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The Office of Naval Research (ONR) has awarded Raytheon Co. an $8.5 million base contract to design the Flexible Distributed Array Radar (FlexDAR), enabling dynamic multi-mission radars capable of executing a variety of functions including surveillance, communications and electronic warfare.
"Raytheon is a pioneer in radar development, pushing the limits of technology to achieve the best possible solutions for our customers," said Paul Ferraro, vice president of Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems Advanced Technology Programs. "Migrating digital technologies closer to the front end of radars will allow for more re-configurability and ultimately more flexible radars resulting in game-changing improvements."
The FlexDAR effort is being developed under the ONR Integrated Topside (InTop) Program as an innovation effort to demonstrate new capabilities provided by the implementation of every-radar-element-level digital beam forming, combined with network coordination and precise time synchronization.
FlexDAR will develop technology that will lead to enhanced capability for future radar sensors including software-defined digital re-configurability at the foundational level. The program demonstrates both radar and radar-to-radar communications functions so as to implement bi-static exchange and control. This provides increased detection and firm-track range, and improved electronic protection relative to existing standalone mono-static radars.
This first phase of the InTop FlexDAR program will design the radar front-end and will demonstrate all critical components and subassemblies. In the subsequent phase, Raytheon will build two identical multi-function array antennas that will be installed at ONR's Chesapeake Bay Detachment to demonstrate several important advantages of network-linked, distributed sensors and serve as foundations to test and explore next-generation radar capabilities.