Microwave Journal

Digital Subsystems Enable Software-Defined Radar

January 12, 2018

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Remote Sensing Solutions has developed a game-changing digital subsystem technology that transforms radar systems through significant miniaturization, unparalleled processing, adaptive sampling and seamless scalability. Not much larger than a smartphone, weighing ounces and consuming only 5 to 20 W, ARENA enables a new generation of microwave and mmWave unmanned aerial system radars with greater than 1 GHz of bandwidth, adaptive sampling and processing and continuous network connectivity—handling applications such as radar interferometry for target detection.

Today, the ARENA product line supports direct frequency generation and processing from baseband through C-Band. A single ARENA generates arbitrary waveforms, provides digital receiver and signal processing and creates timing and control signals. Combining multiple modules with patent-pending synchronization, ARENA transforms a phased-array radar into a reconfigurable, software-defined radar with state-of-the-art performance, providing real-time processing while significantly reducing size, weight and power.

ARENA is hardware, firmware and software reconfigurable. Through its credit-card-size, plug-in mezzanine cards, ARENA takes on capabilities with each new card; when a card is plugged in, the system automatically reconfigures itself from the hardware through its user applications, eliminating significant firmware and software development. Every function is encapsulated and controlled through XML-based objects. With simple manipulation of these objects, new waveforms, digital receiver and signal processing methods, data products and timing signals can be formed pulse to pulse. This enables the radar to have adaptive sampling, in-mission reconfigurability and optimization.

With its network-centric design architecture, every object’s data within each ARENA is available, providing new levels of simultaneous parallel and serial processing. With up to 100 Gbps communication capability, multiple ARENAs can share data and distribute processing. ARENA modules can also provide local data storage.

Remote Sensing Solutions
Barnstable, Mass.