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New Radar/EW Transmit/Receiver Modules and Assemblies Technologies


OBJECTIVE: The object is to develop technology for Transmit/Receive Modules through improvements to their assemblies for legacy shipboard radar/EW systems that achieve technological improvement and form fit function replacements. DESCRIPTION: Innovative approaches to replace or reduce the costs of T/R Modules and assemblies are needed to reduce total ownership cost for shipboard radar/EW systems. Integrating new technologies would decrease costs to the Navy and improve the sustainment of legacy systems. Transmit and Receiver (T/R) Modules (Ref. 4, 5) and assemblies make up a large percentage of the new radar and Electronic Warfare (EW) apertures under development. They represent 30-80% of the radar cost, depending upon the number of elements used. They are constructed with high cost Wide Band Gap (WBG) devices and expensive supporting components. There is a need to lower the cost of Navy radar apertures by addressing costs associated with T/R modules and assemblies. The existing assemblies (Ref. 1, 3) used in T/R modules are made up of costly ceramic and metal technologies. They use Gallium Nitride (GaN) and Gallium Arsenide (GaAs) Monolithic Microwave Integrated Circuits (MMICs) (Ref. 2). The MMICs are 30-60% of the total cost of the T/R modules. Optimum use of alternative technologies such as silicon (Si) and silicon germanium (SiGe) will provide significant cost reductions over existing solutions if the technologies can be developed to satisfy shipboard radar and EW system requirements. Alternatives are needed that will reduce the cost of the electronic assemblies by a factor of 3-5 compared to existing technologies. Replacement technology must reduce life-cycle costs and maintain Navy system performance. Current T/R modules and their assemblies are not only costly, but they are generally proprietary to the providers. The Navy is seeking to reduce costs, promote commonality across system interfaces, and establish open systems sources for aperture component technologies by replacing current T/R modules and assemblies. Savings will increase by utilizing common system building blocks and associated technologies when replacing existing modules and assemblies as they fail, and establish broader supply sources for maintaining apertures. The Phase I effort will not require access to classified information. If need be, data of the same level of complexity as secured data will be provided to support Phase I work. The Phase II effort will likely require secure access, and the contractor will need to be prepared for personnel and facility certification for secure access. PHASE I: The contractor will develop concepts to replace T/R modules and assemblies that meet the requirements described above. The contractor will demonstrate the feasibility of the concepts in meeting Navy needs and will establish the concepts can be feasibly developed into a useful product for the Navy. Feasibility will be established by material and/or design element testing and analytical modeling. The company will provide a Phase II development plan with performance goals and key technical milestones, and that will address technical risk reduction. PHASE II: Based on the results of Phase I and the Phase II development plan, the company will develop a prototype T/R module and assembly for evaluation as appropriate. The prototype will be evaluated to determine its capability in meeting the performance goals defined in the Phase II development plan. System performance will be demonstrated through prototype evaluation, modeling, and analysis over the required range of parameters and needed deployment cycles. Evaluation results will be used to refine the prototype into an initial design that will meet Navy requirements. The company will prepare a Phase III development plan to transition the technology for Navy use. PHASE III: If Phase II is successful, the company will be expected to support the Navy in transitioning the technology for Navy use. The company will develop a T/R Module or assembly replacement for evaluation to determine its effectiveness in an operationally relevant environment. The company will support the Navy for test and validation to certify and qualify the system for Navy use. PRIVATE SECTOR COMMERCIAL POTENTIAL/DUAL-USE APPLICATIONS: Utilization of lowest cost components in aperture radar/EW systems will benefit commercial and other government programs using aperture based systems such as automotive collision avoidance and cruise control, communications, weather avoidance, navigation, and maritime surveillance radar systems REFERENCES: 1. Tummala, R. R., Editor."Microelectronics Packaging Handbook", 3rd Edition, Kluwer Academic Publications, 2004. 2. Fisher, Dennis."Gallium Arsenide IC Applications Handbook Volume 1", Academic Press, 1995. 3. Johnson, R.W. Editor."Multichip Modules", IEEE Press, 1991 4. Richards, Mark A., Scheer, James A., Holm, William A. Principles of Modern Radar: Basic Principles. SciTech Publishing Company. 2010 5. Kopp, Bruce A.; Borkowski, Michael; Jerinic, George;"Transmit/receive modules."IEEE Transactions on Microwave Theory and Techniques. 2002, vol. 50, Issue 3, pp. 827-834
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