S-Band Transmit/Receive Module for Airborne Navy Radars
Navy SBIR 2018.1 - Topic N181-006
NAVAIR - Ms. Donna Attick - donna.moore@navy.mil
Opens: January 8, 2018 - Closes: February 7, 2018 (8:00 PM ET)


TITLE: S-Band Transmit/Receive Module for Airborne Navy Radars


TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Air Platform, Electronics

ACQUISITION PROGRAM: PMA 231 E-2/C-2 Airborne Tactical Data System

The technology within this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR), 22 CFR Parts 120-130, which controls the export and import of defense-related material and services, including export of sensitive technical data, or the Export Administration Regulation (EAR), 15 CFR Parts 730-774, which controls dual use items. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign nationals (FNs), their country(ies) of origin, the type of visa or work permit possessed, and the statement of work (SOW) tasks intended for accomplishment by the FN(s) in accordance with section 5.4.c.(8) of the Announcement. Offerors are advised foreign nationals proposed to perform on this topic may be restricted due to the technical data under US Export Control Laws.

OBJECTIVE: Develop an S-band transmit/receive (T/R) module suitable for use in a next-generation Navy airborne radar.

DESCRIPTION: The Navy currently needs an S-band transmit/receive (T/R) module with sufficient power density to make an airborne 360-degree electronically-scanned array (ESA) viable as a functional surveillance asset.  The current state of the art T/R modules lack sufficient power density to obtain the desired Equivalent Isotropically Radiated Power (EIRP).  Novel ways are sought in order to increase power density to a usable level. The resulting solution should be ruggedized to meet military avionics requirements including but not limited to: MIL-STD-704F (power), MIL-STD-461F (electromagnetic compatibility), and MIL-STD-810G w/ CHANGE 1 (environmental: temperature, altitude (45,000 ft), salt mist, explosive atmosphere vibration, shock, aircraft carrier catapult launch and arrested landing).

1) Cost: Because active airborne surveillance ESA radar is likely to result in thousands of antenna elements, production cost must be considered a driving factor.  Manufacturing techniques to minimize element costs should be considered.
2) Size: The target volume of the S-band module is 8.0 cubic inches.
3) Weight: The target weight of each module is < 8oz.
4) DC Power: Aircraft typically operate on 28 VDC and 115 volt 3 phase 400 HZ  AC power 5) RF Power: 350 watts peak, > 10% duty cycle.
6) Efficiency: Best possible.
7) Frequency: S-band (3.3GHz nominal center frequency)
8) Target 3dB Bandwidth: Greater than 15%
9) Cooling: Via cold plate, hosted by platform.
10) Scanning: Must support an antenna array architecture that will scan in azimuth and elevation.
11) Receiver input center frequency: 3.3GHz
12) Receiver analog bandwidth: 700MHz
13) Receiver Spurious Free Dynamic Range (SFDR): 75dB
14) Receiver input clock rate: 100MHz
15) Receiver output complex sample rate: up to 1 billion complex baseband samples per second
16) Receiver/Processor/Interface power consumption: =20W
17) Receiver digital signal processor must allow for digital down-converters with variable decimation ratios that provide filtering and reduce the output data rate. They might include frequency translation stages (numerically controlled oscillators for example), finite impulse response (FIR) filtering stages, gain stages, and complex-to-real conversion stages.  Numerically controlled oscillators (NCOs) and digital mixers allow tuning the center of the bandwidth of interest to baseband.
18) Reliability: Because host platforms are likely to be deployed at sea via aircraft carrier for months, and because element- or module-level maintenance is expected to be a depot-level Navy function, reliability is a prime concern and a policy of graceful degradation must be consistent with the proposed architecture.

It is recommended, though not required, that the performers work closely with original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to ensure development and integration goes smoothly.  For this effort, at a minimum, Northrop Grumman will be an OEM partner to PMA 231.

Work produced in Phase II may become classified. Note: The prospective contractor(s) must be U.S. Owned and Operated with no Foreign Influence as defined by DOD 5220.22-M, National Industrial Security Program Operating Manual, unless acceptable mitigating procedures can and have been implemented and approved by the Defense Security Service (DSS). The selected contractor and/or subcontractor must be able to acquire and maintain a secret level facility and Personnel Security Clearances, in order to perform on advanced phases of this contract as set forth by DSS and NAVAIR in order to gain access to classified information pertaining to the national defense of the United States and its allies; this will be an inherent requirement. The selected company will be required to safeguard classified material IAW DoD 5220.22-M during the advance phases of this contract.

PHASE I: Design, develop, and demonstrate a top-level concept for an S-band T/R module design that meets the criteria listed in the Description.  Address lifecycle support for the T/R module early to ensure a T/R system that is realizable, manufacturable, and maintainable.  Identify and/or model parts deemed critical to the effort if possible.  Develop plans for delivering a breadboard prototype in Phase II.  The environmental requirements for the E-2D radar will be provided.

PHASE II: Based on the results of Phase I, develop two prototype (i.e. brassboard) T/R modules for evaluation, as well as any unique support electronics.  The prototypes should be consistent with the top-level architecture, continue to advance the design in accordance with host platform radar system definition, and host airframe capabilities and limitations data that will be provided by the Government.  Support the development of a preliminary T/R module design document that captures the prototype architecture.

It is probable that the work under this effort will be classified under Phase II (see Description section for details).

PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: Codify system definition via a formalized system readiness review (SRR), to be followed by formal design review events.  Produce T/R modules and support electronics advanced development models (ADMs) in quantities sufficient for qualification testing in both laboratory and airborne testing environments.  These tests will include shock, vibration, temperature, Salt Mist, Cats & Traps, and humidity levels typical of an aircraft carrier operational environment.  Develop and document production processes.  The U.S. domestic Radio Frequency (RF) semiconductor market supplies commercial as well as military entities and advances in semiconductor and Radio Frequency Integrated Circuit (RFIC) technology, though first implemented in military systems eventually transitioned to commercial product lines.  Examples being Global Positioning System use and the evolution of the Internet and cellular phones.


1. U.S. Frequency Allocation Chart as of October 2003. www.ntia.doc.gov/legacy/osmhome/Chp04Chart.pdf

2. Kopp, B.A., Borkowski, M., and Jerinic, G. “Transmit/Receive Modules.” IEEE Transactions on Microwave Theory and Techniques, March 2002, Vol. 50, Issue 3, pp. 827-834. http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/989966/

3. Katz, A. & Franco, M. “GaN Comes of Age.” IEEE Microwave Magazine (Supplement) December 2010, Vol. 11, Issue 7, pp. S24-S34. http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/5590355/

4. Campbell, C.F. et al. “GaN Takes the Lead.” IEEE Microwave Magazine, Sept./Oct. 2012, Vol 13, Issue 6, pp. 44-53. http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/6305005/

5. Felbinger, J.G. et al. “Comparison of GaN HEMTs on Diamond and SiC Substrates.” IEEE Electron Devices Letters, 28 Nov. 2007, pp. 948-950. http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/4367547/




KEYWORDS: Gallium Nitride; Silicon Carbide; Diamond Substrate; GaN on Diamond; Transmit/receive Modules; Radio Frequency Integrated Circuits


These Navy Topics are part of the overall DoD 2018.1 SBIR BAA. The DoD issued its 2018.1 BAA SBIR pre-release on November 29, 2017, which opens to receive proposals on January 8, 2018, and closes February 7, 2018 at 8:00 PM ET.

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