Nine companies pursue chip technologies for next-generation electronic warfare

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB, Ohio-U.S. Air Force researchers have awarded nine research contracts for a pivotal initiative similar to the Microwave and Millimeter Wave Monolithic Integrated Circuit (MIMIC) program decades ago to develop some of the world's most advanced and capable electronic and photonic components for tomorrow's electronic warfare (EW) systems.

Officials of the Air Force Research Laboratory Sensors Directorate at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, awarded contracts worth a total of nearly $3 million for the Advanced Components for Electronic Warfare (ACE) Phase 0 program.

Companies receiving contracts for the ACE EW components program are Raytheon Co. in Tewksbury, Mass.; the BAE Systems Electronic Systems segment in Merrimack, N.H.; HRL Laboratories LLC in Malibu, Calif.; Rockwell Collins in Cedar Rapids, Iowa; the Lockheed Martin Space Systems segment in Newtown, Pa.; the Lockheed Martin Corp. Mission Systems and Training (MST) segment in Moorestown, N.J.; the Northrop Grumman Corp. Aerospace segment in Redondo Beach, Calif.; Aurrion LLC in Goleta, Calif.; and LGS Innovations LLC in Florham Park N.J.

Air Force researchers are working to develop the world's most advanced electronics and photonics for future electronic warfare systems.
Air Force researchers are working to develop the world's most advanced electronics and photonics for future electronic warfare systems.

ACE Phase 0, like the MIMIC program before it, seeks to establish capabilities, infrastructure, and knowledge necessary to design and produce advanced electronic and photonic components for advanced EW applications at low costs and high yields.

Raytheon won a $478,324 contract; BAE Systems won $483,554; HRL Laboratories won $234,310; Rockwell Collins won $237,265; Lockheed Martin Space Systems won $248,653; Lockheed Martin MST won $500,000; Northrop Grumman won $242,844; Aurrion won $248,873; and, finally, LGS Innovations won $202,584.

The MIMIC program-a major microelectronics initiative-back in the 1980s established the capabilities, infrastructure, and knowledge necessary to design and produce gallium arsenide (GaAs) monolithic microwave integrated circuits (MMICs), for nearly any application, with high yields, low costs, and performance and reliability for advanced military and commercial applications.

ACE Phase 0 contractors will focus on developing integrated photonic circuits (IPC); millimeter-wave source and receiver components for electronic warfare (MMW); reconfigurable and adaptive radio-frequency electronics (RARE); and heterogeneous integration for photonic sources (HIPS). Next-generation cognitive and distributed electronic warfare systems will require leap-ahead component technologies to keep-up with emerging threats, Air Force researchers say.

FOR MORE INFORMATION visit the Air Force Research Laboratory Sensors Directorate online at www.wpafb.af.mil/afrl/ry.


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September 2014
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