RADAR Gets a Major Makeover

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RADAR tech has remained pretty much unchanged since the 70s, and most military-grade technology is still analogue. Now, Sandia National Laboratories based out of the US is trying to give radar a new digital overhaul and makeover. The decades-old tech is getting a major makeover at the speed of 5G, which can significantly increase the amount of information transmitted and received.

Advancement in wireless technology also facilitates the new digital architecture to operate multiple radio-frequency channels simultaneously, either working together on a single function or working independently on several different functions.

“Agility means the ability for the sensor to be chameleon-like and adapt to the needs of the mission,” Loui said. “We want to be aware of where we are, where our friends and foes are, and we want to be able to operate unimpeded in contested environments.”

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“We are replacing legacy, analogue-based signal processing hardware with state-of-the-art, digitally based signal processing firmware and software,” Loui said.

“Digital, software-based radar systems do exist on small scales,” Loui said, but his team is using advanced electronic components developed for 5G cellphone systems to reap major advantages in performance and agility over similar technologies. “Our aim is to deliver outstanding sensors to our customers in the most efficient manner possible.”

“The use of commercially available electronics is driving down the cost of these sophisticated systems, providing a clear path of upgrades as the technology continues to advance,” said Steven Castillo, recently retired Sandia senior manager who worked with the project. “The new architecture also sets the stage for utilising new, highly agile antennas of the future.”

“The new architecture will be harder for an adversary to jam or disrupt,” Loui said.

“Signal and antennae agilities give radar operators an unprecedented amount of flexibility to alter radar operations, mitigating the effects of adversarial jamming,” Loui said.


 

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Nishchay Pandey
Nishchay Pandey
Bioengineer with a knack for writing, I love IoT, Open-source and creativity.

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