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U.S. military taps Northrop Grumman for new technology
by Richard Tomkins
Linthicum, Md. (UPI) Sep 11, 2014


disclaimer: image is for illustration purposes only

Wideband digital antenna technology for new radio frequency sensors using active electronically scanned arrays is to be developed by Northrop Grumman.

The work was commissioned by the Microsystems Technology Office of the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.

The Phase One contract for the Arrays on Commercial Timescales program is worth $11.9 million.

The program is for the development of key technologies for next-generation AESAs by designing a reusable digital common module. That module would contain the critical integrated circuits required.

"Our wideband digital common module design is a breakthrough in AESA capability, enabled by the application of commercial system-on-chip technology with integrated high-speed data converters that enable direct RF sampling," said Dr. William Phillips, director of Advanced Technology, Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems sector. "The reusable common module provides the key building block that will make digital AESA technology affordable for a wide variety of applications."

Working with Northrop on the project is Semtech and Systems & Technology Research

"Our disruptive ultra high-speed analog-to-digital and digital-to-analog converter technology will help revolutionize phased array technology," said Craig Hornbuckle, Semtech's chief systems architect. "With an input bandwidth extending through K-band, these data converters enable increased flexibility and functionality, reduced power, and enhanced performance over traditional architectures, supporting next-generation radar, electronic warfare and satellite communications applications."

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