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Raytheon demonstrates SDR for DARPA

23rd November 2021 - 09:45 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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RI&S successfully demonstrated integration of Intel’s Direct RF FPGA technology to the E-Alpha. (Photo: Raytheon)

Raytheon Intelligence & Space has successfully demonstrated the integration of Intel’s System-on-a-Chip into Raytheon’s E-Alpha module.

DARPA has selected Raytheon to design, integrate and demonstrate capabilities of Intel’s Direct RF FPGA technology as part of the Electronics Resurgence Initiative: Defense Applications programme.

This demonstration resulted in the first software-defined radio (SDR) using Intel’s Direct RF FPGA technology embedded in Raytheon’s E-Alpha radio module.

The compact module features analogue and digital components that directly digitise and synthesise RF signals.

Both are critical in establishing resilient communications in a joint, multi-domain battlespace.

Aaron Maestas, chief engineer for advanced concepts and technologies at Raytheon Intelligence & Space, gave a useful analogy of this demonstration: ‘Imagine you’re standing in a sports stadium – a noisy and crowded environment… with this demo we’ve figured out how to clearly and distinctly hear a single whisper’.

This module improves response time while increasing functionality. With up to eight high-fidelity receive and transmit channels, each fully programmable, E-Alpha eliminates complex and costly RF conversion, filtering and amplification.

E-Alpha can be inserted into a variety of SWaP-constrained DoD and commercial applications needing advanced electromagnetic spectrum processing, such as USAF’s Advanced Battle Management System.

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