LOWELL, Mass., 12 Nov. 2015. Engineers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Lincoln Laboratory (MIT LL) are using Scalable Planar ARray (SPAR) Tile technology from M/A-COM Technology (MACOM; NASDAQ: MTSI) in Lowell, Mass., in a test bed for the U.S Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA’s) Arrays at Commercial Timescale (ACT) program.
DARPA’s ACT program is designed to streamline development and manufacturing cycles for next-generation radar, electronic warfare (EW), and communications systems by leveraging best practices established in the commercial domain. Engineers at MIT LL and MACOM will interface SPAR Tiles with back-end electronics to explore new techniques for achieving new capabilities in digital phased arrays.
SPAR Tiles are radio-frequency (RF) assemblies containing antenna elements, GaAs and GaN semiconductors, transmit and receive modules, and RF and power distribution networks. When combined with additional signal generation and receive and control electronics, the composite assembly forms the building block for the Multimission Phased-Array Radar (MPAR) planar active electronically scanned antenna (AESA) for the radar system.
SPAR Tiles enable the transition from cumbersome traditional brick architectures to a more efficient planar approach. By leveraging MACOM’s commercial manufacturing expertise, MACOM believes that SPAR Tiles will help drive cost efficiencies that are required to propel MPAR to mainstream adoption and deployment in the latter part of this decade.
“Working collaboratively with MIT Lincoln Laboratory, MACOM has played a leading role in advancing SPAR Tile technology to mainstream adoption,” says Dr. Doug Carlson, vice president, Strategy, MACOM. “We believe that the commercial manufacturing approaches taken in the implementation of SPAR Tiles are fully in line with DARPA’s ACT program objectives. The interface of ACT technology with our tiles demonstrates a new approach to RF system implementation, which is anticipated to drive both shortened time to market and new levels of affordability while increasing overall system performance.”
“MACOM is leading the transition of civil and defense radar and communication systems to active antenna technology,” officials say. “Applying tile-based architectures and modern, commercial manufacturing practices, MACOM is enabling customers to build affordable, scalable radar systems with rapid time to market.”
M/A-COM Technology Solutions Holdings Inc. (www.macom.com) is a supplier of high-performance analog RF, microwave, millimeterwave, and photonic semiconductor products that enable next-generation Internet and modern battlefield applications. With a broad catalog portfolio of technologies and products, MACOM serves diverse markets, including high speed optical, satellite, radar, wired and wireless networks, automotive, industrial, medical, and mobile devices. Headquartered in Lowell, Massachusetts, MACOM is certified to the ISO9001 international quality standard and ISO14001 environmental management standard. MACOM has design centers and sales offices throughout North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia.
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