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Opportunity at Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL)

Enterprise Space Data Transport Incorporating 5G


Space Vehicles Directorate, RV/Space and Planetary Sciences

RO# Location
13.40.01.C0466 Kirtland Air Force Base, NM 871175776


name email phone
Khanh Dai Pham 505.846.4823


An ever growing demand for enterprise space data transport has recently started in providing space-layered elements for joint all-domain command and control; ubiquitious communications; positioning, navigation, and timing to the terrestrial warfighter and throughout the cislunar sphere. New standards and technologies, such as 5G, that are expected to meet large throughput increase, seamless connectivity, reliability, and connection density, have become important to the fulfillment of the significantly demanding requirements in flexible interconnections of heterogeneous terrestrial and space assets, timely data dissemination in contested, degraded, and operationally-limited environments as well as to support novel 5G satellite market segments. In this context, the research topic herein is to focus on potential cross-cutting areas required to integrate 5G terrestrial networks with satellite networks. Such a realization of the enterprise space data transport capability across all mission areas can only be achieved by means of a radical shift in the way both the satellite access and the 5G terrestrial core networks are designed. For instance, typical satellite channel impairments, large path losses, delays, and Doppler shifts pose severe challenges to the realization of a 5G-enabled space data transport network. Particular interests include, but are not limited to: i) the impact of satellite channel characteristics on both physical and medium access control layers in terms of sub-carrier space, sub-frame durations, etc. as well as user random access and timing protocols for enhanced mobile broadband and narrowband Internet of Thing applications; ii) types of user link access by 5G user equipment interfacing with satellite networks; i.e., next-generation nodeB, terrestrial core networks air-interfacing with satellite transponders, satellite gateways, etc.; and iii) effective placements and selections of satellite gateways and terrestrial core network management and control entities potentially capable of optimizing end-to-end network performance; e.g., latency, reliability, etc. pertaining to military and civil space data transport applications.


1. A. Guidotti, et. al., "Non-Terrestrial Networks: Link Budget Analysis," Proceedings of the IEEE Int'l Conference on Communications, 2020

2. D. Luong, et. al., "Metaheuristic Approaches to the Joint Controller and Gateway Placement in 5G-Satellite SDN Networks," Proceedings of the IEEE Int'l Conference on Communications, 2020

Space Data Transport; Satellite Networks; 5G; Satellite Channel Impairments; Delays; Doppler shifts; User Link Access; Physical Layer; Medium Access Control; Satellite Gateways; Core Network Management & Control


Citizenship:  Open to U.S. citizens
Level:  Open to Postdoctoral and Senior applicants


Base Stipend Travel Allotment Supplementation
$76,542.00 $4,000.00

$3,000 Supplement for Doctorates in Engineering & Computer Science

Experience Supplement:
Postdoctoral and Senior Associates will receive an appropriately higher stipend based on the number of years of experience past their PhD.

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