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High Powered RF Sources


OBJECTIVE: Develop an innovative radio frequency (RF) source concept that can meet requirements from four standard test environments. DESCRIPTION: The publication of MIL-STD-464 and MIL-HDBK-235 update (see references) resulted in the lowering of the peak E-field levels while simultaneously raising the average E-field levels of four of the standard Intersystem EMC electromagnetic environments that aircraft must operate in and demonstrate survivability of prior to production and deployment. It was initially thought that standard off the shelf traveling wave tube amplifiers would be able to augment the existing radar sources at the NERF (Naval Electromagnetic Radiation Facility) to meet the new requirements by splitting the standard RF environment into a peak and an average field level test instead of a single environment that provided both at the same time like the aircraft would see when deployed. The best technology for testing purposes currently in existence that is closest to our requirements is a type of close coupled cavity TWT (Traveling wave-tube). However, TWT amplifiers leak approximately 1 watt when they are in operate mode and this has caused systems to fail that should not. The concept resulting must meet both the peak and average E-field levels at each of the four standard environments given within the MIL-STD-464 and MIL-HDBK-235. An additional desired, but not mandatory, requirement is to provide an illumination area of at least two foot by two foot illumination area on target at not less than ten feet separation distance. PHASE I: Investigate, perform an analysis and determine feasibility of an innovative concept for RF sources to meet the needs of the test&evaluation (T&E) community to simulate the shipboard environment. For RF application, demonstrate feasibility of the approach through model and simulation and/or prototyping. PHASE II: Based on the design in Phase I, construct a prototype to demonstrate the feasibility of the solution for each of the four high duty short fall areas. PHASE III: Transition to support the development and integration into existing electromagnetic environment effects (E3) simulators. PRIVATE SECTOR COMMERCIAL POTENTIAL/DUAL-USE APPLICATIONS: Private sector certification of commercial aircraft to FAA and international electromagnetic restrictions. Commercial source for MIL-STD-461 commercial test labs to enable tailored testing for aircraft avionics survival.
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