Multifunctional Phased Array Antenna Systems- Survey


  • Andreas Gustafsson
  • Anders Nelander
  • Per Grahn
  • Lars Pettersson

Publish date: 2013-09-26

Report number: FOI-R--3681--SE

Pages: 34

Written in: Swedish


  • Multifunction
  • Phased array antennas
  • AESA
  • PESA
  • SAR
  • MEMS
  • Sensor
  • management.


Along with the progress within the software and hardware area there is a growing interest in systems that can perform more than one task. The progress opens up new possibilities for realization of systems including flexibility and multifunctionality. One single system could, for example, operate in several frequency bands, at varying bandwidths and power levels. It could also operate different radar functions and act as a communication link. Often flexible and multifunctional systems are realized by phased array antennas, where several individual antenna elements cooperate and acts as one large antenna. By individual phase steering of each antenna element the large antenna beam direction can be chosen to the wanted direction, which gives flexibility. There will also be no need for mechanical parts for rotating the antenna, which cost both money and high maintenance. Multifunction system we have identified in the study include the combined aircraft and weather surveillance MPAR from the USA and the naval system IM400 from Thales in the Netherlands who developed an integrated mast, where E/O and radar sensors are integrated together with communication links. Within the area of spaced based systems there are SAR-based satellite systems based on phased array antenna technology. Operating systems today use mostly analog beam steering, but coming systems will be based on digital beamforming. The sensor management has in principle not changed much lately. The most significant improvements are on the theoretical side where the understanding of the problem has increased as well as our ability to deal with complex systems. In the area of radar architectures, the PESA architecture has been paid a lot of attention to, since low-loss phase shifters are starting to be available by the development of RFMEMS