Free Newsletters - Space News - Defense Alert - Environment Report - Energy Monitor
. Space Industry and Business News .




TECH SPACE
New Phased Array Programs May Save Billions, Years Off Development
by Staff Writers
Washington DC (SPX) Feb 28, 2013


DARPA created the Arrays at Commercial Timescales (ACT) program to seek new technologies to form a shared hardware basis for many future DoD phased array development programs.

Phased radio frequency (RF) arrays use numerous small antennas to steer RF beams without mechanical movement (think radar without a spinning dish). These electronics are invaluable for critical DoD applications such as radar, communications and electronic warfare.

Their lack of moving parts reduces maintenance requirements and their advanced electromagnetic capabilities, such as the ability to look in multiple directions at once, are extremely useful in the field. These benefits, though, come with a high price tag. Current phased arrays are extremely expensive and can take many years to engineer and build.

One of the main factors driving the dollar and time costs of current phased array programs is the need to start engineering from scratch, to customize the array to a specific defense application every time a new system is needed. Because the resulting arrays are so specialized, even upgrading them is often prohibitively expensive.

The drawn-out process for designing and building custom arrays also means that actual gains in performance have slowed to the point that commercial-off-the-shelf electronics are catching up rapidly in their ability to counter phased arrays. This emerging parity threatens to diminish the technological advantage DoD has traditionally enjoyed in military electronics. A technical solution is needed to bring military array programs to more manageable cost levels and timescales.

DARPA created the Arrays at Commercial Timescales (ACT) program to seek new technologies to form a shared hardware basis for many future DoD phased array
development programs.

If ACT is successful, the resulting technologies may save DoD billions of dollars and require years less research and development time for new systems. ACT will oversee technology research into three technical areas: 1) a common building block for RF arrays, 2) a reconfigurable electromagnetic interface (the antenna interface from the electronics to the waves in the air) and 3) over-the-air coherent array aggregation.

"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," said Bill Chappell, DARPA program manager for this effort. "Current DoD array development programs can take more than a decade and cost tens of billions of dollars.

"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. We want to give those efforts a common foundation. Success with technical areas one and two would lead to a significant reduction in program costs, namely the 30-40 percent nonrecurring engineering costs these programs average.

"We'll also save time, allowing DoD to field the effective new systems and readily refresh systems already in the field. Because of the rapid evolution of electronics, cost and time translate directly to performance. So not only do we hope to make arrays significantly cheaper at a faster time scale, we believe that this will in turn allow for much greater performance."

The third technological area of ACT aims to reduce the space requirements for defense electronics by developing distributed phased arrays that can communicate with each other to function as a single larger array. For example, there is very limited space available in the tower of an aircraft carrier, so large systems for applications like radar do not always fit.

ACT could enable just a piece of a radar system to be hosted in one location, with other pieces hosted elsewhere in the carrier group, and with all the pieces communicating to act as a whole. This portion of ACT expands on the work done under DARPA's Precision Electronic Warfare (PREW) program, applying the basic capability of time and localization transfer to next generation arrays. The time and localization work done under PREW helps precisely put energy on target from disparate origin points.

Potential performers in the electronics community are encouraged to attend a March 18, 2013 Proposers' Day at DARPA. Information on the event is available here.

.


Related Links
DARPA
Space Technology News - Applications and Research






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





TECH SPACE
Indra Develops The First High-Resolution Passive Radar System
Madrid, Spain (SPX) Feb 12, 2013
Indra has recently completed the development and demonstration of the functionalities of a passive high-resolution primary radar system. The project was sponsored by the European Defence Agency (EDA). This is the first passive system in the world that is capable of offering images with the application of inverse synthetic aperture radar (ISAR) techniques. The APIS project (Array Pass ... read more


TECH SPACE
Ancient Egyptian pigment points to new security ink technology

Laser mastery narrows down sources of superconductivity

In probing mysteries of glass, researchers find a key to toughness

Glasses.com turns heads with 3-D iPad app

TECH SPACE
Boeing Receives USAF Contract for Integrated C4ISR Targeting Solution

Air Operations Center Modernization Program PDR Completed

Advanced Communications Waveforms Ported To Navy Digital Modular Radios

Astrium tapped for communications network

TECH SPACE
'Faulty Ukrainian Parts' Blamed for Zenit Launch Failure

The light-lift member of Arianespace's launcher family is readied for its second mission

SpaceX 2 Launch Set for March 1

NASA Releases Glory Taurus XL Launch Failure Report Summary

TECH SPACE
USAF Awards Lockheed Martin Contracts to Begin Work on Next Set of GPS III Satellites

Telit Offers COMBO 2G Chip For Multi Satellite Positioning Receiver

Boeing Awarded USAF Contract to Continue GPS Modernization

A system that improves the precision of GPS in cities by 90 percent

TECH SPACE
US chooses Brazilian plane to outfit Afghan force

F-35 soaring costs trouble Australia

Larry Ellison buys Hawaiian airline to go with island

DARPA Developing Next Generation Of Vertical Flight Technology

TECH SPACE
Rutgers physicists test highly flexible organic semiconductors

Quantum computers turn mechanical

Boeing Acquires CPU Tech's Microprocessor Business

Organic electronics: how to make contact between carbon compounds and metal

TECH SPACE
NASA's Aquarius Sees Salty Shifts

Northrop Grumman Delivers First Communications Payload for USAF's Enhanced Polar System

NASA Selects Launch Services for ICESat-2 Mission

New approach alters malaria maps

TECH SPACE
China lawyer appeals 'state secret' pollution claim

Sewage lagoons remove most - but not all - pharmaceuticals

Olympics: Illegal dump tarnishes 'green' Sochi Games

China admits pollution-linked 'cancer villages'




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement