DARPA to brief industry 18 March on program to create common RF phased array building blocks

ARLINGTON, Va., 1 March 2013. Military researchers are trying to save time and money in the development of RF phased arrays for radar, communications, and electronic warfare (EW) by creating common building blocks to help designers avoid starting from scratch every time they build a new RF array.

RF and microwave experts at the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in Arlington, Va., are launching the Arrays at Commercial Timescales (ACT) program to create a shared hardware basis for future military phased array development programs.

DARPA will brief industry on details and goals of the ACT program on 18 March 2013 at the DARPA Conference Center at 675 N. Randolph St. in Arlington, Va. A formal solicitation for the program should be released before the briefings.

The ACT program has three thrusts: a common building block for RF arrays; a reconfigurable way for the antenna to interact with radio waves; and over-the-air coherent array aggregation.

Phased arrays steer radio waves without using moving parts. These arrays use rows of tiny RF transceivers that send signals at slightly different times, or phases, to steer beams of radio waves. Building these arrays, however, historically has been a time-consuming and expensive custom process.

“What DARPA is looking for is essentially three tiers of technology that together form a configurable system that would serve as a starting point for any new array program,” says Bill Chappell, the DARPA Act program manager.

“Current DOD [U.S. Department of Defense] array development programs can take more than a decade and cost tens of billions of dollars," Chappell continues. "That’s because these programs start from zero, from a clean slate, every time and work toward an endpoint as specific as a radar system for a single class of warship."

It's this custom nature of RF phased array development that DARPA scientists want to avoid. We want to give those efforts a common foundation," Chappell says.

The first two thrusts of the ACT program seek to reduce the time and money it takes to develop RF phased arrays. The third thrust seeks to reduce the sizes of RF phased arrays by developing distributed phased arrays that can communicate with each other and work as one large array.

This portion of the ACT program expands on previous DARPA research on the Precision Electronic Warfare (PREW) initiative that sought to apply time and localization transfer to put RF waves on target precisely from different origin points.

Industry briefings will include a presentation by Chappell, brief presentations by academic and industry teams on current and planned efforts, and a short presentation on DARPA contracting. Individual meetings with Chappell will be available, and organizations can meet in a breakout room to discuss potential collaborations. Set up individual meetings by email at DARPA-SN-13-26@darpa.mil.

Companies interested in attending the briefings should register no later than 14 March 2013 online at www.signup4.net/public/ap.aspx?EID=ACTP10E&OID=130.

For questions or concerns about the industry briefings e-mail DARPA at DARPA-SN-13-26@darpa.mil. with ACT Proposers’ Day in the subject line.

More information about the industry briefings is online at www.signup4.net/public/ap.aspx?EID=ACTP10E&OID=50.

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


Military & Aerospace Photos

Most Popular Articles

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:

Advantages of Intel Architecture Products and Wind River Solutions in Military & Aerospace Applications

This webinar explains the individual advantages of the Intel Architecture hardware, available for long-life supply, and the WRS software portfolio.  There are extraordinary advantages of combining such ...
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