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Improved Ground Based Fire Control Radar Interferometry Techniques


TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Electronics, 

OBJECTIVE: Development fire control solutions for the C-RAM II PTS testbed radar and system development of prototype radar software to implement detection and tracking algorithms as well as ambiguity resolution algorithms, waveform improvements, processing capabilities. 

DESCRIPTION: Radar systems providing high accuracy tracks are critical to the development of state-of-the-art solutions for the warfighter. These radar systems find utility as fire control radars associated with some interceptor and also as truth sensors for conducting flight tests with UAS, missiles, projectiles, interceptors, mortars, and more. The PEO Missiles and Space is interested in developing fire control solutions for the C-RAM II PTS testbed radar system. This effort requires the development of prototype radar software to implement detection and tracking algorithms as well as ambiguity resolution algorithms, waveform improvements, processing capabilities. There is also interest in enabling the radar to be integrated in a networked configuration to support command and control mission requirements. The aforementioned improvements also require that the radar can successfully be instrumented to collect data in contested Electronic Warfare and Cyber environments. Radar system and component level improvements and maintenance are expected in order to support demonstration events and prototype development. It is the intent of this topic for the offeror to demonstrate the capability to create improved tracking techniques for the C-RAM II PTS testbed radar system. The proposals must result in software and/or hardware modifications to the system that enhance its performance and develop technologies that can be inserted to or assist fielded radar systems. 

PHASE I: In Phase 1, the offeror shall research, develop and evaluate prototype algorithms for resolving angle ambiguities and improving the tracking performance of a C-RAM II PTS interferometric testbed radar. Additionally, as part of Phase 1, the offeror shall investigate and produce a concept for adding waveform agility to the testbed radar. The final product of Phase 1 shall be prototype algorithms for certain missions, algorithm documentation, and a report documenting the new waveform possibilities of the sensor. Algorithm prototypes are required during Phase I and must be supplied to PEO Missiles and Space. 

PHASE II: In Phase II, the offeror shall use methods developed in Phase 1 to modify radar software for implementation of the algorithms presented in the algorithm documentation. The updated configuration shall be evaluated by the offeror via demonstration at a test range (location TBD) and against the targets for which the algorithms were developed. The purpose of this demonstration is to verify the improved radar performance. Additionally, the offeror shall develop a detailed software, firmware, and hardware design for adding transmit waveforms to the testbed radars signal generation capabilities. The modifications that are associated with adding waveforms to the library of the radar shall be described and established. The offeror shall calibrate the antennas of the testbed radar for optimal performance. These improvements to the waveform and antennas are aimed at improving the agility and tracking performance of the testbed. Furthermore, the offeror shall generate a concept and implementation path for a Hardware-In-the-Loop (HWIL) representation of the radar in order to conduct algorithm development testing and performance predictions. Finally, software development that enables the testbed to collect and process sensitive data is necessary and will require improvements to the source code and data recording process. The desired products of Phase II include: 1) software builds implementing algorithms and capability improvements, 2) Demonstration of the radar performance improvements, 3) Improved antenna array calibration, 4) A detailed prototype design concept for implementing additional waveforms capability, and 5) a prototype design to achieve an HWIL configuration. Analysis, documents, and prototypes are required during Phase II and must be supplied to PEO Missiles and Space. 

PHASE III: For Phase III of this effort, the offeror shall expand upon the solutions of Phase II to develop an HWIL system for the radar and waveform transmit unit generating various waveforms. The purpose of the HWIL development is to create a prototype system for conducting radar performance predictions against different targets or interest using hardware and software components identical to those in the radar processor. The purpose of the waveform generation unit is to enable the development and testing of prototype search, acquisition, detection, and tracking algorithms on interferometric radar systems that result in improved radar capabilities. Prototypes are required during Phase III and must be supplied to PEO Missiles and Space. Phase III applications: Particular military applications include generic radar sensor system applications for accurate tracking of specific targets of interest either as a truth sensor or fire control radar. Additionally, improved algorithms and testing capabilities enable pre-flight test predictions, improved radar accuracy performance, and engagement of more advanced targets. Transitions of opportunity include military grade radar systems utilizing interferometer techniques and phased array antenna apertures. The most likely path to transition the prototype algorithms and hardware is for a ground based radar program that will adapt the technology during their development and test cycle or for PEO Missiles & Space to utilize the testbed in an integrated air defense network as a testbed radar. 


1: "Passive Direction Finding - A Phase Interferometry Direction Finding System for an Airborne Platform", Worcester Polytechnic Institute, October 10, 2012, Daniel Guerin, Shane Jackson, Jonathan Kelly, Submitted to: Project Advisors: Professor Edward A. Clancy, Professor George T. Heineman, Professor Germano Iannacchione, Project Supervisors: Lisa Basile, MIT Lincoln Laboratory, Kelly McPhail, MIT Lincoln Laboratory, Christopher Strus, MIT Lincoln Laboratory,

KEYWORDS: Interferometry, Phased Array Antennas, Algorithms, Waveforms, Signal Processing, Fire Control, Network 

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