Sally Cole, Senior Editor
Airborne maritime surveillance radars play a central role in the global homeland defense of more than 315,000 miles of worldwide coastline. While considered state-of-the-art, these radars continue to evolve to meet military customers' needs for persistent surveillance, automation, and continued tracking of targets as they move from sea to land.
Missile systems, Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) payloads, soldier radios, and other applications are seeing the benefits of miniaturization and enhanced performance in Global Positioning System (GPS) technology. However, GPS designs also require more elaborate anti-jamming techniques such as combining GPS with Inertial Measurement Units (IMUs) to combat new, sophisticated threats. Meanwhile, DARPA researchers continue to reduce GPS footprints as they combine a tiny IMU and timing capability on one substrate.
Software-defined radio is no longer a military-only technology, as it has evolved beyond the now-defunct Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS) program, can be found in commercial and defense applications worldwide, and is essentially a solved problem. Meanwhile, a big remaining challenge is the finite amount of available spectrum. Dynamic spectrum management is needed to navigate what is left and cognitive radio is seen as the technology that will make that possible.