DARPA CONverged Collaborative Elements for RF Task Operations (CONCERTO) BAA

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DARPA STO has released the CONverged Collaborative Elements for RF Task Operations (CONCERTO) BAA, DARPA-BAA-16-28.

The goal of the CONCERTO program is “for the design, realization, programming, and control of a new converged RF architecture supporting all critical uses of the RF spectrum over a tactically useful performance range. System prototypes will be designed and developed for compact unmanned aircraft systems (UAS).”

Background: “The increasing overlap of technology requirements of RF functions such as radar, EW, and communications combined with impressive research progress in the capability of RF components, analog-to-digital conversion methods, and digital signal processing (DSP) techniques has created an opportunity for change. CONCERTO will capitalize on these trends to resolve current multi-function challenges, and open the door to fundamental change in our approach to RF systems that moves beyond traditional notions of radar, EW, and communications to create an adaptive, flexible and converged RF systems approach.”

“CONCERTO will develop and test a scalable converged RF payload suitable for a Group 3 UAS. The payload will demonstrate its unified characteristics in a flight test including EW, radar, and communications functions and demonstrate efficient, adaptive function execution. The payload will incorporate several elements including:

  • An RF front end including radiating aperture and its airframe integration;
  • A heterogeneous RF processing engine implementing operating modes in a portable hardware agnostic manner (the RF Virtual Machine); and
  • A multi-objective management system to intelligently coordinate and optimally achieve disparate mission objectives of a converged system.”

There will be four technical areas to CONCERTO:

  • TA-1 Converged RF Front End and Aperture
  • TA-2 RF Virtual Machine
  • TA-3 System and sensor resource manager
  • TA-4 System architecture and integration

Four page proposal abstracts are due May 11, 2016 and full proposals are due June 22, 2016.  The program manager is Dr. Ted K. Woodward.

Source: O. Smith