Solution Review: Converged RF Solutions
Wednesday, August 21, 2019: 3:05 PM - 3:20 PM
Recent innovations in radar and EW technologies, adversary capabilities, and techniques drive ECM systems towards converged and flexible systems, necessitating multifunction hardware capable of fielding a dynamic array of solutionsâ€”solutions which even evolve and react to changing mission and technique requirements through machine learning. The element level digital phased array is uniquely suited for this role, and is rapidly being matured to bring this capability to the warfighter. BAE Systems is developing a next generation ECM system based on its software defined digital array architecture. OASIS is an RF countermeasure-focused, multifunction RF system for protection of military rotorcraft and UAS. High technique flexibility, minimal SWaP, capability for arbitrary digital beamforming, and simultaneous transmit and receive (STaR) enable the platform to fly in otherwise contested environments. A heterodyne RF front end based on the MATRICs RF system on a chip feeds element-level digitization, on-the-fly element/subarray allocation, enabling rapid resource redistribution and power savings. Scalable in frequency with common hardware, high directivity-beams provide high EIRP for jamming or high sensitivity while performing ISR or ES functions, all the while maintaining situational awareness through its simultaneous transmit and receive capability. Because the array is digitally addressable at each element, we tune a series of elements each to a different frequency band to provide a wideband staring capability for sensing, each covering a portion of the band with high sensitivity, while using an adjacent portion of the array for high EIRP jamming. Platforms using OASIS-like hardware for ECM receive benefit of additional, reconfigurable capabilities, as it supports multiple simultaneous military aviation functions beyond ECM including targeting support, DF/Geolocation, SIGINT/signals exploitation, GPS denial, cover jamming, comms jamming, MTI tracking radar, and readily incorporates future sensing applications. The integrated, scalable and adaptive design of the system maximizes available SWaP for weapons systems while improving survivability and providing a host of electronic capabilities, serving as a force multiplier. A sensor resource manager assigns and schedules the elements across the OASIS array in dynamically segmented subarrays, according to RF tasking requests. Because the array is digitized at every element, it is possible to form any number of beams or functions by replicating received data and applying different amplitude and phase weights across the elements digitally, within the constraints of the onboard FPGA or heterogeneous processing resources. The capability to form arbitrary numbers and shapes of subarrays dynamically as a mission evolves, and as RF task priorities change, enables an entirely new flexibility space not realizable using traditional phased array approaches. Convergence of radio frequency functions into shared resources is a disruptive system design approach that drastically changes the way warfighter capabilities are developed, procured and utilized. Todayâ€™s federated RF systems inefficiently utilize weight, power and cost resources, creating underutilized hardware which is effectively redundant at points during a mission. OASIS solves this problem with its RF converged aperture, reconfigurable transceiver, and standardized interfaces using Vita 49.2, providing tactical functional performance for multiple functions from a single, scalable system, ready to adapt to the rapidly changing electromagnetic battlespace.