AESA (Active Electronically Scanned Array) radars offer a number of improvements over previous-generation technologies. They are more sensitive. They have better operational “uptime” because moving parts are eliminated, and the failure of one module doesn’t take the entire radar off line or leave it useless. They are also far better at handling large numbers of targets. AESA radars can do many things at once by just dedicating groups of transmit/receive (T/R) modules to each task, instead of switching rapidly between targets to simulate multi-tasking. Among other abilities.
The challenge for AESA radars has been cost, specifically the cost of the thousands of individual T/R modules that make up an AESA array. In July 2008, Raytheon produced a release regarding a variant technology called AESLA, an Active Electronically Scanned Lens Array radar. Their approach was aimed at improving the cost of an AESA radar’s T/R modules, a move that could have industry-wide significance if successful.
To find out more, DID talked to Joe Smolko, Raytheon’s program manager for the AESLA effort.
- AESLA: The Imperative, and the Idea
- AESLA: Employment and Uses
- AESLA: Funding and Next Steps
- Additional Readings & Sources