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Research initiatives pumping new life into phased-array radar

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Mon, 19 Nov 2012|

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[MUSIC] This is military and aerospace electronics report. I'm John Keller. I'm noticing some very interesting defense work of fundamental improvements to phased array radar. It has the potential for big payoffs in the size range and sensitivity. Future radar systems. And even may lead to covert surveillance sensors that previously were limited only to the electro-optical domain. Now earlier this month, the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency, or DARPA, gave the go ahead to Teledyne Scientific and Imaging in Thousand Oaks, California. To move into the advance stages of a micro electronics program that ultimately may create the ability to fabricate phase to ray radar transmit and receive modules on a wafer, much the same way that companies fabricated integrated circuits on wafers. Now this program is called Scalable Millimeterwave Architectures for Reconfigurable Trancievers, SMART for short which Teledine has been working on for several years. Now, in the phase three b part of the program, Teledine's scientists are attempting to create deployable SMART technologies for future military radar and communication systems. Teledyne now is trying to create high-yield smart components at advanced technology red, readiness levels and move smart technology to batch fabrication for a military application that requires millimeter-wave capability. Now the smart program essentially seeks to develop wafer-scale integration for RF and microwave. Transmit receive modules, and is trying to develop three-dimensional mnemic chips that can fit small power amplifiers between transmit/receive nodes in a phase to ray antennae. This is to enhance the efficiency and sensitivity of radar and communication systems. So far Teledine engineers have developed 44 gigahertz transmit sub-arrays, and has demonstrated a millimeter wave. Tiled array by inventing away to integrate silicon digital beam forming and compound Indian phosphite power amplifier mimics, And if that weren't enough, there's more radar technology in the news. The airforce this month revealed a program called phased array antenna for passive RF Sensing which might lead to convert passive radar surveillance capability for ground sites and for aircraft. Cover radar surveillance is a bigger deal than it might sound. A radar bites nature transmits radio waves which alerts anyone nearby to its presence. Turning on a radar is kinda like sweeping a flashlight around a darkened room. You might find what you're looking for, but everyone knows you're there. And the Air Force reasearch lab at Lake Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio, is asking industry to develop a revolutionary wide band dual polarized faced ray antenna technologies for this program, that seeks to develop analog and digital beam forming techniques. That can provide as many as 64 independent beams, simultaneously. Now that means the kind of radar technology the air force envisions. Might at worst prevent an adversary from pin pointing the radar, the radars transmitter. At best though it might develop a radar with a signal that essentially hides in the RF noise without tipping of an adversary. That is being watched. So next time you think of radars as old mundane technology think again. Today's research is liable to take radar a lot further forward. For the Militarian Airspace Electronics port I'm John Keller. [MUSIC]