Coherent Distributed Aperture Enabled Active Electronically Steered Array (CDA-AESA)

Period of Performance: 02/09/2009 - 02/09/2011


Phase 2 STTR

Recipient Firm

Applied Radar, Inc.
315 Commerce Park Road, Unit 3
North Kingstown, RI 02852
Firm POC
Principal Investigator

Research Institution

MIT Lincoln Labs
244 Wood Street
Lexington, MA 02420
Institution POC


Missile threats faced by our country are constantly increasing in lethality. The weapon used to counter such missiles is the kinetic interceptor. To work effectively, the reentry vehicle (RV) location must be precisely known. Confusing objects within the reentry complex make the key discrimination process very difficult. Coherent distributed aperture (CDA) radar represents an important advance in precision discrimination capability. To maintain performance, high angular resolution utilizing active electronically steered arrays (AESAs) subtending many wavelengths, is required. Such AESAs will operate at X-band. It is therefore important to develop newer and lower cost X-band components. During Phase I, we investigated technologies essential to making cost effective, low-power-density, large aperture AESAs work. We identified the digital receiver-exciter (DREX) as a critical AESA element that remains to be developed. The DREX must support high bandwidth CDA orthogonal waveforms. For interoperability, the interfaces to the DREX must incorporate a radar open system architecture (ROSA) interface and respond to radar control and data acquisition commands with minimal latency. The research that we propose will result in a functioning DREX prototype that meets these requirements. As a result, a range of CDA advanced performance verification experiments will be enabled.