Small Business Information
FIRST RF CORPORATION
4865 Sterling Drive, Boulder, CO, 80301
Chief Operating Officer
Chief Operating Officer
AbstractNarrow beam electronically scanned phased array antennas play a vital role in many defense communications, radar and EW systems. However, because of the cost and complexity of the constituent components, as well as the typical array manufacturing processes, phased arrays still remain prohibitively expensive for all but the most vital applications. FIRST RF Corporation has recently developed a wideband (0.5 18 GHz) array architecture called the SMArT (Simple Manufacturable Array Technology) Card - which promises to dramatically overhaul the way phased arrays are produced. In order to achieve the true time delays (TTD) necessary for wideband array operation, FIRST RF has, through this program, researched and developed novel methods for incorporating MMIC-based TTD technology at the element level. This technology is a key enabler to the overall wideband manufacturable phased array. For even longer delays at the sub-array level, FIRST RF proposes a low-cost beamformer package which has recently gained the support of a Program of Record. The combination of FIRST RFs novel array architecture with the cutting edge research in lightweight and compact beamformer technology represents a high value program to US Air Force. BENEFIT: Traditional approaches to developing and manufacturing phased array antennas have not produced affordable solutions. For this reason, the production of phased array antennas and their application to advanced programs has been very limited. A dramatic change is necessary if phased arrays are ever to be widely applied across a wide range of military and commercial markets. The development of the SMArT Card with the proposed lightweight wideband beamformer represents a dramatic change and more importantly, a dramatic improvement in the method of building phased array antennas. The proposed beamformer technology is a key enabler for affordable phased array antennas for both military and commercial applications. The product categories affected by the proposed technology include SATCOM and Airborne Electronic Warfare (EW) markets. The United States Military has an urgent need to develop affordable technologies which support SATCOM on the move (OTM) and high power EW capabilities. A phased array antenna will provide the data rates and beam agility required by these products.
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