Northrop Grumman flight tests digital wideband AESA sensor

BALTIMOR – Northrop Grumman Corporation successfully demonstrates its new terracotta flight – a fully digital broadband compatible system with open missions (OMS) active electronically scanned array (AESA).

The flight test was a continuation of successful ground and flight terracotta demonstrations held last fall. This latest flight confirmed Terracotta’s ability to perform both active and passive radio frequency capabilities. Nearly 200 Terracotta digital broadband channels can be co-formed or segmented for unique purposes, including electronic warfare, airborne early warning radar, active and passive detection, and communications.

“As an all-digital multifunction sensor with a wide operating bandwidth, Terracotta can seamlessly provide adaptive spectrum maneuverability,” said Paul Calafos, vice president of surveillance and war with electromagnetic maneuvers. “The sensor architecture is easily scaled and configured for many applications and systems in all domains. It is a key cost-effective technology for sharing all domain operations. “

Unlike traditional sensors, multi-function openings combine multiple capabilities into a single sensor, reducing both the number of openings required and the size, weight and power requirements for the advanced features. Complex multifunctional openings such as Terracotta can deploy several functions simultaneously.

OMS compliance offers an interface solution based on an open architectural design that allows customers to quickly add new or improved features, independent of the provider, at reduced cost. Northrop Grumman plans to integrate a combination of OMS / Open Communication Systems sensors and software-defined radios across multiple platforms, networks and nodes to meet the needs of the driving mission and ensure interoperability of multiple domains.