Navy Selects Mercury Systems to Provide Airborne Electronic Warfare (EW) Technology to Confuse Enemy Radar

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NAS PATUXENT RIVER, Maryland – Mercury Systems Electronic Warfare (EW) experts will continue their work on DRFM-based airborne electronic attack technology for the US Navy, which can disrupt enemy radar by projecting several different fake radar images.

Officials from US Naval Air Systems Command at Patuxent River Naval Air Station, Md., Last week announced an $ 11.8 million order from Mercury Defense Systems in Cypress, Calif., For the systems. Advanced Digital Radio Frequency Memories (A-DRFM) and Components.

This project is related to DRFM electronic jammers, which provide consistent delay of RF signals in applications such as radar and electronic warfare. It also produces consistent deception radar jamming by replaying a captured radar pulse with a small delay, making the target appear to be moving.

This order concerns 12 A-DRFM type I.v1 production units, each configured with two 18 GHz radio frequency converter modules and two micro-DRFM modules; and seven A-DRFM type II.v3 production units, each configured with four 7-11 GHz radio frequency converter modules and four micro-DRFM modules.

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The contract also covers data from Phase III of the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) effort for advanced techniques for RF and microwave technologies of digital radio frequency memories for the US Navy and the Air Force.

DRFM can also modulate the captured pulse data in amplitude, frequency and phase to provide other effects. A Doppler shift correlates the distance trackers and the distance rate trackers in the radar. DRFM can also replay the captured radar pulses multiple times to trick the radar into perceiving many targets.

Mercury developed the Modular Digital Receiver Exciter (MoDREx) to complement systems using full EW suites under a previous Navy SBIR contract. MoDREx is a suite of flight qualified subassemblies with capabilities researched and demonstrated as part of Navy SBIR N06-036 Advanced Techniques for DRFM.

The system helps generate electronic attack (EA) techniques, ranging from individual transmitters to multiple independent transmitters. MoDREx transmitter filtering separates multiple transmitter signals, while its generation of adaptive technique responds to transmitter changes.

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Mercury engineers derived MoDREx from the company’s expertise in flight test and training DRFM subsystems and tactical DRFM solutions. It supports emerging EW applications that do not or cannot afford a full EW radar alert receiver, according to Mercury officials. The modular architecture of MoDREx allows system integrators to tailor system capabilities to the application or mission.

MoDREx technology includes integrated digital broadband technology; receiver and controller; one to six RF converter modules; one to twelve micro-DRFM modules; integrated broadband digital receiver / controller; characterization and identification of transmitters; a library of electronic attack techniques adapted to the characteristics of the input signal; ability to track up to 12 coincident transmitters in time; sorting and routing of multi-threat signals to the RF converter and assigned micro-DRFMs.

This technology also offers characterization and logging support; post analysis / verification / validation; tunable RF converter modules, each assigned to a tracked transmitter; converts transmitter band to micro-DRFM instantaneous bandwidth (IBW); Scalability to vary performance and bandwidth; modules integrating a DRFM, a technique generator and a tracker; eight-bit amplitude encoding at 1 GHz IBW; internal techniques against several issuers; multiple electronic attack responses and simultaneous transmitter signals; up to eight independent electronic responses / targets / attack modules; and programmable electronic attack response to targets for distance, Doppler, amplitude, phase, noise, and arbitrary waveform generation.

Small packages, fast response, and large volumes of low-latency compute power define the modern DRFM evolution, according to Mercury officials. The company can produce DRFM modules as thin as 0.44 inches that capitalize on the local oscillator (LO) technology of the direct digital synthesizer (DDS).

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DDS offers sub-microsecond tuning speeds over a wide bandwidth, while advanced circuit design and simulation help reduce spurious, intermodule, and phase noise.

Mercury Defense Systems, formerly KOR Electronics, developed the Mercury Airborne 1225 Advanced DRFM Electronic Warfare Jammers (EW) to support Navy and Air Force aircraft.

Mercury engineers developed rugged, air-cooled and air-cooled 3-bit digital miniaturized RF (DRFM) memory for aerial vehicle, pod and unmanned applications with a bandwidth of up to 1200 MHz. It is self-contained with internal techniques and RF and power supplies.

On this order, Mercury will perform work in Cypress, Calif., And West Caldwell, NJ, and is expected to be completed by December 2022. For more information, contact Mercury Systems online at www.mrcy.com, or Naval Air Systems Command at www. navair.navy.mil.

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