Allen-Vanguard, a global leader in providing customized solutions for defeating Radio Frequency (RF)-based threats, has secured UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) funding from a focused call for innovation proposals administered by the Defence & Security Accelerator (DASA).
The funding is to develop novel technologies and techniques to counter Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), addressing specifically Challenge 3 – “new or novel hardware and ancillaries”.
Allen-Vanguard has been developing the concept of Remote Radio Heads (RRH) to maximize the efficiency and increase the inhibition range delivered by its Electronic Counter Measure (ECM) systems, whilst minimizing their Size, Weight and Power (SWaP) consumption.
The funding will lead to the development of a RRH demonstrator to de-risk several key areas associated with its development and use in the land-based cyber electromagnetic environment.
According to the company, there are multiple technical challenges to be overcome, especially concerning thermal management (when reducing size and weight) and specialist techniques to maintain signal fidelity and synchronization. In addition, the demonstrator will use RF over Fiber (RFoF) to distribute multiple wideband RF signals between a software defined radio and the high-power multi-band RRH.
To deliver such a novel project, Allen-Vanguard has partnered with two British companies: Plextek Services who will use AI generative design to derive a SWaP-efficient cooling scheme to minimize the thermal impact of an RRH, and Pulse Power and Measurement (PPM) who will optimize the application of RFoF technology using its expertise.
The companies believe this combination of experience and knowledge will deliver a RRH demonstrator that will have the following key benefits:
- Improved mission success – more efficient delivery of ECM RF effect
- Increased inhibition range and maximum range of RF apertures
- RFoF eliminates cable losses between power amplifier and antenna
- RFoF offers unparalleled bandwidth and isolation performance
- Optical Wavelength Division Multiplexing based switching to provide dynamic reconfigurability
In addition to above, the RRH delivers significant reductions in overall SWaP consumption of the fitted system which benefits the end user in relation to the reduced space, heat and electromagnetic interference caused inside the vehicle.
Bobby Strawbridge, Director Business Development for Allen-Vanguard, said: “This funding is excellent news, and drives forward this complex area of future ECM. We are very excited to be working in partnership with Plextek and PPM to push the boundaries of this capability, benefitting the end user by delivering a more effective capability to improve mission success, with far less impact on their operating space.”