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Northrop Grumman Corp. has set a new standard for its gallium nitride-based high power transmit/receive (T/R) modules by reliably operating them for more than 180 days during continuous high power testing. In a rigorous evaluation conducted by the company’s Advanced Concepts and Technology Division, the T/R modules were tested by using high-stressing operational long-pulse waveforms, which operated on the modules nonstop for more than six months. These waveforms were designed to simulate the electronic activities of actual radar functions, in a relevant environment allowing Northrop Grumman engineers to understand how well they would perform in tactical operation.
The successful tests prove that the next generation of active electronically scanned arrays (AESA) is capable of reliable operation while producing much greater radar sensitivity, at higher efficiency and lower cost. With this new threshold established, the T/R modules can serve as critical technology elements for a wide range of future applications.
“By successfully employing the latest advances in high power semiconductor technology in a functioning T/R module, we have demonstrated the great performance and reliability of our design approach,” said Steve McCoy, Vice President of the Advanced Concepts business unit within the company’s Electronic Systems sector. “This new level of maturity also supports technology readiness for the next generation of Northrop Grumman’s high performance, low cost AESA radars, and opportunities for cost reduction and performance upgrades to our current AESA product line.”