Raytheon demonstrates SDR for DARPA

RI&S has successfully demonstrated the integration of Intel’s Direct RF FPGA technology into E-Alpha. (Photo: Raytheon)

Raytheon Intelligence & Space successfully demonstrates the integration of Intel System-on-a-Chip in Raytheon’s E-Alpha module.

DARPA selected Raytheon to design, integrate, and demonstrate the capabilities of Intel’s Direct RF FPGA technology as part of the Electronics Resurgence Initiative: Security Application Program.

This demonstration led to the first software defined radio (SDR) using Intel’s Direct RF FPGA technology built into Raytheon’s E-Alpha radio module.

The compact module includes analog and digital components that directly digitize and synthesize RF signals.

Both are crucial for establishing sustainable communications in a joint, multi-domain combat space.

Aaron Maestas, chief engineer for modern concepts and technologies at Raytheon Intelligence & Space, gave a useful analogy to this demonstration: “Imagine standing in a sports stadium – a noisy and crowded environment … with this demonstration we learned how to hear clearly and distinctly a single whisper. “

This module improves response time while increasing functionality. With up to eight high-precision receive and transmit channels, each fully programmable, E-Alpha eliminates complex and expensive RF conversion, filtering and amplification.

E-Alpha can be inserted into various SWaP-limited DoD and commercial applications that require advanced electromagnetic spectrum processing, such as USAF Advanced battle management system.

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