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

Enterprise Space Data Transport Incorporating 5G


Space Vehicles Directorate, RV/Space and Planetary Sciences

opportunity location
13.40.01.C0466 Kirtland Air Force Base, NM 871175776


name email phone
Khanh Dai Pham 505.846.4823


An ever-growing demand for enterprise space data transport has recently started in providing space-layered elements for joint all-domain command and control; ubiquitous communications; positioning, navigation, and timing to the terrestrial warfighter and throughout the cislunar sphere. New standards and technologies, such as Fifth-Generation (5G) that are expected to meet large throughput increase, seamless connectivity, reliability, and connection density, have become important to the fulfillment of the significantly demanding requirements in flexible interconnections of heterogeneous terrestrial assets, timely data dissemination in non-contested radio environments as opposed to those in military-hardened networks and systems. Therefore, DoD has made significant efforts to leverage commercial 5G investments in vendors and operators that are untrusted. However, those initiatives that rely on commercial 5G products, create emerging security challenges involving in data integrity, confidentiality, and availability.

Concerning the Fighting Satellite Communication (SATCOM) vision by US Space Command that requires future military SATCOM capable of multi-band and multi-waveform operations, whenever possible, to support agile, path-agnostic connectivity, reducing vulnerability to interference and jamming, this topic solicitation is to focus on potential cross-cutting areas required to integrate 5G terrestrial networks with military satellite networks. Such a realization of the enterprise satellite and terrestrial data transport capability across all joint-domain mission areas can only be achieved by means of a radical shift in the way both security and resilience of 5G are designed. For instance, a new dimension for security with path-agnostic and location privacy considerations against denial-of-service (DoS) threats would pose severe challenges to the realization of a 5G-based space data transport. Of particular interest includes but is not limited to: space data transport using cooperative and untrusted indigenous 5G networks where the U.S. and its allied spanning military operators, government services, and DoD controlled infrastructure securely operate through untrusted indigenous 5G wireless communications infrastructures whenever possible. Along with such development for novel security architecture and add-on software modules, both 5G core network and user equipment solutions are necessary to aid in evaluation of expected performance for anomaly detection and recovery, network slicing together with zero-trust protocols, integrity guarantees and discreet communications.


1. T. Duong, L. D. Nguyen, T. T. Bui, K. D. Pham, and G. K. Karagiannidis, “Machine Learning-aided Real-time Optimised Multibeam for 6G Integrated Satellite-Terrestrial Networks: Global Coverage for Mobile Services,” IEEE Network Magazine, 2022

2. A. Guidotti, et. al., "Non-Terrestrial Networks: Link Budget Analysis," Proceedings of the IEEE Int'l Conference on Communications, 2020

3. D. Luong, et. al., "Metaheuristic Approaches to the Joint Controller and Gateway Placement in 5G-Satellite SDN Networks," Proceedings of the IEEE Int'l Conference on Communications, 2020

key words
Space Data Transport; Satellite Networks; 5G; Satellite Channel Impairments; Delays; Doppler shifts; User Link Access; Physical Layer; Medium Access Control; Satellite Gateways; Core Network Management & Control


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.

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