DARPA awards Leidos contract to continue work on radar and communication project

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) recently awarded Leidos a $14-million prime contract for research and development work on a major spectrum-sharing radar and communications project.

Leidos, which specializes in providing security, health, and engineering solutions, will be working on Phase 2 of DARPA’s Shared Spectrum Access for Radar and Communications (SSPARC) program over an initial 11-month period. The single-award cost-plus fixed-fee contract also has another 11-month option that will bring the contract value to $14 million if exercised.

The SSPARC program’s goal is to improve radar and communication capabilities by sharing spectrums. Leidos was also the prime contractor for the first phase of the SSPARC project.

That phase saw the company’s researchers show they could reduce the distance military radar needs to be from commercial wireless structures. They were able to reduce that distance by up to 50 times, which they proved using a high-fidelity end-to-end simulation program.

The company has developed two mechanisms to mitigate radar interference by hopping frequencies. That resulted in smaller distances needed between radar and wireless networks.

Phase 2 will see Leidos perform lab testing and a field demonstration in order to take the technology from the realm of simulation and validate the technology with real-world radar and communications systems. If successful, the SSPARC program will eliminate a major operational difficulty for U.S. military operations.

"We look forward to providing DARPA with real-time radio frequency management expertise to assist with the expansion of spectrum sharing between radar, military radios, and commercial wireless systems," Leidos Group President John Fratamico said.

Work on the contract will take place primarily at Leidos’ facility in Arlington, Virginia.

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