Air Force eyes upgrades to PAVE PAWS, BMEWS, and PARCS ballistic missile warning radar

HANSCOM AFB, Mass., 1 Feb. 2012. Military radar experts at the U.S. Air Force Electronic Systems Center (ESC) at Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass., are reaching out to industry in the beginning of what may become a long-term project to modernize and upgrade three ageing ground-based ballistic missile warning radar systems -- PAVE PAWS, which is short for Phased Array Warning System; the Ballistic Missile Early Warning System (BMEWS); and the Perimeter Acquisition Radar Attack Characterization System (PARCS).

Air Force ESC officials have issued a request for information (solicitation number: 01262012) to identify defense companies that could oversee or contribute to systems upgrades and technology insertion for the PAVE PAWS, BMEWS, and PARCS ballistic missile early warning radar systems. Companies interested have until 23 Feb. to make their capabilities known.

The PAVE PAWS and BMEWS upgrades will involve technology refresh for the front-end and remoting capabilities of those radar systems. The PARCS upgrade project may require technology insertion for the back-end processing capabilities that will support front-end modernization. PAVE PAWS and BMEWS will have received significant upgrades to their data- and signal-processing subsystems by 2016 in separate efforts.

PAVE PAWS is a ground-based radar system that provides U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) at Offutt Air Force Base near Omaha, Neb., with warning and attack-assessment information on all intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) launched throughout the world that might be headed for U.S. territory.

BMEWS, meanwhile, is a ground-based radar system that helps warn USSTRATCOM and NATO authorities of submarine- and sea-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) attacks and provides data to help evaluate the severity of ballistic missile attacks.

PARCS is a large radar installation in North Dakota that provides ballistic missile warning and attack assessment, as well as space surveillance data to the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., as well as to USSTRATCOM and regional combatant commanders. PARCS monitors and tracks more than half of all Earth-orbiting objects with its AN/FPQ-16 phased-array radar system pointed northward over Hudson Bay, and analyzes more than 20,000 tracks per day, from giant satellites to space debris.

PARCS was built in the early 1970s, and its signal processing has received only superficial fixes since the site went online in 1975. PARCS uses 1960s-era technology, which is not widely used, and few sources are available for depot-level repair on failed components, Air Force officials say.

The PAVE PAWS and BMEWS beam steering unit (BSU), receiver exciter (REX), receiver beam former (RBF), array group driver (AGD), radio frequency monitor (RFM), frequency time standard (FTS), and the corporate feed (CFD) were built for these five radars in the late 1970s and were upgraded in the 1980s, Air Force officials say. The REX and FTS already have been redesigned and upgraded at the Beale Air Force Base, Calif., Fylingdales, England, and Thule, Greenland sites as part of the Upgraded Early Warning Radar (UEWR) programs. They will be upgraded at the Clear, Alaska, and Cape Cod, Mass., sites by 2016 or 2017., officials say.

Still, the PAVE PAWS and BMEWS have not upgraded the array front end of these radar systems, and this equipment has been in service without being replaced for More than 20 years and is rapidly nearing obsolescence, which requires a substantial technology-refresh effort.

The PARCS signal processing group (SPG) consists of 10 cabinets of equipment with hundreds of unique parts. The SPG generates frequency-modulated pulses for transmission, spectrum inversion, and pulse compression; performs side lobe reduction; as well as compares and processes track signals, multiplexing, and signal conversion. Extensive alignment and maintenance are necessary to maintain proper signal reception and analog digital conversion, Air Force officials explain.

Air Force officials are asking for information from industry on ways to upgrade the system, and will use this information to define funding needs, technical approaches, and acquisition strategy.

Fundamental requirements involve maintaining the overall mission support capabilities of the existing system; minimizing system downtime during system replacement or modernization; and detecting and tracking objects per BMEWS and PAVE PAWS specifications.

Air Force officials particularly are interested in information on how to upgrade the radio frequency (RF) Front end of the early warning UHF radars to include hardware, software, and manufacturing, including design maturity Technology Readiness Level (TRL), development funding to TRL 6, cost estimates, and similar experience with phased array radar technology. The Air Force also is interested in concepts for operating the PARCS, PAVE PAWS, and BMEWS radars remotely.

E-mail responses no later than 23 Feb. 2012 to the Air Force's Curtis DeVries at curt.devries@hanscom.af.mil. For questions or concerns contact DeVries by e-mail.

More information is online at https://www.fbo.gov/spg/USAF/AFMC/ESC/01262012/listing.html.

Easily post a comment below using your Linkedin, Twitter, Google or Facebook account.


Military & Aerospace Photos

Most Popular Articles

Related Products

SBC-K7 Embedded PC for Instrumentation and Control

The SBC-K7 is an ideal platform for embedded instrumentation that combines an Atom PC running Win...

Rugged Mobile Communications Server

Advanced communications server designed to be deployed in environments where it needs to meet cer...

RR2P Removable Canister RAID System

Transportable data storage for mobile field use aboard planes, ships and ground transport. 2U, du...

Sensors Unlimited GA1280JSX High Resolution, Mil-Rugged, Extended High Sensitivity InGaAs SWIR Camera

Manufactures a high resolution, mil-rugged, extended high-sensitivity 0.9 Mpixel InGaAs SWIR came...

M1U20xx 1U Military-Grade Computer System

The M1U20xx Military-Grade Rack Mount System is a reliable high-performance mil-spec 1U solution ...

TFX-19 Trifold Rackmount LCD

The TFX1-19 is a rugged military grade high performance 2U rackmount LCD panel display offering t...

P317xx Portable Computer System w/ Three 17" LCDs

The P317xx portable " lunchbox" system is unique in offering three 17" 1280x1024 resolution LCD d...

CCXR-17 Slideways Side Access Rackmount LCD Keyboard

The CCXR-17 is a unique Side Access space-efficient military-grade high-performance 1U rackmount ...

M4U20xx 4U Rackmount Military-Grade Computer

A 4U rugged military-grade computer offering the latest long-availability high-performance mother...

Large Fiber Collimators

Diffraction Limited Large Fiber Collimators are designed for long distance beam propagation with ...

Related Companies

Innovative Integration

  Since 1988, Innovative Integration has grown to become one of the world's leading suppliers of DSP and data ac...

Elma Electronic Inc

Who we are...   About Elma Electronic Systems   The Systems division of Elma Electronic Inc. supplies the

Winchester Systems Inc

At its founding in 1981, Winchester Systems introduced its first 5 MB disk system for Intel development system users....

Extreme Engineering Solutions Inc (X-ES)

 Extreme Engineering Solutions, Inc. (X-ES) is a leader in the design, manufacture, and support of standard and ...

American Infrared Solutions (AIRS)

American Infrared Solutions

GE Intelligent Platforms

GE Intelligent Platforms is a leading global provider of embedded computing systems and modules for a wide range of a...

Raycom Electronics

Raycom Electronics, Inc., a subsidiary of Electro Technik Industries (ETI), was incorporated in 1965.  The compa...

Trenton Systems Inc

Designs and manufactures rugged rackmount computers and MIL-STD-810 systems using both standard COTS as well as custo...

Sensors Unlimited - UTC Aerospace Systems

Manufactures near-IR (NIR) and shortwave IR (SWIR) cameras (available fully packaged or as OEM imaging modules), line...
Wire News provided by   

social activity

Webcasts

Meeting the Gen3 backplane challenge with OpenVPX and COTS

Tight Pentagon budgets mean military systems must stay in the field for longer than ever before. This doesn't mean obsolete technology, however. Today's military electronics are being upgraded constantly, an...
Sponsored by:

Digital signal processing for signals intelligence and electronic warfare

Military & Aerospace Electronics presents an expert Webcast on the design considerations for blending general-purposes processors (GPUs), general-purpose graphics processors (GPGPUs), field-programmable ...
Sponsored by:

Design Strategy Considerations for DO-178C Certified Multi-core Systems

Join Wind River to learn how system architecture and design choices can minimize your DO-178C certification challenges.

Sponsored by:

All Access Sponsors

View the 2014 Buyer's Guide Now!


Mil & Aero Magazine

October 2014
Volume 25, Issue 10
file

Download Our Apps



iPhone

iPad

Android

Follow Us On...



Newsletters

Military & Aerospace Electronics

Weekly newsletter covering technical content, breaking news and product information
SUBSCRIBE

Defense Executive

Monthly newsletter covering business news and strategic insights for executive managers
SUBSCRIBE

Electronic Warfare

Quarterly newsletter covering technologies and applications in electronic warfare, cyber warfare, optical warfare, and spectrum warfare.
SUBSCRIBE

Embedded Computing Report

Monthly newsletter covering news on embedded computing in aerospace, defense and industrial-rugged applications
SUBSCRIBE

Unmanned Vehicles

Monthly newsletter covering news updates for designers of unmanned vehicles
SUBSCRIBE