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AESA Radar range calculator.

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    2.Hypothetical AESA for 92N6 would be massive. 2.5 sqm array of 92N6 will contain about 12000 TRM assuming it wish to retain same beamwidth as original 30N6/92N6.
    Do you mean 2.5 sqm or 2.5 m side?
    Old radar types never die; they just phased array


      Yeah my mistake 2.5 m should be the width of the antenna not area.


        That's what I thought As far as other X-band radars, you have the TPY-2 @ 9.2 sq. m (25,000 T/R modules), and the MEADS X-Band radar @ 3.5- 4 sq. m (10,000 modules).
        Old radar types never die; they just phased array


          Well given the controversial nature of the device, one or two debates would occur sooner or later. and naturally i am also interested to see its potential as real Primary radar. The reason is similar as given by Carlo Kopp. Why putting the antenna there ?.

          Traditionally IFF is always in L-band. Implementation however usually embedded together with main nose array Thus the radar can interrogate while also doing scanning. If it placed anywhere else, naturally one would question why. I would love to see other people brewing their own calculations too.

          I really not bought into theory "the beamwidth is too wide" etc as the radar have narrow beamwidth just for 1 side (horizontal) and that's about enough for scanning. The elevation beamwidth is indeed very broad But, treatment with dielectric lens can mitigate it into somewhat acceptable (still wide tho 20-80 degrees) Heightfinding cannot be done in the way usual radar does BUT can use the same way as how E-2 determine altitude via multipath heightfinding.

          E-2 Hawkeye's radar antenna is also a linear array consist of several YAGI elements. The differences is that it scans mechanically while this NIIP array scans electronically. The APY-9 for new E-2D would scan electronically and conceptually similar as one in NIIP.
          As radars on Fast flying jets become more powerfull, so does the way of interrogate any contact in the sphere of operation area.

          If you have several Su-35S in the same Op Area, but splitt up in different wings, ideal you want to be able to interrogate the moment any contact pop up on your MFD screen, why the hell not!
          Again its only logical.
          At the very least, you will "KNOW" that those contacts are friendlies, and by that concentrate you vector approach, get enough time to set up an Intercept of any unknowns or Bandits.
          In a way, having very good means to interrogate the airspace(battle space) makes up for good Situational Awareness. This stuff about IFF is important!
          Those LE slate Arrays are a better way of acheiving this.
          The same apply for interrogate towards AWACS and Anti-Air systems.

          Again, ppl talking about these L-band array being an agumenting ways to the main radar array in order to increase radar power and resolution is not correct. At least not directly. They are for IFF purpose.
          Last edited by haavarla; 29th September 2017, 01:17.


            Originally posted by stealthflanker
            Yes, my formulas automatically assume that it's a half wavelength spacing. If there is any less like in the image, the only explanation would be that the array isn't exactly 1250 Mhz but rather lower wavelength. It could operate in 1250 Mhz but with limited scanning angle. Otherwise it might not be in L-band at all but something higher maybe S or C band.
            can use the same way as how E-2 determine altitude via multipath heightfinding
            Judge by the elements spacing, i think the radar probably operate at 2.5Ghz. Btw, can you elaborate multipath heightfinding?



              Well if it's 2.5 GHz then using it as IFF is kinda suspect as both Russia and US use L-band for IFF purpose, and having S-band, despite having better gain doesn't seem to have its merit in detecting low RCS target. Regarding Multipath height finding, you can read it here


              Regarding the AESA calculator, im still workin on it... hmm finding better and more relevant/correct method to calculate. Current plan is to add ECM. The ECM being added is Noise jammer and Cross Eye jamming.

              The noise jammer will provide calculations of Burn through range, while the cross eye will calculate possible error generated by the jamming. Counter-Countermeasure for cross eye however im afraid can't be really taken into factor because :
              1.Limitations of excel, can't really do complex integrals.
              2.There are no real literature published regarding cross eye counter-countermeasure. According to Introduction to Airborne Radar by Stimson. The method relevant to counter cross eye is currently classified. However let's see what i could find.


                I get some values that look too high with the calculator. You already said that it is not fully applicable to ground based radars but I wonder what the penalty would look like?

                Here is a example T/R module for a S-band radar such as the Ground Master:

                With 100s pulsewidth and a duty cycle of 20%, we get a resulting, possible PRF of 2 khz. Now anything between 3000-5000 modules at 100w, the resulting range is in the range of 3000km (RCS 2m, dwell time 0,1s).

                I'm sure operation at max. module performance level is not the usual operation regime. But even at half the performance parameters, the range is still 1700km. These performance levels would result in very high range performances, especially against VLO assets.


                  Radar Horizon. You will not get 1000km range unless the aircraft is flying outerspace or in extremely high altitude.

                  The calculator has not taking factor of path propagation (The F^4) in the calculation. Which could be ideal for airborne situation but not ground. There are also STC (Sensitivity Time Control) and possible MTI employment which will limit the detection range (esp minimum) even further. This is not implemented yet as it basically making a whole new calculator as MTI and STC is range dependent and calculation must be performed iteratively.


                    Okay, so is it the maturity of advanced S-band silicon T/R modules that has created such high range performances?

                    The effects you mentioned should create negligible range performance penalty, am I right?

                    As a example: Such a S-band AESA in form of a ground based system like the Ground Master or an airborne AESA AWACS would have following performances with ~4000 modules:

                    50% Pd volume search: 300km against a -40dbsm target and that in 10cm S-band where RAM and RAS should be much lower performing. Means if we are generous and give a -10dbms RAM/RAS performance in S-band, its range performance would be in fact 300km against an effectively -30dbsm target (0,001m RCS, shape only). That would be a typical long range EW radar range performance against almost any known stealth fighter target.

                    I'm somewhat skeptical about those figures. Maybe those pulse width and max. PRF values from the T/R module data sheet are for some reason not applicable?


                      The high performance are simply because of the high power of the TRM and large number of modules.

                      And the effects i is significant especially for Early warning application where STC can actually prevent detection of low RCS target and long pulsewidth means low minimum range (thus the radar cannot detect target that are actually close) and possibility of target lost due to eclipsing.

                      I really do not recommend using it for ground based radars due to those variables that i haven't take account in. Unless suitable modifications or at least some clear statements about limitations of the calculations.

                      Another issue not related to range could be..Whether it would make a practical system.

                      4000 modules of planar array would result in about 4x4 meter antenna. Might be practical for ground based but quite bizzare for AEW might end up making the plane look like Chile Phalcon. There could also be cost issue that made this Radar unsuitable for general air defense. It would be more suitable for ABM.

                      The cost of radar hardware could be roughly estimated as follows :


                      Nt=Number of Trm
                      Ct=Cost of Trm
                      PaV=Average Power
                      CaV=Cost of producing that average power (let's assume this to be U$ 1)

                      The cost of typical TRM in S-band is about U$ 200.

                      Click image for larger version

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                      Thus the radar would cost about :


                      320 Million dollar radar. Would make sense for ABM applications.
                      Last edited by stealthflanker; 10th October 2017, 20:30.


                        There are already such radars that operate in the S-Band and utilize GaN based PAs along with DBF. The largest currently is the SPY-6 (AMDR-S) at 5000+ modules, while the more mobile radars such as the Giraffe and TPS-80 are in the 2000 module range. Similar sized GaAs based systems also exist. The largest variant of the ELM-2084 should be comparable to the Giraffe in module count (similar rough dimensions).


                        And the costing data is not right. AMDR does not cost 300 million per face.
                        Last edited by bring_it_on; 10th October 2017, 20:34.
                        Old radar types never die; they just phased array


                          Yeah, i know. I just argue that it won't have such range even with the max specification of the module and if it deliver so. Then be ready to accept high cost.

                          Reserve should always be exercised. considering as i mentioned before this is noise limited. no clutter and environment factor is only come from attenuation. and No F^4 factor. Plus one must always consider change of target RCS on wavelength.


                            I would expect half wavelength spacing, hence a 2x2m array @ 4000 elements, which would be sufficiently compact also for airborne AEW purpose.

                            For such purposes it would also make sense to use lower power (~50W), non-GaN S-band modules, maybe even tile modules to drive the price down to <100$ levels.
                            For total costs, in a efficient design, the TRM cost could make up 50% ($400k) of the total radar production cost.

                            With all effects taken into account, an airborne array for an AEW platform would have huge range performance or very high anti-VLO performance. So high that it makes it a little suspicious.


                              No @Bring_it_on.

                              The equation is correct. I got it from a RAND paper. bit dated but i think still valid. One variable i haven't play around is the cost of producing the average power of that radar. The original paper gave like U$5 which obviously very high. But today with manufacturing advancement i believe the cost is much lower but how low.. i wonder. If we assume that variable to be 50 cents or U$ 0.5 The array cost would halved. Which i assume closer to your data of AMDR cost.

                              Well the calculator already assume half wavelength. If you see at the "Weighting algorithm table" tab you may see antenna width. For planar array.


                                The equation is correct. I got it from a RAND paper.
                                The four year old Engalco report (where your graph comes from) is general and likely based on reported commercial industry costs and may not reflect facilities that have achieved certain MRL status at the back of DOD investments and are sandboxed from commercial supplies since the non-reccuring costs have been funded by the DOD maturation process. Specifically to the AMDR, compared to your formula of $300 Million for a 4000 Module Radar, 2 AMDRs with a combined TR count of 10,656 cost approximately $230 Million in 2017 as per DOD cost data.

                                I would also be a little cautious on a dated report since there has been a significant ramp in industrial capacity for S-Band AESA supplies on the GaN side given recent R&D, production and acquisition activity. Some of the largest AESA radar projects in the world and US are in the S-Band GaN space such as Lockheed's LRDR and Space Fence, Raytheon's AMDR and EASR, and Northrop Grumman's TPS-80. The 2015-2020 production ramp at both defense exclusive foundries and commercial and DOD suppliers would have been dramatic. I believe Lockheed's supplier has delivered all TR Modules for Space Fence already and they are being shipped out. Deliveries for LRDR assemblies have probably also begun. The cost reduction on account of all that would probably be more dramatic than was anticipated before all these were awarded.
                                Last edited by bring_it_on; 11th October 2017, 12:23.
                                Old radar types never die; they just phased array


                                  I would expect half wavelength spacing, hence a 2x2m array @ 4000 elements, which would be sufficiently compact also for airborne AEW purpose.

                                  For such purposes it would also make sense to use lower power (~50W), non-GaN S-band modules
                                  Erieye-ER (one customer so far) has S-band GaN modules. I think the Erieye antenna is 8 x 0.6 metres, so about the same as your 2x2 metres. Dunno how many modules, though, or what power.

                                  The GaN modules are said to give a massive increase in detection range of VLO objects. Maximum range against big, high RCS things such as ships is still the horizon.
                                  Juris praecepta sunt haec: honeste vivere, alterum non laedere, suum cuique tribuere.


                                    Unless there is real up-to date report. I will stand by those i have. Not that i realize the dramatic price decrease or technological advancement but.. What value should i use ? That is the most important. If there is no real value naturally i will seek the closest i could find. Cautious as i am but.. a calculation cannot be made without a starting value.


                                      Right, but there is little value in trying to calculate cost based on numbers that are this off. When you can buy 2, larger (TR count) radars and still save $50 million over the calculated cost of 1 x 4000 module radar then those calculations aren't of much value.
                                      Old radar types never die; they just phased array


                                        Then what should i use as input ? What adjustment need to be made ?.

                                        I would call it conservative instead of "off"


                                          I can't give you he exact information since it isn't easily available and requires access to information that I do not currently have. All I can tell you is that if a 4000 module radar cost calculation comes in at a cost that is $90 Million above the cost of 2 larger radars (10656 modules combined) then it is likely WAY WAY OFF . I would call a margin of 20-30% as being conservative and intentionally leaving some padding for inflation and other escalatory pressures. 2 TPS-80s even @ LRIP will run you just under $100 Million and that would be roughly 4000 combined TR Modules or less than a 1/3 of the cost predicted for a similar sized set up.
                                          Old radar types never die; they just phased array