Thursday, December 2, 2021

BAE Systems pick up DARPA contracts to revolutionize radio frequency sensing

BAE Systems, a global leader in electronic warfare, announced that the company was awarded multiple development contracts from the US Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to advance quantum technology and revolutionize radio frequency (RF) sensing by breaking constraints to antenna designs that have persisted for more than a century.

According to a company news release, leveraging quantum sensing can reduce size, and increase sensitivity and accessible bandwidth by several orders of magnitude.

“While still in the early development phase, quantum sensing relies on fundamentally different physics than conventional antennas. This may allow us to circumvent traditional aperture design limits for sensitivity and size,” said Julia MacDonough, product line director at BAE Systems. “As a result of these programs, BAE Systems’ FAST Labs will be at the forefront of quantum sensing to support the warfighter.”

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A quantum approach to aperture development decouples the size of the antenna from the wavelength of the incoming signal. This can reduce the size and number of antennas on Department of Defense platforms.

Awarded earlier this year, the three quantum aperture-related contracts, which total $6.5 million, include work as a prime contractor on Quantum Apertures Technical Area 2 and teaming with ColdQuanta in both Technical Area 1 of Quantum Apertures and the Science of Atomic Vapors for New Technologies (SAVaNT) program.

BAE Systems’ FAST Labs research and development organization will perform work on the program at its facility in Merrimack.

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About this Author

Dylan Malyasov
U.S. defense journalist and commentator. Aviation photographer. Dylan leads Defence Blog's coverage of global military news, focusing on engineering and technology across the U.S. defense industry.

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