DARPA Wants to Develop New Signal-Processing Methods to Improve Radar Performance

DARPA Wants to Develop New Signal-Processing Methods to Improve Radar Performance

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is seeking to improve radar performance by applying innovative signal-processing methods with the Beyond Linear Processing (BLiP) program. BLiP will leverage high-power computer processing to explore new, non-linear and iterative signal processing techniques that could lead to lighter, smaller, and less expensive – but equally capable – radar systems. If successful, BLiP would enable the same radar performance achieved on large platforms today on much smaller sea, air, and ground platforms.

Radar systems have seen many technological improvements in apertures (antennas) and associated hardware and software since the nascent operational versions in World War II. What hasn’t changed significantly over the decades, however, is that radars still use linear signal processing between the aperture and the detector. The BLiP programme will accomplish linear signal processing digitally with microchips and software.

“A lot of radar improvements over the past 30 years have focused on growing the size of the aperture for greater sensitivity or increasing transmitter power,” said Frank Robey, BLiP program manager in DARPA’s Strategic Technology Office. “Those are important, but if we want to shrink aperture size by 50% and still get the same radar performance then we need to disrupt the linear signal processing paradigm. With the tremendous increases in computer processing power available today, we can take a fresh look at radar signal processing and explore iterative, leap-ahead techniques.”

BLiP will address the current immaturity of non-linear and iterative signal processing methods. Over the course of the two-year program, end-to-end radar signal processing chains will be developed, analyzed, implemented and tested – initially through non-real-time laboratory testing and culminating in real-time implementation and full-scale field testing using an operational National Weather Service radar. Key technical challenges for BLiP will be the development, understanding, and optimization of the signal processing chain, and the practical aspects of implementing BLiP algorithms using real-time, high-performance processing.

A Proposers Day for interested proposers for the BLIP program was held on Oct. 28. The BLiP Broad Agency Announcement solicitation provides full program details for submitting an abstract and/or proposal.

Click here to learn more about The BLiP Programme.

Publisher: everything RF
Tags:-   SoftwareRadarResearch