The US Office of Naval Research (ONR) has contracted BAE Systems to develop next-generation electronic warfare (EW) technology to quickly detect and identify sources emitting radio frequency signals.
Valued at $11m, the contract will see development of a full-spectrum staring receiver (FSSR) technology that is part of ONR's electronic warfare discovery and invention programme.
The FSSR will facilitate a full-scale awareness of the battlefield in a short span of time and is instrumental in a range of functions including emitter identification and tracking from all directions, threat warning and countermeasure and weapon cueing.
The ONR programme aims to develop and display a range of next-generation EW systems that prevent adversaries from tapping into the electromagnetic spectrum while ensuring unrestrictive usage to the nation's allies.
When compared to the pre-existing situational awareness systems, the current technology provides an enhanced responsiveness and extended coverage.
BAE Systems FSSR principal investigator Steve Hedges said: "The full-spectrum staring receiver programme integrates a complementary array of innovative technologies into a comprehensive demonstration capability that closes a widening gap for a range of Navy ships and aircraft.
"By subjecting the FSSR demonstrator to realistic, complex electromagnetic environments, we can demonstrate how these discrete innovations combine to enable an effective EW system capability."
The FSSR will also promote situational awareness to the US Navy ships of threat emitters over a broad span of the electromagnetic spectrum.
In October 2015, the US Department of Defense announced that BAE system will be awarded a contract for research on the FSSR including instantaneous direction finding (IDF).
Image: BAE's FSSR will detect emitted frequencies in an electromagnetic spectrum. Photo: courtesy of BAE Systems.