Antenna chip simplifies phased array radar for avionics and comms equipment

Designers can quickly replace bulky, mechanically steered antenna platforms with a compact, solid-state solution for phased array radar and communications systems, says Analog Devices, at the launch of its ADAR1000.

The chip simplifies design and significantly reduces the size, weight and power of phased array radar systems for defence, surveillance, air traffic control, communications and weather monitoring, says the company. For avionics designers, the ADAR1000 enables flat-panel antenna arrays, which shrinks the profile of conventional radar systems and facilitates the design of smaller, lighter aircraft. The ADAR1000 is described as a plug-and-play chip that allows designers with little or no RF experience to extend the performance and operating lifetime of their radar systems.

The four-channel ADAR1000 active antenna beamforming chip replaces 12 discrete components needed for antenna phase-gain adjustments and digital controls. The IC supports time division duplexing (TDD) across the X and Ku bands. It includes an integrated T/R switch than can be used to select the common port as an input for transmit (Tx) or an output for receive (Rx). The four pairs of Tx and Rx channels have independently programmable gain and phase settings.

The ADAR1000 can be configured to directly control all aspects of external T/R module pulsing with minimal extra circuitry. All settings can be loaded into built-in memory for fast access to gain-phase states and T/R module settings. The ADAR1000 offers a scalable building block for fast implementation of active antenna phased arrays targeting next-generation radar and communications systems without the need for extensive third-party design support.

The ADAR1000 has a frequency range of 8.0 to 16GHz and 360-degree phase control with less than 2.8-degree phase resolution and greater than 31dB gain control with 0.5dB resolution.

The ADAR1000 is sampling now, with full production due next month. It is offered in a 7.0 x 7.0mm LGA package. An ADAR1000-EVALZ evaluation board is also available now from Analog Devices.

http://www.analog.com