings anticipated herein would be inserted in conjunction with existing satellite operation centers, fixed site access networks, tactical platforms, and users. As for the technical challenges, prospective researchers shall investigate necessary scientific foundations, design principles, and/or add-on modular components, including but not limited to (1) universal waveforms that can encapsulate existing waveforms and further transport them in the presence of contested radio environments; (2) enhanced RF downlink concept of operations in the presence of unintentional and intentional radio interference sources using cognitive radio technologies; (3) resilient carrier frequency, bandwidth, burst duration, and burst repetition interval parameters for RF downlinks with low probability of detection and interception; and (4) achieving unjammed throughput efficiency in contested radio environments.



C4ISR for Future Naval Strike Groups, “Chapter: 7 Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance”. The National Academies Press: 175-282, 2006

Nguyen TM, McWilliams J, Hammond M: “R-CDL Communication Closes the NT-ISR Information Gap”. Raytheon Tech Today 3: 2007


key words
RF downlinks; Universal waveforms; Add-on modules; Modular open system architectures; Carrier Frequency; Bandwidth; Burst duration; Burst repetition; Contested radio environments;


Citizenship:  Open to U.S. citizens
Level:  Open to Postdoctoral and Senior applicants


Base Stipend Travel Allotment Supplementation
$95,000.00 $5,000.00

Experience Supplement:
Postdoctoral and Senior Associates will receive an appropriately higher stipend based on the number of years of experience past their PhD.

Copyright © 2024. National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.Terms of Use and Privacy Policy