Components > Defense Blog

GaN switches and scaling AESA radar

by Asif Anwar | 11月 07, 2011

The latest ADS monthly review includes coverage of European Microwave Week in Manchester, UK where TriQuint launched a family of reflective GaN-based SPDT (single pole double throw) switches. Operating at 10-40 W over 6-18 GHz, the switches allow designers of defense, aerospace or high-performance commercial systems to use much smaller semiconductor devices in many applications where the only alternative previously option was to use larger, heavier electromechanical devices.

Scalability is another feature often talked about when discussing AESA radar capabilities, and where the STARlite demonstrates lightweight, small sized solutions, the other end of the scale is amply demonstrated by Raytheon’s involvement in the Cobra Judy Replacement program Raytheon has completed the shipboard installation of the Cobra Judy Replacement program's X- and S-band antennas onto the USNS Howard O. Lorenzen. These massive active phased-array antennas weigh more than 500,000 pounds and comprise an estimated 20,000 T/R modules. Northrop Grumman also demonstrated the AN/TPS-80 Ground/Air Task Oriented Radar (G/ATOR) system to senior Department of Defense leaders at the Pentagon as well as the Highly Adaptable Multi-Mission Radar (HAMMR), which is a derivative of the Defense Department's Ground Based Fighter Radar (GBFR).

BAE Systems was involved in multiple activity on the EW front including an announcement that the company will begin full-rate production of the U.S. Navy AN/ALE-55 fiber-optic towed decoy, an RF airborne countermeasure designed to protect the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet from radar-guided missiles. Meanwhile, Italian electronics specialist ELT Elettronica has developed a dedicated command-and-control (C2) system that improves EW capabilities in a network-centric environment and simultaneously resists cyberattacks. The Loki ELT/950 NSM (networked system manager) coordinates and exploits passive and active networked sensors and continuously checks network security.

In the area of smart weapons, Northrop Grumman will provide personnel for expanded operations of Counter-Rocket, Artillery and Mortar (C-RAM) sense-and-warn systems in Afghanistan and Iraq, while ATK has been awarded a contract by the U.S. Navy for a third lot of LRIP Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missiles (AARGM). Meanwhile, the French air force and Naval aviation began operational deployment of the infrared terminal guidance version (SBU-64) of the Hammer IR AASM modular air-to-ground weapon. Developed and produced by Sagem (Safran group), the Hammer AASM is a family of air-to-ground weapons, comprising a guidance kit with an infrared imager in the nose cone, along with the standard hybrid GPS / inertial guidance systems.

Harris led the field in terms of announcements for the communications sector, with the company’s Falcon III AN/PRC-117G radios being selected both by US and international customers. Meanwhile, Boeing announced that it has successfully demonstrated high-data-rate transmissions between a FAB-T system and a test terminal for the AEHF satellite. This was one in a series of development tests that are demonstrating extended data rate voice, text and data communication with a FAB-T unit.

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