Flexible Distributed Array Radar Leverages Digital Beam Forming

May 29, 2014
By combining digital beam forming, network coordination, and time synchronization, a new flexible distributed array radar (FlexDAR) aims to enhance military communications.

Raytheon’s plans to further enhance sensors for surveillance, communications, and electronic warfare will center around what it calls the “flexible distributed array radar” (FlexDAR). Backed by an $8.5 million base contract awarded to the company from the Office of Naval Research (ONR), the effort is a part of the ONR Integrated Topside (InTop) Program to demonstrate both radar and radar-to-radar communications functions.

New capabilities include the implementation of every-radar-element-level digital beam forming, combined with network coordination and precise time synchronization. Other capabilities include increased detection and firm-track range, improved electronic protection, enhanced tracking through simultaneous multistatic dwells, improved detection of targets in clutter, and greater availability. These functions will serve to implement bi-static exchange and control.

The first phase of the program involves design of the radar front-end, demonstrating all critical components and subassemblies. In the second phase, Raytheon will build two identical, multi-function array antennas; they will be installed and demonstrated to show several important advantages of the network-linked, distributed sensors. This phase will also serve as the foundation for the exploration and testing of next-generation radar capabilities.

About the Author

Iliza Sokol | Associate Digital Editor

Iliza joined the Penton Media group in 2013 after graduating from the Fashion Institute of Technology with a BS in Advertising and Marketing Communications. Prior to joining the staff, she worked at NYLON Magazine and a ghostwriting firm based in New York.

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