The Next Generation Technology Fund (NGTF) seeks proposals from industry and academia to develop next-gen array antenna’s capable of supporting electronic warfare functions over a wide frequency as well as radar communications.
This is a three-phased program designed to run over the course of a 5 year period. The first phase of the program will end in February 2022 and focused on developing the core concepts addressing the S&T challenges and retiring the risks.
The program is now seeking responses from interested parties to participate in Phase 2 of the program.
The goal of this phase is to develop Australian-based and sovereign capabilities in one of the following ways:
- establish new industrial capabilities relevant to MFA
- leverage existing in-house industry capabilities
- focused research in collaboration with industry partners.
- Antenna array elements and surface: 2 developed array designs operating over a decade of bandwidth, providing wide scan angle range and dual polarisation.
- Impedance matching: Novel impedance matching techniques are being designed to meet the multi-function wideband requirements of the antenna surfaces.
- Beam forming and excitation: Novel forms of array excitation for beam forming, steering and control accompany the MFA surface designs.
- RF amplifier design: GaN power amplifier and low noise amplifier designs for the MFA front-end RF transceiver to support multi-carrier functionality across a decadal bandwidth.
- Circulator and switch design: Development of switch and circulator designs capable of operating with high isolation across the MFA bandwidth.
- Self-Interference Cancellation: Wideband interference cancellation, based on novel Simultaneous Transmit and Receive (STaR) techniques suited to the antenna surface designs.
- Digital Pre-Distortion: Digital pre-distortion of RF amplifiers under load to enable wideband multi-carrier operation with minimal impact from in-band distortion.
- System simulator: Phase 1 established a high fidelity electromagnetic simulation environment that is being used to assist with validation and future-proofing of the array designs.
- Thermal Management: Novel semiconductor design combined with electronic fabrication techniques to improve thermal management.
The call for proposals closes at 2.00 PM (AEST) on 18 November 2021. Responses are to be submitted electronically via AusTender website.
DSTG will provide a research program brief to all interested parties via Microsoft Teams on 07 October 2021 at 10.30 AM(Adelaide Time). Nominations to attend the briefing are to be forwarded in writing to the MFA mailbox: MFA-NGTF@dst.defence.gov.au to be provided with a Microsoft Teams invite.