The CapTech RF Sensors Technologies (RADAR) deals with Radar and Electronic Warfare (EW) systems applying RF, magnetic and electronic technologies. It includes the related subjects of signal processing, propagation and signature control and reduction. Governmental representatives, through a dialogue with research and industry experts, meet in order to generate collaborative RF Sensors projects from a system level perspective. It also supports pMS in preparing wider programmes and common initiatives.
The technologies and techniques covered by CapTech Radar include:
- RF systems and sub-systems for radar, EW (ESM, ECM) and multi-function RF systems (MFRFS), which can support combinations of radar, EW and communications functions.
- Applications include airborne, spaceborne and naval surveillance EW includes electronic support measures (ESM), electronic counter measures (ECM) and RF Directed Energy Weapons (DEW-RF)
- EM propagation in air and water
- Environmental and Radar Cross Section (RCS) modelling, sensor performance modelling
- Signal processing – scope, includes, but not limited to
- Algorithms for detection and tracking of challenging targets in clutter and jamming environments
- Algorithms for the detection and identification of RF signals (ESM)
- Algorithms for RF system management: single systems, (especially MFRFS), sensors networks
- Non-cooperative target classification and identification
- Radar signature control and reduction
- Materials, devices and algorithms suitable to reduce the RF signature of targets and RF sensors
The work of the CapTech Radar is primarily limited to activities of TRL 2 to 6, and it is mainly technology pushed. However, in terms of military capability priorities, RF technologies can bring significant contributions to air, maritime, land and pan-environment systems, having strong interconnections and interdependencies with the respective CapTechs. Other essential links are with the Components and Optronics CapTechs, which offer hardware inputs and systems complementary to those in the Radar CapTech.
In the same time, RF Sensors are a good example of dual-use technologies exhaustively used for security and defence applications. Civilian technology will, and already does, make a major contribution to military radar, signal processors and manufacturing techniques. Commercial developments will drive materials and device technology that can then be exploited by military RF Systems designers. For many years, the use of European funds for Defence Research was not possible. The European Council’s conclusions in December 2013 expressed a change of view with an explicit call in favour of better exploitation of civil-defence synergies.
The Council Conclusions stated that a Preparatory Action (PA) on Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) related research will be set up. The impact of a future CSDP theme in the framework programme would be significant for the whole defence research community. In that sense, the PA will be a key factor in shaping the future of collaborative European defence research. In the RF Sensor Technologies field, the PA could contribute to enhancing capabilities related to RF Sensor Technologies, such as ISTAR (Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance)and Electronic Support Measures (ESM) and should take advantage of the application of IMOSA (Interoperable Multifunctional Open System Architectures).