A. Lorne Graves, Mercury Systems
DoD has challenged microwave designers with creating subsystems with performance at or in some cases beyond the state of the art - and were just happy to get something that works, even at high cost.
Due to shrinking Department of Defense (DoD) budgets and ever-decreasing platform size, the need to use common apertures and sensor chain elements for Electronic Warfare (EW) and radar systems is becoming a necessity. System developers must use common elements from Radio Frequency (RF) to processing to build such systems. The linchpin of these types of sensor-based systems is the I/O interface between the RF and processing elements. FPGAs have traditionally been used as this I/O interface, but now they are serving as an integral part of the processing subsystem on common EW radar systems.
The use of a Modular Open System Architecture (MOSA) can provide cost savings, and performance and upgrade flexibility gains, in digital receiver designs for use in Electronic Warfare (EW). Some approaches to employing MOSA in digital receivers are illustrated, as well as the benefits achieved.