DARPA-WARP

The United States’ Defense Research Advanced Projects Agency (DARPA) has announced the research teams that will push forward the organisation’s Wideband Adaptive RF Protection (WARP) programme to protect the US Army’s radio frequency (RF) systems from interference.

The WARP programme’s aim is to deliver tuneable filters that will manage external interference as well as tuneable signal canceller architectures to address self-interference. The goal is to develop technologies that are tuneable over wide bandwidths with low-loss and high-linearity that can protect defence and commercial wideband systems.

The team’s objectives will be to explore a diverse set of technology approaches that include intrinsically-switched electromagnetic (EM) resonators, multi-ferroics, acoustics, and photonics, which will all come together with new circuit architectures, heterogeneous device integration, and advanced RF packaging. The technical approaches will also include embedded sensing of the EM spectrum, which provides adaptive control of the tuning elements and enables the hardware to react to environmental changes.

There will be two main areas of research: the development of new filter architectures that have inherently wideband tuning characteristics to cover the 2-18 GHz band of interest. Teams that will address this area include: the University of Pennsylvania; BAE Systems; Raytheon Technologies; Northrop Grumman Corporation; Collins Aerospace, a unit of Raytheon Technologies; and Indiana Microelectronics.

The second area of research is focusing on reconfigurable signal cancellers in the 0.1-6 GHz band of interest while supporting large time delay spreads to handle dispersive signal leakage paths. The research teams working under this area include BAE Systems, L3Harris Technologies, Columbia University, and the University of Pennsylvania.

“The performers on WARP are exploring a range of novel approaches to develop new circuit architectures for tuneable filters and cancellers,” said DARPA program manager, Timothy Hancock. “It is expected that the adaptive filter technology will help protect wideband digital receivers from signal saturation in congested environments and the adaptive cancellers will enable same-frequency simultaneous transmit and receive (STAR) applications over much wider bandwidths than can be achieved today.”

by Andrew Drwiega