Echodyne brings first metamaterials based radar antenna to market
Echodyne Corp. announced limited availability of its first metamaterials electronically scanning array (MESA) for radar applications. Echodyne’s MESA makes high performance radar far easier to deploy by lowering both the cost and weight by up to 10 or more times while decreasing the size of the antenna by up to 5 or more times over traditional electronically scanned arrays. The first product from Echodyne, a metamaterials electronically scanning array for X-band (MESA X-EVU) is now available for partners and integrators interested in evaluating MESA for radar systems in a variety of commercial markets including maritime, aviation, and surveillance/security among others.
“We are very pleased with the early reception of MESA-X-EVU by key partners and are excited to be able to offer more units to qualified partners and integrators,” said Eben Frankenberg, founder and CEO of Echodyne. “Metamaterials based radar has the opportunity to not only change how traditional, heavy, expensive radar systems are deployed but can open up new markets for advanced radar that were never before thought possible because of the cost, size and weight of traditional electronically scanned arrays.”
Echodyne’s MESA X-EVU combines ultra-low C-SWAP (cost, size, weight, and power) with ultra-fast beam steering (sub-microsecond) in an electronically scanning array that can be integrated into new or existing radar systems.
Unlike conventional mechanical apertures which steer a radar beam using motorized gimbals, Echodyne’s MESA requires no moving parts to steer its beam. And unlike Phased Array radars or Active Electronically Scanning Array (AESA) radars that use complicated, expensive, and inefficient transmit/receive modules which include phase shifters, amplifiers, circulators, and low noise amplifiers behind every single antenna element, MESA uses a vastly simpler metamaterials architecture. The net effect of this simplified architecture is dramatically lower cost, size, weight and power.
Echodyne’s MESA-X-EVU operates at X-band and has a broad field of view (±50° in azimuth and ±45° in elevation) which it can scan very rapidly given its sub-microsecond beam switching speed. The MESA-X-EVU subsystem includes the metamaterial array, the array control driver circuitry, and the beam steering computer. Fully assembled without packaging, the subsystem is a mere 50 x 18 x 2.5 cm with a total weight of only 1.4 kg. While this size and weight already demonstrates a vast improvement over traditional electronically scanning arrays, Echodyne will be decreasing this even further as the company optimizes the technology for various implementations. The aperture is controlled through a simple USB 2.0 interface and requires only a single +12 DC source to operate. Integrators and radar manufacturers interested in evaluating MESA-X-EVU can connect their own Pulsed or FMCW transceivers through a single coax SMA port.
Echodyne has produced a limited number of MESA-X-EVU to share with qualified partners and integrators. Companies interested in learning more about Echodyne MESA generally, and MESA-X-EVU specifically should contact Echodyne directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Echodyne is reinventing the way the world uses radar by creating high performance electronically scanning radars with ultra-low C-SWAP (cost, size, weight, and power). Echodyne’s patented Metamaterial Electronically Scanning Array (MESA) offers disruptive capabilities for existing radar applications, and enables new categories of radars never before thought possible such as small, lightweight radars for UAVs, robots, autonomous vehicles, and security that work well even when environmental conditions are less than ideal (e.g., in rain, snow, fog, dust, darkness, etc.) Echodyne is a privately held company backed by Bill Gates, Madrona Venture Group, Vulcan Capital, Lux Capital, and The Kresge Foundation, among others.