Brownout Radar Beamforming Using Electronically Reconfigurable Apertures

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Navy
Contract: N68335-08-C-0446
Agency Tracking Number: N082-124-0567
Amount: $149,618.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2008
Solicitation Year: 2008
Solicitation Topic Code: N08-124
Solicitation Number: 2008.2
Small Business Information
10070 Barnes Canyon Road, San Diego, CA, 92121
DUNS: 107928806
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Paul Techau
 Division Manager
 (703) 269-3613
Business Contact
 Nicole Sanese
Title: Sr. Contarct Administrator
Phone: (858) 373-2711
Research Institution
In a number of arid regions of the world, recirculation of dust by the rotorwash of helicopters results in the loss of visual cues during helicopter approach and landing. This condition is typically referred to as brownout. This is a serious problem for all services and leads to numerous aircraft and personnel losses in Afghanistan and Iraq. The effectiveness of the conventional approach of using spotters positioned in aircraft doorways to call out and maintain clearance from obstacles has obvious limitations, especially in the most degraded visual environments. An “Electronic Bumper” system would detect and track major obstacles including other aircraft in flight during brownout and virtually all low/no visibility approach and landing. An active RF system is preferred, one operating at high-enough frequency and bandwidth to provide the needed system resolution. SNC’s electronically reconfigurable aperture (ERA) technology is ideally suited to this task. ERA is a patented electronically steerable array technology that has been demonstrated at across the range of frequencies of interest. This proposal describes the development of an antenna and beamformer architecture that provides functionality required for use in brownout radar systems.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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