Compact Radar Technology For Over the Horizon Small-Boat and Semi-Submersible Detection and Tracking

Period of Performance: 08/15/2011 - 03/15/2012


Phase 1 STTR

Recipient Firm

First RF Corp.
5340 Airport Blvd. Array
Boulder, CO 80301
Principal Investigator
Firm POC

Research Institution

University of Florida
339 Weil Hall
Gainsville, FL 32611
Institution POC


As with all service branches within the Department of Defense (DoD), the mission objectives of the Navy are expanding to encompass not only major combat operations, but also asymmetric warfare scenarios. This expanding role requires the Navy to increasingly operate in littoral waters where effective identification of small craft and semi-submersibles is a critical capability for both fleet protection and counter illicit trafficking operations. The solicitation addresses the need for an effective, affordable radar solution to accomplish detection and tracking of small targets at extended range in the complex maritime environment. To meet the requirements of compact size, high resolution, exceptional clutter rejection, and affordability FIRST RF and the University of Florida propose to develop and demonstrate a Ka-band MIMO radar system using commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) components. Traditional phased array radars, while powerful assets on high-performance platforms, have remained unaffordable for widespread use throughout DoD. The combination of breakthrough research in MIMO signal processing by UF and innovative low-cost array manufacturing architectures developed by FIRST RF promises to deliver the performance required by next-generation systems at a small fraction of the cost of traditional systems.