DARPA Pursues Program for Lower-Profile Long-Range Communications System

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The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has launched an effort to address the need for long-range communication antennas that emit lower radio frequency signatures compared to the standard larger ones.

DARPA said Tuesday that it wants to use multiple small or mosaic antennas for reduced jamming risks and significant weight, power and cost requirements under the Resilient Networked Distributed Mosaic Communications program.

The RN DMC program aims to replace large, high-power communications systems with tiles of mosaic transceivers, possibly worth $1K per piece, that entail lower SWaP-C requirements. The tiles would spread transmission power among themselves and process signals to generate gain.

“This is a fundamentally different way to think about long-range tactical communications that supports DARPA’s Mosaic Warfare concept of busting monolithic systems and distributing capability for greater resilience at less expense,” said Paul Zablocky, program manager at DARPA’s Strategic Technology Office.

DARPA plans to host a virtual proposer's day for the program on June 29. The program would define the technology's operational architecture, validate experimental performance and design the sought system.