Increased Radio Frequency (RF) Sampling & Radar Architecture Upgrades

Period of Performance: 05/15/2014 - 02/16/2015


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Colorado Engineering Inc.
1915 Jamboree Drive Array
Colorado Springs, CO 80920
Principal Investigator

Research Topics


ABSTRACT: The maneuverability and low cross section of modern targets in today s airspace presents serious challenges to radar systems. Increasing target SNRs while minimizing transmit power and dwell times is paramount to maximizing asset survivability. ADC technology continues to improve in the commercial market, and the next generation offers higher sampling rates at wider sample lengths. The faster sampling rates of these devices can help lower the noise floor while the increased number of bits improves dynamic range. However, military radar, ELINT, and ECM systems struggle to take advantage of improved ADC components and commercial components in a timely fashion. Strategies enabling faster technology insertion spirals are needed to take advantage of new technologies, or DoD systems risk falling behind the capabilities of adversarial assets. CEI proposes to leverage its extensive experience with radar systems, advanced embedded processing architectures, and high performance ADC design to validate the use of ADC components offering higher sampling rates and wider word lengths to improve radar detection while also defining architectures to facilitate the faster insertion of such technology. CEI will explore what can be done to maximize the sample rate, dynamic range, and upgradability for modern airborne radars competing with new emerging threats. BENEFIT: CEI has developed software and hardware technologies for a variety of government programs, and the team has transitioned over 37 products to production for use in DoD and Government systems. CEI also has experience commercializing technology developed under Government-funded programs. Products are packaged as COTS items, listed on a catalog price sheet, supported with technical application notes and marketing materials, and made available for sale to both the commercial and Government markets. CEI will promote technologies developed under this effort as part of its standard commercial product marketing and sales activities. As further evidence of CEI s success with commercialization of SBIR technology, the Small Business Administration presented CEI with the 2011 Tibbetts Award. This prestigious award is presented to small businesses that represent excellence in achieving the mission and goals of the SBIR and STTR program, stimulate technological innovation, and increase commercialization of Federal research. The radar parameter assessment tools and supporting hardware/software architecture resulting from Phase I and II enable rapid prototyping, development, and deployment of radar systems. The applications of the technology are as broad as the radar market in general, both Government and commercial. System applications include upgrades to airborne platforms such as AWACS, F-22, and JSF. Ground based system for air traffic control would also benefit from the ability to rapidly develop and deploy upgraded receivers. SWAP-C optimized sense-and-avoid radar solutions for UAVs are also of interest to enable operation in domestic airspace. CEI will leverage its contacts within AFRL, the FAA, and prime contractors to promote the use of the anticipated assessment tools and architecture for radar design within the restrictions of the ITAR-restricted designation.