Considerations for development of naval multifunction radio frequency (RF) systems


  1. Moo, P.W.
  2. DiFilippo, D.J.
Corporate Authors
Defence Research and Development Canada, Ottawa Research Centre, Ottawa ON (CAN)
The evolving role of modern navies has required increasingly higher levels of capability in the radio frequency (RF) shipboard systems that provide radar, communications, electronic attack (EA) and electronic support (ES) functions. The result has been a proliferation of topside antennas and associated hardware on naval vessels. The notion of multifunction RF (MFRF) systems has drawn considerable interest as an approach to reversing this trend. In a MFRF system, RF functions are consolidated within a shared set of electronics and antenna apertures that utilize active electronically scanned array (AESA) technology. This Scientific Report presents the results of a scoping study that highlight a number of issues to be considered in the design and implementation of a naval MFRF system. Specifically, the key requirements of the RF functions of interest are first reviewed, and MFRF system design trade-offs resulting from costs and/or performance limitations in existing hardware technology are then discussed. It is found that limitations in hardware technology constrain the implementation of practical MFRF systems. MFRF system prototype development programs that have been conducted in other countries are described. Recommendations are also presented for a future DRDC program in MFRF systems. Specifically, areas of research should include MFRF system design concepts and techniques for resource allocation management.

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naval systems;radar;multifunction RF systems;active electronically steered arrays
Report Number
DRDC-RDDC-2018-R038 — Scientific Report
Date of publication
01 May 2018
Number of Pages
Electronic Document(PDF)

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