Automated Methodology for Balancing Avionics Requirements and Life Cycle Costs

Period of Performance: 08/02/1996 - 08/02/1998

$1.35MM

Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Frontier Technology, Inc.
4141 Colonel Glenn Hwy, Suite 140
Beavercreek, OH 45431
Principal Investigator

Abstract

The proposed Phase II effort involved the ocnstruction of a low-cost, high-performance radar system operating at VHF. In Phase I, an innovative system architecture was devised, and a small prototype radar was constructed to verify the new design concept. Several breakthroughs in low-cost VLSI electronics and solid-state devices make it possible to assemble a system that far exceeds the capabilities of any previous radar of this nature. The principal conclusion of th ePhase I study is now economically feasible. Moreover, it is viable to replace single C-class transmitters with distributed solid-state power aplifiers. This allows a phased antenna beam to be rapidly steered and reshaped under digital control At the same time, teh maximum transmitter duty cycle is increased from 2% to 100%. The rapid evoluation of low-cost VLSI electronics has fostered a multichannel receiver design that is totally digital beginning at the radar intermediate frequency. This generates enormous flexibility, gives rise to multiple independent receiver channels having ideal characteristics, supports changes in all critical receiver parameters in under 1 ms, and allows the receiver system to be fully merged with the processor system. The Phase II system has 12 digital receiver channels that re routed to a parallel processor possessing the computational power befitting a major observatory. The processor has the ability to analyze massive amounts of data in real-time. Indeed, one expects this rapid availability of information to trigger an incipient scientific revolution.