Networked System-on-a-Chip for C4ISR (9643)

Period of Performance: 12/12/2003 - 06/11/2004


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Q-dot, Inc.
1069 Elkton Drive
Colorado Springs, CO 80907
Principal Investigator


Q-DOT proposes to investigate the feasibility of developing a fully integrated system-on-a-chip for sensor-based C4ISR networks. In Phase I, a prototype Sensor Node Radio (SNRadio) will be conceptually designed based upon the commercially off-the-shelf (COTS) ASH 3 Transceiver produced by RF Monolithics, Inc., in Dallas, Texas. The ASH will provide the small, ultra-low power, RF communications link between various sensor nodes. The SNRadio maximizes sensor time-on-station by minimizing network communications power requirements. RFM claims that the ASH 3 receiver consumes less power than any other receiver in the world at any given bit rate. Under software-control, a DSP and a micro controller will enable the SNRadio to participate in ad hoc sensor and munitions networks. (Under a separate proposal submitted under Topic A03-117, Q-DOT proposes to investigate the waveforms and protocols required to create ad hoc networks using the SNRadio.) Link analyses will be performed for potential operating environments to help select an optimal operating frequency and to predict the achievable link distances. In Phase II, the detailed design of the prototype SNRadio will be completed. Upon successful demonstration of the prototype early in Phase II, the design of the next generation ASH Transceiver (ASH 4) will begin in order to enhance performance and integrate as much of the SNRadio functionality onto a single SiGe BiCMOS chip as possible. The ASH 4 development will be completed and demonstrated in the next-generation SNRadio during Phase III.