April 26, 2022
ARLINGTON, Va. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has embarked on a new program to develop and validate high-frequency (HF) propagation models that seek to enhance warfighting capabilities across military domains – air, sea, space, and land.
The undertaking, which DARPA has dubbed “Ouija,” will place sensors on low-orbiting satellites to provide new insights into HF radio wave propagation in the ionosphere – which spans the upper edges of the Earth’s atmosphere to the lower regions of space – in an attempt to quantify the space HF noise environment and improve the characterization of the ionosphere to support communications for the warfighter.
Jeff Rogers, Ouija program manager at DARPA’s Strategic Technology Office, describes the program: “Ouija will augment ground-based measurements with in-situ measurements from space, in very low-Earth orbit (VLEO), to develop and validate accurate, near- real-time HF propagation predictions. The VLEO altitude regime, approximately 200 km to 300 km above Earth, is of particular interest due to its information-rich environment where ionospheric electron density is at a maximum. Fine-grained knowledge of the spatial-temporal characteristics of electron density at these altitudes is required for accurate HF propagation prediction. ”
DARPA has opened the solicitation for the project, available at https://go.usa.gov/xu8jm.