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Subject: Active advances made in Australia
AMTP10E    8/20/2005 9:32:49 AM
INTERNATIONAL DEFENCE REVIEW - SEPTEMBER 01, 2005 Active advances made in Australia Richard Scott Australia's CEA Technologies is promoting its indigenously developed active phased-array radar technology for naval surveillance and missile-guidance applications. Richard Scott reports. A pending decision from Australia's Department of Defence could mark a significant breakthrough for active phased-array radar technology developed by CEA Technologies Pty Ltd over the past decade. The company's CEA-FAR radar is under consideration for the Anti-Ship Missile Defence (ASMD) upgrade of the Royal Australian Navy's (RAN's) eight ANZAC-class frigates and, following successful at-sea demonstrations during 2004, CEA's management is today cautiously confident that its solution has won the backing of the relevant customer and acquisition communities. If the selection of CEA-FAR for ANZAC ASMD is endorsed, it would mark the true coming of age for a medium-sized Australian enterprise that traces its corporate heritage back to 1983. Originally created as a specialist radar and communications engineering house servicing the needs of the Australian Defence Force, CEA has since established itself as a niche player in both local and overseas markets in a number of technology areas, including maritime surveillance and vessel traffic management, communications, antenna design, data fusion, phased-array radar and radio-frequency (RF) systems. Headquartered in an industrial suburb of the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), with additional facilities in Melbourne, Adelaide and San Diego (the latter to support US operations), the group currently has a combined workforce of just over 200 full-time employees. With a strong corporate focus on research, design and engineering, CEA has over its brief history championed the demonstration and exploitation of novel component and subsystem technologies as a route to bringing production-engineered high-technology products to market. The company's development of active phased-array radar systems - using electronic beam-forming and scanning processes to dynamically and adaptively co-ordinate the activity of thousands of individual transmit/receive elements across an array face - for military, security and civil applications across land, sea and air has been very much shaped in this mould.
 
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AMTP10E    RE:Active advances made in Australia pt 2   8/20/2005 9:36:17 AM
CEA-FAR ahead Operating in the S band (E/F band), the CEA-FAR solid-state, programmable, fully coherent active phased-array radar system is at the core of CEA's active phased-array capability. Applicable to widely varying applications and environments, the system is capable of processing phased-array radar signals in a multifunction environment, and of the automatic detection and tracking of large numbers of high- and low-speed targets in a three-dimensional observation space. By utilising a modular array that can be configured to meet customer-specific performance and platform trade-offs, CEA-FAR can be scaled according to individual operational, physical and budgetary requirements. The first sales of CEA-FAR, to a US government agency, were recorded in March 2000. Three low-power ground-based Air Defence Systems, entering service in late 2001, were delivered to enhance the security of government facilities by automatically detecting and identifying potential airborne incursions. Maritime surveillance variants of CEA-FAR share the same fundamental design architecture based around the concept of a modular tile active array. The active array is comprised of a number of static faces arranged to provide 360 degree surveillance, with each array face populated by a number of tiles (as array building blocks). Each tile, 332 mm2 in area and around 8 kg in weight, has 64 Gallium Arsenide-based transmit/ receive elements. Radar performance is increased by adding tiles and thereby increasing the array aperture (typically, using the same waveform, doubling the array size increases the free-space range by a factor of 1.68). The transmit waveform generation, receive function and signal processing is now fully integrated onto the array face, significantly enhancing stability and flexibility. This also means that the interface to a face is simplified to control/data, frequency and timing references. Each face can now operate as an independent or integrated radar resource. This allows the scan time to be significantly and positively impacted by the parallel operation of the faces for most modes. Another key attribute of CEA-FAR highlighted by CEA is the system's low ship installation impact, with power, weight and size intended to enable a straightforward physical and electronic interface, as well as flexible antenna-siting options. The remaining below-decks electronic and data-processing hardware is packaged in purpose-designed modular enclosures providing full environmental and shock protection and designed to simplify ease of installation and maintenance. The functionality of these units, which can be sited at long distances from the arrays, provides frequency and timing references, and overall radar control and tracking based on plots from all faces. The radar control unit also provides the integrated interface to the combat system and ship's motion data source. Connection to the antenna faces is via non-phase critical cables. The antenna power supply is from 48 V DC, with direct conversion to 48 V from 440 V three-phase AC [50-60 Hz]). Power output can be varied to permit operation in low-probability-of-intercept modes. According to CEA, "the nature of active arrays, the flexible hardware design of CEA-FAR and the ability to dynamically change waveforms, scan times and other features of the radar allows the performance to be dynamically tasked"; the company further notes that the transmission duty cycle, pulse-to-pulse frequency agility, beam dwell time, scan volume and beam pattern can all be modified to optimise performance according to the operational mode, threat type and prevalent operating conditions. However, CEA declines to elaborate on the beam-forming techniques used by CEA-FAR, beyond stating that "independent beam-forming for receive and transmit beams [provides] additional dynamic performance flexibility". CEA first advanced CEA-FAR for the abortive ANZAC Warfighting Improvement Programme (WIP). The WIP aimed to endow the ANZAC ships with an advanced air-warfare capability (including a phased-array radar), but its scope proved over-ambitious, resulting in the cancellation of the project in 1999. In the wake of the WIP, the ANZAC ASMD update has set out with the more modest aim of improving ship self-defence against the more stressing air threats likely to be encountered beyond 2010, with the candidacy of CEA-FAR recently scrutinised through a programme of shipborne evaluation. Under a separate line of development, CEA has worked closely with Saab Systems to develop the Naval Advanced Air Warfare System baselined by German shipbuilder Blohm+Voss (part of ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems) for the MEKO 'D' and MEKO 'X' frigate design concepts, first presented at the MECON 2002 conference. A further high-powered evolution of CEA-FAR, known as AUSPAR (Australia/United States Phased Array Radar), is being developed using Australian and US funding (execution of the AUSPAR Project Arra
 
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AMTP10E    RE:Active advances made in Australia pt 3   8/20/2005 9:38:17 AM
Solid-state illumination The same technology concepts underpinning CEA-FAR have been applied to the transmit-only CEA-MOUNT active phased-array missile illuminator, which has further benefited from CEA's experience in developing the Solid State Continuous Wave Illuminator (SSCWI) transmitter for the ANZAC frigate programme. In this latter application the continuous-wave illuminator (CWI) is used to provide continuous RF output to support guidance and air target illumination for the Raytheon RIM-7P NATO SeaSparrow Missile System and RIM-162 Evolved SeaSparrow Missile (ESSM) system. Conceived as a direct form and functional replacement for the now ageing Raytheon Mk 73 CWI, which relies on fragile vacuum tube technology that is prone to inadvertent failure, the new SSCWI provides identical control and functionality with the hardware control interface while at the same time affording superior performance, reduced size, and enhanced maintainability and reliability. This is achieved through the use of multiple distributed solid-state power amplifiers based on commercial off-the-shelf discrete devices. Another advantage cited by CEA is the comparatively low voltage level at which the SSCWI operates: while vacuum tube-based systems need high-voltage power supplies - a high-risk requirement in high-humidity maritime environments - the lower-voltage solid-state alternative is far more tolerant of humidity and inadvertent leakage paths. Developing 2 kW of continuous RF energy, the SSCWI has been designed to occupy the same footprint as the earlier Mk 73 CWI. A modern system interface allows it to be controlled via the combat system: in the case of the ANZAC frigates, the transmitter is controlled by the Saab Systems 9LV 453 command, fire-control and target indication system. CEA received a contract for SSCWI development and the production of an initial six systems in 1995, with deliveries to the Commonwealth beginning in 2000. In January 2003 the performance of the SSCWI fitted to HMAS Warramunga was demonstrated during a successful ESSM test firing undertaken off the coast of Western Australia. The system was proven again aboard Warramunga in September 2003 during tests at the US Pacific Missile Range Facility in Hawaii, which formed part of the operational test and evaluation trials for the introduction of ESSM into RAN service. A AUD12 million (USD9.1 million) follow-on order for a further three systems, plus spares and support, was placed by the Defence Materiel Organisation in December 2002. In 2004 CEA Technologies secured a first export sale for the SSCWI product line, receiving a contract from United Arab Emirates (UAE) shipbuilder Abu Dhabi Ship Building for the manufacture, delivery and installation of a 1 kW variant for the UAE Naval Forces' six new Baynunah-class corvettes. In this application the SSCWI transmitters will be integrated with the SELEX Sistemi Integrati SpA NA 25XM fire-control system and IPN-S command-and-control system to provide target illumination for ESSM. According to CEA, the modular design and construction of the generic SSCWI technology has allowed the company to scale down the size, power and weight requirements of the transmitters to meet the volume constraints of the Baynunah corvettes whilst retaining high-performance target illumination.
 
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AMTP10E    RE:Active advances made in Australia pt 4   8/20/2005 9:40:42 AM
Start for CEA-MOUNT Drawing on knowledge accrued during the SSCWI development programme, in 1998 CEA embarked on the development of the CEA-MOUNT active phased-array illuminator under the sponsorship of the Commonwealth's AusIndustry R&D Start Program. Separately the company has signed a partnering agreement with BAE Systems Australia for the latter to take CEA-MOUNT to both domestic and international markets. Designed to provide target illumination and missile uplink for semi-active homing missiles, CEA-MOUNT is an X-band (I/J-band) active phased-array CWI, slaved to a surveillance/target indication radar, capable of supporting multiple simultaneous channels of fire and scalable to suit the particular coverage requirements of local-area weapons such as ESSM, and longer-range missiles such as the Standard Missile SM-2. The initial engineering concept was for a steerable phased-array transmitter (either a 1 m or 1.6 m array aperture for the respective medium- and long-range versions) able to support multiple simultaneous channels of fire. CEA says that this synergy of electronic beam-steering and mechanical positioning enables a rapid response to multiple-target environments compared with conventional illuminators. Also, the use of electronic beam-steering allows for a much simpler antenna-positioning mechanism (within the agile director), reducing cost, maintenance and mean time between failures. CEA also claims that the phase-steering technology employed has solved the phase noise effects often associated with electronic beam-steering. The CEA-MOUNT's physical architecture is based on a tile array structure, with 256 elements grouped together as an Antenna Lowest Replaceable Unit (ALRU) equivalent to a tile in the CEA-FAR system. The number of ALRUs, which are nominally configured in an NxN configuration to meet power-out requirements, determines illumination performance. As well as supporting home-all-the-way guidance and inertial mid-course guidance, CEA-MOUNT will also be able to support the interrupted continuous-wave illumination (ICWI) technique. In the ICWI mode, says CEA, the "number of missiles that can be in terminal illumination simultaneously using single-beam operation is determined by missile parameters, but is significantly greater than shared function faces where time has to be allocated for fire-control radar tracking and possible search processing". The system will provide missile rear reference by either an efficient steered low-energy beam or a broad-volume-coverage beam. The grant from the R&D Start Program, along with matching funding from BAE Systems Australia, jointly funded the development of a CEA-MOUNT medium-range advanced technology demonstration system under a four-year AUD6.2 million programme. CEA Technologies completed assembly, integration and testing at its facility in Adelaide, South Australia, with SYDAC subcontracted for the mechanical elements of the advanced development model. Following laboratory and field testing at CEA's own measurement facility, array testing was completed at CSIRO's chamber facility in Sydney in March 2002. According to CEA, these trials successfully validated all of the demonstrator programme objectives. Since that time CEA has conducted a technology update of the CEA-MOUNT product line, introducing Monolithic Microwave Integrated Circuit technology to reduce weight and increase power output. This multi-part contract for design (awarded in June 2004), build and test (awarded in June 2005) has in turn enabled the company to offer a multiple fixed-face-array CEA-MOUNT configuration (as proposed for the ANZAC ASMD upgrade). The outcome of this programme will be a production-ready ALRU available in the first half of 2006. However, the company will provide the steerable CEA-MOUNT system for applications requiring higher power and therefore a larger aperture. One such opportunity could be Project SEA 4000 - the programme to acquire three new Air Warfare Destroyers for the RAN - where CEA-MOUNT technology may be considered as an alternative to the Mk 99 fire-control group currently associated with the Aegis Weapon System.
 
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AMTP10E    RE:Active advances made in Australia pt 5   8/20/2005 9:42:16 AM
TAKING CEA-FAR TO SEA Under Project SEA 1448 Phase 1D a CEA-FAR radar demonstrator was subject to an extended period of operational testing and evaluation designed to confirm the operation of CEA-FAR in a ship environment and to collect data on the performance of the system in a maritime environment. The CEA-FAR to Sea (CF2C) demonstration programme culminated in at-sea trials aboard the Royal Australian Navy's (RAN's) ANZAC frigate HMAS Arunta in 2004. CEA Technologies was brought under contract for the CF2C evaluation system - utilising four CEA-FAR arrays (each array comprising 4x4 tiles) - in October 2001. The first phase of trials was undertaken at a land-based test site at the RAN's Beecroft Weapons Range facility at Jervis Bay. The objectives of the land-based test programme were to validate CEA-FAR performance modes and to demonstrate air surveillance and tracking, target engagement support, target angle and rate accuracy, simultaneous horizon and volume search, surface surveillance, and weather and clutter immunity. Trials at Jervis Bay concluded in October 2003, by which time the evaluation system had been tested over a period of four months. Testing had initially used remote data collection and targets of opportunity operating in the vicinity. Later, dedicated target surrogates were employed. The follow-on sea trial programme required the installation of the four CEA-FAR array faces around the base of Arunta's forward mast module while minimising impact on and from existing sensors. Internal equipment required location in areas to minimise existing ship evolutions while enabling ready access for trials purposes. AMT performed the design of the CEA-FAR ship installation under contract to the ANZAC Alliance. This included the complete design and platform integration and development of the installation work package. AMT worked closely with CEA and the ANZAC Alliance members in developing and defining the ship platform interfaces of the CEA-FAR system for the greatest efficiency of shipboard integration. The installation phase took place in December 2003. To support the trial, CEA and Saab Systems developed a package that integrated CEA-FAR with the Saab Systems 9LV combat management system so that radar tracks could be displayed on multifunction consoles in the operations room and allow assessment of the radar's performance with other ship sensors. At-sea testing was performed in order to validate CEA-FAR performance on a moving platform, assess levels of interference and mutual effects, and validate the system stabilisation algorithms. The formal project sea trials programme was successfully completed on 16 March 2004. However, the system remained on board through to November 2004 so that the evaluation could run for an extended period so as to gather additional performance data.
 
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AMTP10E    RE:Active advances made in Australia pt 5   8/20/2005 9:44:12 AM
PHASED-ARRAY RADAR OPTION AIMS AT ANZAC FRIGATE ASMD UPDATE Australia's Department of Defence (DoD) is currently weighing up the option to integrate the CEA-FAR phased-array radar and associated CEA-MOUNT missile illuminator as part of the Anti-Ship Missile Defence (ASMD) upgrade of the Royal Australian Navy's (RAN's) ANZAC-class frigates. The phased-array radar option has been studied as an alternative to the addition of an extra conventional radar fire-control director, with the appraisal further informed by land-based and shipborne trials of the CEA-FAR to Sea (CF2C) evaluation system performed over the past two and a half years. Under Project SEA 1448, all eight of the RAN's ANZAC frigates are to receive significant ASMD enhancements designed to ensure an improved level of self-defence against modern anti-ship missiles. Phase 2A, which is already under contract through the ANZAC Alliance, covers improvements to the existing Saab Systems command-and-control system to shorten the detect-to-engage sequence, and the installation of an infrared search-and-track system providing improved detection and indication of air threats in cluttered environments close to land. Phase 2B, which has yet to be formally approved, covers planned improvements to the ships' fire-control capability plus the possible installation of two very-short-range air-defence weapon systems to provide close-in protection against supersonic anti-ship missiles. While the baseline fire-control upgrade would provide for one additional Saab Systems Ceros 200 radar director for a second channel of fire, the Australian DoD has in parallel assessed the benefits offered by the CEA-FAR active phased-array radar. According to CEA Technologies, the configuration being proposed for Project SEA 1448 Phase 2B would see the existing Sea Giraffe target indication radar and its lattice mast structure removed to make way for an enclosed mast accommodating a medium-power six-face CEA-FAR system and a four-face CEA-MOUNT illuminator. It is anticipated that the new structure would return both weight and moment to the platform compared with the current forward mast assembly. While only four faces were required to validate CEA-FAR performance in the CF2C trial, CEA-FAR is nominally configured with six faces: this configuration has been proposed for the ANZAC ASMD programme. CEA Technologies notes that six faces are preferred because, while any of the faces can scan up to 90? if required, the six-face configuration limits the degradation of the beam pattern and gain as the beam scan angle approaches the edge of the face coverage. By using six arrays, the CEA-FAR system will be able to scan using six simultaneous beams, allowing for a higher data refresh for fire-control quality tracking. This capability will significantly enhance the automated threat evaluation/weapon assignment function provided by the 9LV combat management system. Furthermore, the company says, this configuration can continue to maintain full hemispherical coverage - albeit at a reduced data update rate - in the event that up to two arrays (so long as they are not adjacent) are damaged or lost. While the ASMD task demands that CEA-FAR would primarily operate in horizon search mode in order to detect incoming air threats, with the Raytheon AN/SPS-49 system performing volume surveillance, CEA says that the radar is equally capable of three-dimensional search operations and will dynamically track within its range limits. Another benefit advanced by CEA is the ability of CEA-FAR to maintain a full track-while-scan capability while CEA-MOUNT provides missile illumination support in all four quadrants and provides for more than 10 simultaneous fire-control channels. The company sees this decoupling of surveillance and missile-guidance functions as a major discriminator against rival phased-array systems that timeshare their energy budget between surveillance and target illumination.
 
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AMTP10E    Finished   8/20/2005 9:45:14 AM
Hopefully this won't cause Strategypage to cr*p itself.
 
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gf0012-aust    RE:Finished   8/20/2005 9:54:47 AM
So the AUSPAR unit in the Washington DC has been separately funded? (ie just by the yanks??)
 
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AMTP10E    RE:Finished   8/20/2005 10:16:21 AM
As I understand it, it is mostly funded by the Yanks. There is an agreement between us and them but I'm not sure of the exact details.
 
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scraw    RE:Finished   8/20/2005 4:17:58 PM
So who's funding it and who has the rights to it...
 
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gf0012-aust    RE:Finished   8/20/2005 7:52:52 PM
It's Australian - it's also got elements that are under co-funding and co-development. It's the same deal that applies to bits of JORN and I think )really unsure about this the SWR technology as well. we have a reciprocal arrangement on block 70, but thats only a tech share and development process, the yanks still own the rights etc... whereas the above is aust IP and owned.
 
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