Part 1: Approaches for the Realization of Phased Arrays for Defense and Civil Applications
Douglas J. Carlson, Senior Vice President of Technology
MACOM Technology Solutions Inc.
Phased Array technology has been a critical enabling technology for defense applications for several decades. Emerging civil communications and sensing applications are actively being deployed. Affordability and performance are the two key driving attributes in the realization of phased array systems. Array architecture options, RF component choices, Transmit/Receive module design and manufacturing technologies are all driven by system performance requirements. A review of trends the underlying semiconductors, packaging and assembly technologies will be presented with examples of utilization and challenges.
Part 2: Affordable Silicon-Based Phased-Arrays: Architectures, Chips, and Implementations
Gabriel M. Rebeiz, Distinguished Professor, Member of the National Academy Wireless Communications Industry Endowed Chair, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, The University of California, San Diego
Affordable phased-arrays, built using low-cost silicon (and some GaAs chips), have become an essential technology for high data-rate satellite (SATCOM) and terrestrial (5G) systems due to their high gain, electronically steerable patterns, narrow beamwidths, high tolerance to interference and adaptive nulling capabilities. They have become the backbone of all LEO and MEO satellites both at the payload level and for the user-terminals. High EIRP, high-performance systems at X-band to V-band with analog and digital beamforming capabilities and with multiple beams, are now available at low-cost. This talk summarizes the work in this area, present the architectures used, the chips used and some real phased-array examples.
Part 3: Attritable Approach to T/R Module Development for Phased Arrays
William Weedon, Applied Radar, Inc.
The past 25 years has seen a massive shift in phased array technology from primarily analog GaAs-based phased T/R modules consisting of discrete band-specific MMIC amplifier and phase-shifter chips to more advanced components including GaN PA’s, multi-channel SiGe phase shifter/attenuator chips, CMOS drivers and RF chips, and direct RF sampling using CMOS technology. Where chip-and-wire manufacturing once dominated, the preference now is towards surface-mount pick-and-place and integration of multiple chips into a ball grid array (BGA) or land grid array (LGA) to reduce assembly costs and increase reliability. Applications that were once dominated by defense radar applications including fighter aircraft, missiles guidance, electronic warfare jammers and passive sensors, and ship based radar are now including low-cost and much higher-volume applications such as 5G wireless arrays with massive MIMO and low-cost unmanned array sensors. The closely-held phased array components that were once limited to US defense contractors and their allies are now manufactured across the globe. Many more applications are also pushing towards millimeter-wave arrays in order to increase bandwidth and decrease array size. This talk will discuss the paradigm shift towards the lower cost, higher volume, higher frequencies, and higher performance phased arrays, and the enabling technologies. This talk will review some of these trends in T/R module technology over the past 25 years, and discuss potential approaches for low-cost “attritable” systems such as found on UAS systems as well as commercial array systems.