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  • djcross
    Rank 5 Registered User

    It's the 1960s vintage variable geometry inlet to optimize pressure recovery at various air speeds and altitudes. It is about engine performance, not flight control.

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    • bring_it_on
      2005-year of the RAPTOR!!

      ViSAR: A 235 GHz radar for airborne applications

      https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/8378797

      This radar, developed under the DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) ViSAR (Video Synthetic Aperture Radar) program operates at 235 GHz over multiple GHz of bandwidth and provides high resolution, video SAR imagery at a very low frame latency to support real time operations. The imagery is generated at a high refresh rate which provides the operator, whether on a manned platform or remotely piloted unmanned air vehicle (UAV) tactical situational awareness of moving targets or changes to stationary scene content. The system was flight tested onboard a DC-3 aircraft and flown in a variety of environmental conditions. The test results produced exceptional SAR imagery and ground moving target indicator (GMTI) detections to validate many model based assumptions about the operation and RF performance in this frequency band.
      The DARPA ViSAR program objective is to integrate state of the art technologies and demonstrate an airborne sensor that can engage ground areas of interest in all weather conditions. A sub-Terahertz (THz) radar like the ViSAR system provides the cloud penetrating capability to allow sensor operation under all weather conditions, particularly through the cover of clouds. Fig. 1 is a notional scenario from an AC-130 looking through clouds.

      The system is designed with flexible waveforms and a low latency signal processing architecture to support real-time operations. The Raytheon team along with a team of world class subsystem providers developed, integrated, and tested the world's first 235 GHz Airborne Video Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) system. A successfully executed flight campaign demonstrated key system capabilities and performance metrics.

      Key Performance Parameters


      The ViSAR System is designed to meet latency, frame rate, image quality, and target detection objectives while operating under all weather conditions.

      High Frame Rate, Low Image Latency

      This metric drives the algorithm suite, signal processing architecture, and the throughput capability of the processor hardware. The imaging geometry and short SAR aperture times at 235 GHz requires minimal data formatting with low order autofocus to produce high quality images. Given the processing throughput capabilities of the FPGA processors, the algorithms are sized to perform all required signal processing in real time

      Fine SAR Resolution

      The transmit pulse bandwidth is sized to achieve a fine range resolution in the ground plane. Given the short frame rate requirement, square image pixels in the ground plane at a slant range of 4 km are generated using an airborne demonstration platform which can exceed ground speeds of 80 m/s.






      Will ViSAR Revolutionize Close Air Support?


      Soldiers slogging it out on the ground will get a much-needed boost when Video Synthetic Aperture Radar (ViSAR) technology takes the field. The miniaturized extremely high-frequency band (EHF) sensor, developed by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), promises uninterrupted imaging of moving and stationary ground targets when sensors are blinded by the dust and smoke of battle or when clouds obscure their view.

      Now a flight-tested prototype, ViSAR aims to close these gaps and provide tactical situational awareness targeting information and battle damage assessment throughout an engagement. The problem with close air support today is that, once an engagement starts, the aircraft cant see. AC-130 gunships, for example, typically use infrared (IR) sensors to target and engage maneuvering forces on the ground.

      But once an action begins, infrared sensors are unable to image through the dust caused by explosions and incoming rounds, according to the ViSAR broad area announcement (BAA) dated Dec. 19, 2012.

      The programs biggest achievement was the physical implementation of a working prototype that fits into a compact tactical gimbal, known as the Multi-Spectral Targeting System-B (MTS-B), said George Nowak, ViSAR program manager in DARPAs strategic technology office. DARPA also had to develop hardware and image-processing software that works at the high end of the EHF band, which extends from 30 to 300 GHz. Northrop Grumman developed the exciter subsystem, L3 the high power amplifier, and Technical Service Corp. the processing algorithms, while Raytheon was the systems integrator.

      DARPA has not publicly identified which military aircraft will be first to try ViSAR technology as it cycles through further development and testing and into the field. But the agency said that eligible platforms will host a complete battle management system capable of real-time target engagement as well as the 20-inch-diameter, moveable electro-optical/IR MTS-B gimbal or a gimbal of similar size. The BAA cited the AC-130 gunship as the primary transition path for this effort.

      But the DC-3 flight test to proof SAR electronics, pointing, data collection and processing systems used geometries that are relevant to a range of potential transition platforms, Nowak said. The BAA language, he clarified, was intended to provide guidance to potential bidders as to the desired form factor and size of the system. Although the ViSAR development program concluded at the end of 2017, DARPA continues to tweak the design to improve the data presentation so visualization gets closer to the natural visualization provided by electro-optical and IR sensors, Nowak said.

      Future automatic target recognition and datalink applications may also be possible.

      More at the link below:

      https://www.aviationtoday.com/2018/0...e-air-support/


      Here's an image of the MTS-B sensor for size:

      Last edited by bring_it_on; 2nd December 2018, 15:16.
      Old radar types never die; they just phased array

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      • bring_it_on
        2005-year of the RAPTOR!!

        USAF Funds Lockheeds Half-Raam Missile Flights

        The U.S. Air Force has funded a flight test demonstration program for Lockheed Martins Cuda air-to-air missile, pushing the concept forward more than five years after it first appeared, the company ...

        The flight tests, funded by the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), will evaluate how the Cuda compares to the range and terminal phase maneuverability of the Raytheon AIM-120 Advanced Medium Range Air-To-Air Missile (Amraam), says Frank St. John, executive vice-president of Lockheeds Missiles and Fire Control business area.

        http://aviationweek.com/awindefense/...issile-flights

        Meanwhile, Jane's reports that Lockheed Martin has begun testing the CUDA for future SHORAD use case of the US Army.

        Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control on 14 November conducted a successful initial ballistic flight test of its new M-SHORAD Future Interceptor from a Stryker Maneuver SHORAD Launcher (MSL) at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico.

        The M-SHORAD Future Interceptor leverages Lockheed Martin and government technology investment in a 6 ft-class hit-to-kill interceptor designed to defeat unmanned aircraft systems (UASs), fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft, and cruise missiles.

        "The 5 inch diameter interceptor fits in the same envelope as the AGM-114L Longbow Hellfire missile currently being integrated on the MSL for the US Army's Stryker-based interim manoeuvre SHORAD [short-range air-defence] capability, and provides significantly more range and manoeuvrability," a Lockheed Martin spokesperson told Jane's .

        More: https://www.janes.com/article/84936/...re-interceptor
        Old radar types never die; they just phased array

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        • TomcatViP
          Rank 5 Registered User

          Interestingly Northrop is designing the EHF exciter for the ViSAR. Shall we understand that this is a fall-out of another program?

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          • bring_it_on
            2005-year of the RAPTOR!!

            The ViSAR program has largely concluded. Northrop designed, built and delivered the equipment some time ago and they tested ViSAR last year.
            Old radar types never die; they just phased array

            Comment

            • TomcatViP
              Rank 5 Registered User

              I should have written "As Northrop was designing the EHF exciter for the ViSAR, is there a chance that this was a fall-out of another program and that a larger version of the ViSAR is embarked on another platform?"
              Sorry my bad.
              Last edited by TomcatViP; 4th December 2018, 12:08.

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              • bring_it_on
                2005-year of the RAPTOR!!

                B-21 Clears Critical Design Review

                The Northrop Grumman B-21 Raider has cleared its critical design review.

                This ensures the system can proceed into fabrication, demonstration, and test, and certifies it can meet the stated performance requirements within the cost, schedule and risk parameters.

                U.S. Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson told reporters here on Dec. 1 that the highly-classified B-21 stealth bomber is on schedule and she is pleased with how the program is unfolding...

                http://aviationweek.com/awindefense/...-design-review
                Old radar types never die; they just phased array

                Comment

                • bring_it_on
                  2005-year of the RAPTOR!!

                  Not directly USAF related but still interesting given that the early fielding for the LB is now planned just 36 or so months after IOC for the MB pods. NG is now working on two of the most important US Navy Electronic Attack programs in the SEWIP Block III and the Next Gen Jammer Low Band (still competing). Northrop is currently flying its EA payload on a CRJ-700.

                  Northrop Grumman Announces Next Generation Jammer-Low Band Team

                  BALTIMORE Nov. 28, 2018 Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) has teamed with Harris Corporation and Comtech PST for the U.S. Navys Next Generation JammerLow Band (NJG-LB) Demonstration of Existing Technologies (DET). The Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) awarded Northrop Grumman a $35 million, 20-month contract Oct. 25 to demonstrate existing jammer capability for the NJG-LB program. Northrop Grumman is the airborne electronic attack integrator for the Navys current EA-18G Growler electronic warfare (EW) system.

                  Harris Corporation is providing cutting-edge electronic attack equipment developed at its North Amityville, New York, operation to Northrop Grumman for NGJ-LB DET. Comtech PST, a subsidiary of Comtech Telecommunications based in Melville, New York, is providing high-power radio frequency (RF) amplifier systems.

                  The Northrop Grumman team brings extensive electronic warfare expertise and a long history of building and deploying systems that support the challenging carrier-based aviation environment. We are proud to be working with Comtech and Harris to help the Navy maintain its warfighting edge, said Paul Kalafos, vice president, surveillance and electromagnetic maneuver warfare, Northrop Grumman.

                  Harris equipment is integrated within Northrop Grummans NGJ-LB pod system to provide a modular, scalable and reconfigurable capability that will allow the Navy to stay current with rapidly evolving threats. Harris draws on its expertise in coherent electronic attack technologies and deployed jamming techniques.

                  Harris is a leader in EW solutions worldwide and has extensive experience with the EA-18G Growler. Our significant investments in open architecture systems are ready made for the U.S. Navy NGJ-LB DET, said Ed Zoiss, president, Harris Electronic Systems. Our work on NGJ-LB also advances the companys strategy to extend into new EW markets through pods and unmanned systems.

                  Comtech is very pleased to be part of the Northrop Grumman team. Our long standing relationship and position as a premier provider of high power RF systems positions the team well to support the Next Generation Jammer program for years to come. We look forward to a very successful partnership, said Michael Hrybenko, president, Comtech PST.

                  The NGJ system will augment, and ultimately replace the EA-18G Growler aircrafts legacy ALQ-99 tactical jammer system with advanced airborne electronic attack capabilities for defeating increasingly advanced and capable threats. Developed in three frequency-focused increments high-, mid- and low-band NGJ will bring a significant increase in airborne electronic attack capability to counter complex air defense and communications systems.

                  https://news.northropgrumman.com/new...-low-band-team
                  Last edited by bring_it_on; 9th December 2018, 15:07.
                  Old radar types never die; they just phased array

                  Comment

                  • bring_it_on
                    2005-year of the RAPTOR!!

                    I should have written "As Northrop was designing the EHF exciter for the ViSAR, is there a chance that this was a fall-out of another program and that a larger version of the ViSAR is embarked on another platform?"
                    That is highly unlikely. DARPA gets involved on demonstrations and development programs where they pick up technology at entry level TRL and take it to TRL-6/7 before transitioning it off to one of the services or another agency (NSA, MDA etc etc). Given they were involved in this program, had planned it, floated a BAA, picked a team and then partnered with the AFRL to conduct a full fledged flight demonstration suggests that this was a project that they wanted to mature before handing it off to the USAF which they did last year. It will be interesting to see where this sensor transitions to and whether they choose to go to a UAV application or still focus on the AC-130.

                    DARPA does not usually get into taking capability from one platform or application and re-applying it on another (though there are exceptions like the LRASM). That is the domain of agencies like the SCO or the services directly. It wouldn't be a very smart use of DARPA's resources.
                    Last edited by bring_it_on; 9th December 2018, 16:32.
                    Old radar types never die; they just phased array

                    Comment

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