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Digital Battlespace

Aether Spy progresses to next phase

16th October 2020 - 13:03 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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Transition to digital AESA technology aligns with USAF digital engineering initiatives

The Aether Spy multifunction radar programme for the USAF is entering the design phase after successfully completing the system requirements review.

Northrop Grumman is providing the software backbone for the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) programme.

Aether Spy is intended as the next step in multifunction wideband digital AESA technology, based on advanced microelectronics that were developed under the DARPA Arrays on Commercial Timescales programme.

New integrated circuits include additional processing and key design features. These advanced devices ‘will be fabricated and integrated into an advanced digital AESA to demonstrate a multifunction system capable of simultaneously performing multiple sensing, communication and electronic warfare functions’, Northrop Grumman announced on 13 October.

Thomas Dalrymple, technical advisor for sensor subsystems at the AFRL Sensors Directorate, said: ‘Aether Spy will enable significant improvements in surveillance and battle management missions in the future battlespace. The multifunction aspects are enabled by both software and hardware reprogrammability that will ensure this sensor will have operational impact for years to come.’

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