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Multipath Effects on F-15 and F-16 Multi-Channel GPS Antenna Performance

C;a.ry F. Hat.ke. Tri '1'. 1'1-iiiong, Check F. Lee, m c l Robert. C:. Ca.lla.liai-1 Lincoln Laboratory hla.ssactiuset,ts Ixist,it,u te of Technology 244 Wood Street Lexington, M A 0'5420 hat,ke Q 11.mi t .edu

GPS jarnmzrig has been rdmtzfied (is I h r most S E rzous threat to fully utilizing GPS capabilities driring hostile engagements .,ldaptzvc beuinforininy has bten proposed as a method for mitiyatrrig c;Ps j a m niin9, on( a 7 element arraij (the corrtrolltd rtxtpt f o n pattern antenna. or CRPA) is in production f o r military aircraft. This paper describes experiments conducted by Lzncoln Laboratory at the .Yewport. N I ' UnteiinU rUIlge Of tllc ; \ f I POrW ResUl'f / I /,dJOIU/(Jr?J (AFRL)Rorne Research Szte. I['e illumrtiated both F-15 and F-16 CRPA-equtpped aircraft with hroadband jamming signals. producing the first nieuscirements of in-sztu CRP.4 arracj respon jarnrnzng The ineasuretnents are used to show performance of various adnptzte beaniformirig algorithms. i n cludzri q spatial- on1y and space - ti rn e olyo rith ms . The results rlenrly ckrnonstrutr t h e oduantugts of u p c e time adaptive processrny f o r GPS adapttie beamformt ng.

of an in-situ array would resemble the patterns Iiieasured when characterized in an ant,eiina test. chaniber. In addition? due t,o the relatively large size of t,actical aircraft, and the broadband nature of likely GPS jamming signals, some dispersion is likely t,o be s e m from an in-situ CR.PA. This. in turn, makes aclapt,ive nollingof int.erference signals more difficult when rising a spatial-only beamforming algorithm. To underst.and why, consider a single jamming emitter as seen by t,he array. If t.here is no dispersion! the signal seen at the different elements in t.he arm\: will he complet~elycorrelated, differing only by a gain and phase. Because of this, t.hey can be linearly combined t.0 self-cancel: t,hus nulling the jammer. Now assume that there is soriie dispersion i n the mray. The signal seen at. t,hc clifferent antenna e1ement.s will no longer be completely correlated at any instance in t,ime. and no linear combination of the antenna out.put,scan completely cancel the interference. Space-t,ime adapt.ive algorithms (STAP) have been proposed for mitigating multipath jamming environments [l: 21. Because of t.he dispersive nat.ure of t,he coupled CRPA/airframe. space-time array processing algorithins have been proposed for jammer mit.igat.ion [3). Unfortunately. no data has been available to test the proposed algorithms. forcing all development work t.o be clone using simulat.ecl array rnotlels. I n light. of this, Lincolii Laborat,ory has conducted a nieasurernent campaign t.0 fully characterize the CRPX array response t.o broa.dba.ndjamming when inounted on both F-15 and F-16 aircraft. We wed full-scale aircraft. mounted on pedestals at the Newport range of AFRL Rome Research site, which a.llowed us to illuminate the aircraft with a far-field broadband jamming source and n i e ~ s u r ethe array response. The broadband nature of t.hc measurements allowed us to observe t,he effects of dispersion on the CXPA due to


GPS jamming has been ident.ifiec1 as the most serious threat to fully utilizing GPS capabilities during hostile enga.gernent.s. .4daptive beamforming has been proposed as a method for mitigating GPS jamming, and a 7 element. array (the controlled recepbion pat,tern antenna. or CRPA) is in production for military aircraft. Unfort.unat.ely, no previous measurements have been conduct.ed to charact,erize t.he array response of a CRPA while mount,ed on a tac.tical aircraft.. Due to the interact.ions between the elements in the array and the airframe. is is unlikely that the element, patterns
This work was sponsored by the Air Force under Air Force contract F19628-95-('-0002. Opinions. interpretations. conclusions. and recomrriendations are bhose of the authors and are not necessarily endorsed by the linited States government.

0-7803-5700-0/99/$10.0001999 IEEE

coupling with the respect,ive airframes. These measurements: in t u r n . have been used to analyze t,he performance of space-t.ime and spatial-oiily adaptive beamforming algorit.lims.

D e s cri pt i on of Me asure ment s

The Array response measurements were conduct.ed at the Newport., NY antenna range of .L\FR.L Rome Research Sitme, during the period if January 11-15. 1999 and March 1-5, 1999. The F-16 measurement.s were taken with the aircraft, mounted on t.he Tanner Hill pedeshl. illuminat,ed by an ant,enna.sit,uat.ed on Irish Hill. The range from transmit,t.er t,o aircraft was approximat.ely 6 i O O feet. The F- 15 measurement.s werc taken with t.he aircraft, mount,ed on the Irish Hill pedest,al. illuminated from the B1624 SILO sit.e. roughly 1450 feet away. For b0t.h aircraft,, t,he illuminating signal was identical. The illuminating waveform was a BPSE; pseudo-random noise sequence wibh a chipping rat.e of 10 MHz. The transmit power was 2 Watt,s. with a t,ransmit. ant,enna gain of 3.5 dR. To mitigate ppssible GPS interference problems, the illuminating signal was gat.ed on and off, with an on time of 10 mS and a duty cycle of less t.han 1%. L!sing t.his st.rat.egy, even nearby GPS receivers were able to cont.inue to track sat,ellites. .A picture of the CRPAequipped F-16 mounted on the Tanner hill pedest.al is shown in Figure 1. The measurement equipment consisted of a Watkins-Johnson WJ9104 8-cliannel coherent, digital receiver, with 12-bit, accuracy sampling at. 25.6 MSPS. The passband of the receiver was 10 MHz, with an intermediate frequency (IF) equal to 1/4 the sampling rate of t,he A/D coiivert.er. Data from t,he digital receiver'was stored using a Hewlet,t.-Packard HP16500B logic analyzer ut,ilizing two HP16555D plug-in modules +or- high-speed data a.cquisit.ion. The logic analyzer was triggered to st,ore 4096 samples during each period when the illumination signal was gat.cd on. This data was then downloaded to disk storage and ,tagged wit.11 the appropriate informa.tion about aircraft orientat,ion signal polarizat,ion (right-handcircular or left,-liand-circular). and signal frequency ( L1 or L2). A block diagram of t,he measurement syst e n i s given in Figure 2. For a given aircraft, eleva.t.ion (or depression) angle, the aircraft was rotated around its yaw axis and measurements were taken every 0.5". A full 360" pattern was measured at, 11 different, elevation angles ranging from +So t.0 -30". Negative elevation angles were st.ressed under the assuniption t,hat most jamming sources would appear below the aircraft's horizon. To ensure t.hat. t.he mea.surement.scaptured only t,he

dispersion due to the CRPA/airframe coupling and not dispersion introduced by the b;.J9 104. calibrat,ion signals were injected int.0 the receiver chain periodically. These signals were used to estimate equalizer weights to eliminate receiver channel imbalance,. .I'he equalizer was implement,ed i n post.-processing, aft.er the data was digitally convert.ed t,o comples baseband samples. Due to hardware limitations, the maximum signalto-noise ratio (SNR) from t.he measurement. syst.eni was roughly 35 to 40 dB. This limit.ed the accuracy to which the dispersion characteristics of t.hc CRPA/airframe antenna array could he measured. To avoid mistakenly characterizing noise as dispersion effect.s, the measured data was spat.ially (or spatiot.eniporally: when using spa.ce-t.irne beamforming a.1gorithms) filtered to minimize the effects of the measurement. noise in characterizing the performance of t,he heamforming algorit,hms.

Data Analysis
Using the equalized baseband samples from the seven antenna channels, both spatial and space-time covariance niat.rices were estimated for each look angle. Define a covariance mairis haviilg k time taps due t,o a signal from direction 0 as Rk(0). The estimator for this matrix is given by:


i)$k(Z, i ) H .


where t.he vector x'k(fj, i) is a concatenation of k data snapshot,s. beginning at the it,h sample. Each d a h snapshot consists of t,he 7 element outputs froni the CRI'X array at a give: instant in time. The length of x'k(g, i) is 7*k. R k ( 0 ) constit.utes the estimate o f i t space-t,ime covaria.nce matris wit,h k t,ime t.aps. Wheu k is equal to 1, then the estimator is t.hat of a purely spatial covariance matrix. F y a broadband source, the rank of the matrix Rk(0) when there is no dispersion will be at. most. k . 'therefore, an N-antenna space-time adaptive beaniformer, using k time taps. can cancel no more than S - 1 broadband interferers. When t,here is channel dispersion, however, the rank of the mat.rix Rk(8) may exceed k, limiting t.he masimurn number of allowable interferers to a number less than ,\i - 1. An analysis of covariance matrix rank is therefore a useful first step analysis of the measured data. Figure 3 shows t.he eigenvalues of t,he spatial covariance matrix measured lroin the F-lS/CRP.i\ combinat.ion when illuminat,ed by a right-haid circolarlypolarized waveform at t.he L1 frequency, as a funct.ion of azimuth angle for a fixed elevat,iori angle of


- IO". Siiiw t.lw SNR of the illuminating broadband


was limited t.0 roughly 3.5 dH, ally eigenvalue more t,haii :35 d B weaker t,lian t.he peak eigenvalue may he considered noise. arid not. a measure of dispersion. Frorn the plot. it is evident that at. least. t.wo cigenvalties are significant,, thus indicat,iiig dispersion in t,he CRPX/F- 16 a.iit.enria syst,em.

Algorit hin Performance

The measrired data from t,he CRPA/F-16 array was used to evaluate the performance of different a.rray processing algorit,hms, including spatial-only beamformers and space-time adaptive beamforrners. It was desi red to sin iu I a te jamming scenarios where mu 1tiple high-powered broadband jammers were present. A.1ultiple independent ja.mmer scenarios can be const.ructed by summing the scaled single jarnrrier covariance matrices from the appropriate directions to form t,he composit,e covariance matrix of the mult.iple jammers. In order to properly do the scaling of only the jammer signal contributeion to the individual jammer covariancq mabrices. t.he noise component,smust he escised. 'This i m s accomplished by performing an eigendecomposition of t,he single jammer covariance matrices and project.ing off the component,s of t.he ma.trices which had eigenvalues below the measured noise threshold of 35 dB below peak power. In general, for spat,ial-only beamforming covariance mat,rices, no niore t,han 3 out, of the 7 eigenvectors were due to jamming signals. For a 5 tap space-t,inie covariance matrix! t,he jammer signal components were usually cont.ained in the primary 7 or 8 eigenvectors. A simulation of the response of t,he CR.PA/F-16 array t,o four jammers wits conduct.ed. The geometry is given in Figure 4. The altitude of the aircraft was t,aken to be 25,000 feet. Two different power levels weresimulated. Figure 5 corresponds to jammer effect,ive radiation power (ERP) of 60 dBW, or one mega1Vat.t.. This power includes any antenna gain in the jamniers t,ransmit antenna. At. L band frequericies, 1.5-20 dB of peak antenna gain is not unreasonable. This would correspond to a jamming power source of 10 t.0 50 kW. which, although high, is not impractical. Figure 6 corresponds to jammer ER,P of 50 dBW. With t.he same t.ransmib antenna, this corresponds to t,ransmitter powers of 1 t.o 5 k W ,which can easily manufactured and powered by a small gasoline-powered generator. GPS receiver perfonnancc: IS a function of the number of sat,ellites Dhe receiver is able t.0 track, and the array SINR (ASINR.) of t.hose satellit,es. A first. approximation t.o satellibe 1ocat.ions (for any fixed position on the eart.1i.s surface) is that t.here is an equal

probability of a sa.tellite occupying any portion of t.he sky. A reasonable measure of adaptive array processing algorithm performance, then, is to calculate the cuniulative distribution function (CDF) of percent of sky visible as a function of the ASINR to SNR ratio (t.liis ratio represen& the impact of jamming on t,he recept,ioii of GPS satellite signals). Figure 5 shows the perforiiiance of a spatial-only beamformer as well as a 3 and 5 tap space-time adaptive beamformer when f x c d 1vit.h t,he GO dBW jammers. The space-time arhptive beamformers show clearly superior perfornia.nc'e, wit.li the performance of the 5 t,ap space-time adaptive (STAP) beamformer slightly better t.han the 3 t.ap STAP beamformer. As an example of the perforniantre differences, using a 5 tap STAP processor. almost 70%' of t.he visible satellites would suffer no degraclation from t,he four jammers. For a spatialonly beamformer, the GPS receiver would be required t.0 track satellites with 14 dB lower ASINR to view 70% of the sa.t,ellites. Viewed another way, if the GPS receiver can acquire satellites under up to 10 dB jamming condit.ions (ASINR/SNR = 10 dB), t,hen a 5 t.ap S'IAP beamformer could acquire satellites over 95% of t,he sky. while a spatial only beamformer could acquire satellit,es only over 20% of t,he sky. Figure 6 shows the performance of t,he same three processing algorit,hms when faced with the 50 dB\V jammers. The STAP a.lgorithms perform almost. identically. The spat.ia1-only algorithm performs better i n this case than in the GO dBW jammer case. The reasori for t.he improved performance of the spatial-only twain former can be explained in the following manner. 'lhc dispersion effects of the CRYA/F-16 platform increxsc t,he dimensionality of the interference t.0 full rank ( i n this case! 7). Thus, any spatial beamforming algorithm must allow interference t,hrough at. a power level equal or greater than the smallest eigenvalue of t,he interference covariance matris. As tshe power of bhe jammers increase (for a fixed jammer geometry). t,his eigenvalue will also proportionat.ely increase. For small enough jammer powers, t,his smallest, eigenvalue will fall below t.he t.herma1 noise floor, thus limiting the amount of improvement observable by lowering the jammer powers. In t,he t.wo simulated examples shown here, the received power levels of the jammers are high enough t.ttat some of the interference power cannot, be nulled by the spatial beamformer. As the jammer power increases, the amount, of 'leaked' jammer energy also increases. The STXP algorithms do not suffer from bhis problem, because the rank of t.he interference covariance matrix has not. eclipsed the rank of bhe 'ada.pt,able' space. and thus the interference can


be a,lniost completely removecl for most, satellit,e clirections.


This paper has describecl a iiieasiireiiient campaign underta.ken b y MIT Lincoln Laboratory to characterize the response of a coiiiinoiily used niilitary GPS antenna, array, the CRPA, when niouiited on actual military aircraft. and illuminat~eclby broadband jamming signals. R/Ieasuren-ient,swere taken using CRPAequipped F-16 and F-15 aircraft,. By combining properly scaled aud filt,ered sets of data, multiple jammer scenarios were simulated, allowing the comparison of spatial-only and SThP algorithms.


Gabel, Robert A. et. al.: 'Algorithnis for NIitigating Terrain Scatt,ered Int,erference!' IEE Colloquium on Space-Time Adapt,ive Processing, April 6, 1998. Fante, R. and Torres, J . , 'C:a.ucellation of Diffuse Jammer Multipa.th b y an Airborne Adaptive Radar,' IEEE Trurzs. AES. vol. 31, no. 2, pp. 805820, April 1995. Hat,ke, Gary F . , 'Adapt,ive Array Processing for Widehand Nullirig in GPS systems,' Thirty-Second .Asilortiw Conference on Sign&, Systems, and Comptiters, Pacific Grove, CA, Nov 1-4, 1998, pp. 1332-1336.


Figure 2: Block diagram of i-c-hannel coherent broadband measurement system.



150 200 250 Azimuth (deg.)



Figure 3 : Eigenvalues for -10" elevation cut from F16 illuminated by 10 MHz RHCP L1 jamming signal.

Figure 1: CRPA antenna array on the Tanner Hill pedestal.


an F-16 mounted


-1 00

X position (km)



F-I6 Broadband Jammers (I 0 MHz)

Figure 1: Recei\-fr-.iarrin~er geometry t loll

for simula-

-I. 5 Tap STAP

Tap STAP - Spatial
3 Only





Figure 6: Cumulative distribut,ion function (( 'DF) for satellik visibility under 50 dBW jamming.



5 Tap STAP 3TapSTAP , Spatial Only


Figure 5: Cumulative distribution function (CDF) for sate1lit.e visihilit; under 60 dBW jamming.