Benjamin Griffin: DARPA’s New Tech Program Aims to Make Phased Array Resistant to Interference

Benjamin Griffin: DARPA’s New Tech Program Aims to Make Phased Array Resistant to Interference
Benjamin Griffin Program Manager DARPA MTO

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has introduced a program with the goal to produce an interference filter system for wideband active electronically scanned arrays (AESA) used in military radar, communications and electronic warfare platforms.

DARPA said Thursday that the COmpact Front-end Filters at the ElEment (COFFEE) level program will support the agency’s 5G and beyond communications investment effort under its five-year, $1.5 billion Electronics Resurgence Initiative.

The agency is eyeing a new radio frequency filtering technology class for AESA, which takes on a matrix of tiny antennas with individual transmitters and receivers that enable the electronic steering of radio waves in different directions.

Benjamin Griffin, a program manager in DARPA’s Microsystems Technology Office, said that although wideband AESA technology has compelling applications, high-bandwidth receivers in this technology could be prone to electronic jamming due to its dynamic range limits.

“COFFEE aims to develop filters that are on the analog front-end, making the array more robust and resistant to interference before digital processing on the back-end,” Griffin added.

The agency is scheduled to host a Proposers Day on June 17 to discuss its COFFEE initiative and hinted at a broad agency announcement coming soon on the SAM contracting opportunities website.

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