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Mercury to make radar-spoofing airborne electronic warfare (EW) systems


Mercury DRFM 3 June 2015Mercury Defense Systems (MDS) subsidiary of Mercury Systems Inc. will build 14 additional electronic radar-spoofing devices under terms of a $7.6Mn order from U.S. Navy airborne electronic warfare (EW) .

Officials of the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division in Lakehurst, N.J. assert Mercury to provide 14 Type II Advanced Techniques for Digital Radio Frequency Memories (DRFM) units.

The Mercury Airborne 1225 ruggedized air-cooled, airborne 3-bit miniaturized digital RF memory (DRFM) was developed for airborne, pod, and unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) applications with as much bandwidth as 1200 MHz. It is self-contained with internal techniques and RF and power supplies.

Mercury won a $2.6Mn DRFM order from the Navy last October, and a $1.5Mn Navy order for this technology in June 2014. All these DRFM orders are part of a contract worth as much as $56.7Mn, Mercury officials say.

DRFM technology has several features. First, it provides coherent time delay of RF signals in applications like radar and electronic warfare. It also produces coherent deception jamming to a radar system by replaying a captured radar pulse with a small delay, which makes the target appear to move.

DRFM also can modulate captured pulse data in amplitude, frequency, and phase to provide other affects. A Doppler shift correlates range and range rate trackers in the radar. DRFM also can replay captured radar pulses many times to fool the radar into perceiving many targets.

Small packages, fast response, and large volumes of low-latency compute power define modern DRFM evolution, Mercury officials say. The company’s latest DRFM technology produces modules as thin as 0.44 inches, and capitalizes on direct digital synthesizer (DDS) local oscillator (LO) technology.

DDS delivers sub-microsecond tuning speeds over a wide bandwidth, while advanced circuit design and simulation helps reduce spurious, inter-module and phase noise.

The Mercury 1225 DRFM has more than 15 dBc worst-case spurious suppression across the entire band with typical spurs of more than 19 dBc. The Airborne 1225 has storage for as many as 48 user-defined deception programs.


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