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Development of a high-throughput microwave imaging system for concealed weapons detection

Summary

A video-rate microwave imaging aperture for concealed threat detection can serve as a useful tool in securing crowded, high foot traffic environments. Realization of such a system presents two major technical challenges: 1) implementation of an electrically large antenna array for capture of a moving subject, and 2) fast image reconstruction on cost-effective computing hardware. This paper presents a hardware-efficient multistatic array design to address the former challenge, and a compatible fast imaging technique to address the latter. Prototype hardware which forms a partition of an imaging aperture is discussed. Using this hardware, it is shown that the proposed array design can be used to form high-fidelity 3D images, and that the presented image reconstruction technique can form an image of a human-sized domain in ≤ 0.1s with low cost computing hardware.
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Summary

A video-rate microwave imaging aperture for concealed threat detection can serve as a useful tool in securing crowded, high foot traffic environments. Realization of such a system presents two major technical challenges: 1) implementation of an electrically large antenna array for capture of a moving subject, and 2) fast image...

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Switched antenna array tile for real-time microwave imaging aperture

Published in:
IEEE Int. Symp. Antennas and Propagation (APSURSI), 26 June - 1 July 2016.
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Summary

A switched array tile which is part of a large aperture for near-field microwave imaging is presented. The tile is based on the Boundary Array (BA), a sparse array topology for hardware efficient realization of imaging apertures. The larger array formed with the tile samples a scene with no redundancy, and is compatible with fast imaging techniques. Details on the design and realization of the tile are presented, as well as experimental images formed with a tile prototype.
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Summary

A switched array tile which is part of a large aperture for near-field microwave imaging is presented. The tile is based on the Boundary Array (BA), a sparse array topology for hardware efficient realization of imaging apertures. The larger array formed with the tile samples a scene with no redundancy...

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The evolution to modern phased array architectures

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Published in:
Proceedings of the IEEE, Vol. 104, No. 3, March 2016, pp. 519-529.
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Summary

Phased array technology has been evolving steadily with advances in solid-state microwave integrated circuits, analysis and design tools, and reliable fabrication practices. With significant government investments, the technologies have matured to a point where phased arrays are widely used in military systems. Next-generation phased arrays will employ high levels of digitization, which enables a wide range of improvements in capability and performance. Digital arrays leverage the rapid commercial evolution of digital processor technology. The cost of phased arrays can be minimized by utilizing high-volume commercial microwave manufacturing and packaging techniques. Dramatic cost reductions are achieved by employing a tile array architecture, which greatly reduces the number of printed circuit boards and connectors in the array.
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Summary

Phased array technology has been evolving steadily with advances in solid-state microwave integrated circuits, analysis and design tools, and reliable fabrication practices. With significant government investments, the technologies have matured to a point where phased arrays are widely used in military systems. Next-generation phased arrays will employ high levels of...

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Simultaneous transmit and receive (STAR) system architecture using multiple analog cancellation layers

Published in:
2015 IEEE MTT-S Int. Microwave Symp. (IMS 2015) 17-22 May 2015.
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Summary

Simultaneous Transmit and Receive operation requires a high amount of transmit-to-receive isolation in order to avoid self-interference. This isolation is best achieved by utilizing multiple cancellation techniques. The combination of adaptive multiple-input multiple-output spatial cancellation with a high-isolation antenna and RF canceller produces a novel system architecture that focuses on cancellation in the analog domain before the receiver's low-noise amplifier. A prototype of this system has been implemented on a moving vehicle, and measurements have proven that this design is capable of providing more than 90 dB of total isolation in realistic multi path environments over a 30 MHz bandwidth centered at 2.45 GHz. Index Terms-Adaptive systems, full-duplex wireless communication, interference cancellation, multiaccess communication, simultaneous transmit and receive, STAR.
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Summary

Simultaneous Transmit and Receive operation requires a high amount of transmit-to-receive isolation in order to avoid self-interference. This isolation is best achieved by utilizing multiple cancellation techniques. The combination of adaptive multiple-input multiple-output spatial cancellation with a high-isolation antenna and RF canceller produces a novel system architecture that focuses on...

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Wideband antenna array for simultaneous transmit and receive (STAR) applications

Published in:
2014 IEEE Int. Symp. on Antennas and Propagation & USNC/URSI National Radio Science Meeting, 6-11 July 2014.
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Summary

A wideband antenna array for Simultaneous Transmit and Receive (STAR) applications is presented. The design is comprised of a ring array of TEM horns, and a monocone at the array's center. When the array is phased with the first order circular mode, it is isolated from the monocone. Thus, the array may be used in reception while the monocone is used in transmission, or vice versa. The array and monocone both produce quasi-omnidirectional patterns in the azimuthal planes. Simulations suggest that the design operates across an 8.4 : 1 bandwidth. This wide bandwidth is possible through the use of a novel capacitive feed employed in the TEM horn array.
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Summary

A wideband antenna array for Simultaneous Transmit and Receive (STAR) applications is presented. The design is comprised of a ring array of TEM horns, and a monocone at the array's center. When the array is phased with the first order circular mode, it is isolated from the monocone. Thus, the...

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A least mean squares approach of iterative array calibration for scalable digital phased array radar panels

Published in:
2013 IEEE Int. Symp. On Phased Array Systems and Technology, 15-18 October 2013.
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Summary

This paper describes a semiautonomous approach to calibrate a phased array system, with particular use on an S-band aperture that is being developed at MIT Lincoln Laboratory. Each element of the array is controlled by an independent digital phase shifter, whose control signal may be uniquely defined. As active electronically steerable arrays (AESAs) continually evolve towards mostly digital paradigms that will support real-time computing, as opposed to look-up table approaches, then adaptive calibration approaches may be pursued for maximum AESA performance. This calibration work is being completed as one component of Lincoln Laboratory's effort within the multifunction phased array radar (MPAR) initiative.
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Summary

This paper describes a semiautonomous approach to calibrate a phased array system, with particular use on an S-band aperture that is being developed at MIT Lincoln Laboratory. Each element of the array is controlled by an independent digital phase shifter, whose control signal may be uniquely defined. As active electronically...

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Dual-polarization challenges in weather radar requirements for multifunction phased array radar

Published in:
2013 IEEE Int. Symp. On Phased Array Systems and Technology, 15-18 October 2013.
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Summary

This paper summarizes the challenges in achieving (and even specifying) the antenna polarization accuracy requirements for the Multifunction Phased Array Radar (MPAR) and the progress that has been made towards meeting these requirements through demonstrations and theoretical investigations.
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Summary

This paper summarizes the challenges in achieving (and even specifying) the antenna polarization accuracy requirements for the Multifunction Phased Array Radar (MPAR) and the progress that has been made towards meeting these requirements through demonstrations and theoretical investigations.

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Low cost phased array radar for applications in engineering education

Published in:
2013 IEEE Int. Symp. On Phased Array Systems and Technology, 15-18 October 2013.

Summary

Hands-on instruction in engineering education is beneficial to the development of a workforce that understands the complexity of building radar systems. Unfortunately, building phased array systems tends to be too costly to allow student access to the hardware necessary for developing these skills. This paper presents a low cost phased array based on a time-domain multiplexed, multiple-input, multiple-output (TDM-MIMO) approach that has been built for education. This array has been utilized in several free courses held at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology during the Independent Activity Period (IAP) between semesters. Students have built, tested, and taken home a number of these radars and continue to operate these on their own, either for recreation or as part of their undergraduate research activities.
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Summary

Hands-on instruction in engineering education is beneficial to the development of a workforce that understands the complexity of building radar systems. Unfortunately, building phased array systems tends to be too costly to allow student access to the hardware necessary for developing these skills. This paper presents a low cost phased...

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Multi-lithic phased array architecture for airborne sense and avoid radar

Published in:
2013 IEEE Int. Symp. On Phased Array Systems and Technology, 15-18 October 2013.

Summary

Transmit and receive Ku-band phased array designs are described for testing an airborne sense and avoid radar. The arrays are small with a size of 24 cm x 9 cm and operate from 13 to 17 GHz with electronic scanning from plus of minus 45 degrees in azimuth and plus of minus 30 degrees in elevation. A novel design architecture allows the use of multiple multilayered printed circuit boards and simple air cooling.
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Summary

Transmit and receive Ku-band phased array designs are described for testing an airborne sense and avoid radar. The arrays are small with a size of 24 cm x 9 cm and operate from 13 to 17 GHz with electronic scanning from plus of minus 45 degrees in azimuth and plus...

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On the development of a tileable LRU for the NextGen surveillance and weather radar capability program

Published in:
2013 IEEE Int. Symp. On Phased Array Systems and Technology, 15-18 October 2013.

Summary

MIT Lincoln Laboratory is working towards the development of a tileable radar panel to satisfy multimission needs. A combination of custom and commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) Monolithic Microwave Integrated Circuits (MMICs) have been developed and/or employed to achieve the required system functionality. The integrated circuits (ICs) are integrated into a low cost T/R module compatible with commercial printed circuit board (PCB) manufacturing. Sixty-four of the transmit/receive (T/R) modules are integrated onto the aperture PCB in an 8x8 lattice. In addition to the T/R elements, the aperture PCB incorporates transmit and receive beamformers, power and logic distribution, and radiating elements. The aperture PCB is coupled with a backplane PCB to form a panel, the line replaceable unit (LRU) for the multifunction phased array radar (MPAR) initiative. This report summarizes the evaluation of the second iteration LRU aperture PCB and T/R element. Support fixturing was developed and paired with the panel to enable backplane functionality sufficient to support the test objective.
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Summary

MIT Lincoln Laboratory is working towards the development of a tileable radar panel to satisfy multimission needs. A combination of custom and commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) Monolithic Microwave Integrated Circuits (MMICs) have been developed and/or employed to achieve the required system functionality. The integrated circuits (ICs) are integrated into a low...

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