This sounds like a very interesting project. In fact, I did this almost exact project for my senior design project. However, in 1 year, I could only get a high level design completed. I designed a frequency hopping SS system in
the 902-928 band with a pretty low data rate. When I started the project, I knew very little about SS, so I set my initial goals at 1.5Mbps, a range of 30 miles, a BER of < 10^-6, and a 1W output through a 6dBi antenna.
I laugh now because those specs are pretty demanding for a frequency hopping system (maybe even for direct sequence). But, I learned a lot from learning *why* those specs were so hard to meet. I later lowered the data rate down
to something like 50kbps and still met a range of about 20 miles through country/wooded territory, in theory at least :-)
Needless to say, it was a lot of fun, challenging, and I even got an 'A'.
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