Material to Aid Military in Next Generation Radar Systems Developed

July 25, 2006

Researchers at Northeastern University have developed a magnetic material that will enable radar technology used by the U.S. military to be smaller, lighter, and cheaper without compromising on performance.

Many of the radar technologies used by the U.S. Navy and Air Force require magnetic fields to operate. A key component of these radar electronics is the circulator: a device that is integral to radar Simultaneous Transmit And Receive (STAR) technology.

Traditionally, circulator designs have relied on magnets positioned on either side of the circulator to create the necessary magnetic field for operation.

These magnets tend to be large and heavy and add significant cost to the assembly of radar systems. Thousands of them are required for the most advanced radar systems and as a result, radar platforms can weigh several tons and take up an inordinate amount of space, causing a heavy burden to the host aircraft or ship. The Navy and Air Force have been searching for a solution to this problem for decades.

The breakthrough occurred when Northeastern University researchers were able to create a magnetic ceramic thin film material that possesses a spontaneous magnetic moment sufficient to eliminate the need for magnets. This new material, in the form of millimeter thick films of Ba-hexaferrite, was produced using a screen printing processing scheme which meets all the necessary specifications for STAR radar performance and is, in addition, highly cost-effective.

Researchers Vincent Harris, Carmine Vittoria, and Yajie Chen and their research team are about to embark upon developing prototypes of this technology for detailed testing. They hope that the technology will be available for widespread use by the Department of Defense by 2008.

“Northeastern University has one of the best research facilities in the country for magnetic ceramics research,” said Harris, William Lincoln Smith Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Northeastern University. “This development will help to solve a significant problem that has been hampering advancement in military technology for the past few decades.”

The research was funded primarily by the Office of Naval Research as part of the “Navy After Next” initiative, the Defense Advanced Research Program Agency, and the National Science Foundation.

Source: Northeastern University

Explore further: NASA data shows surfer-shaped waves in near-Earth space

Related Stories

NASA data shows surfer-shaped waves in near-Earth space

July 8, 2015

The universe overflows with repeating patterns. From the smallest cells to the largest galaxies, scientists are often rewarded by observing similar patterns in vastly different places. One such pattern is the iconic surfer's ...

Metamaterials shine bright as new terahertz source

April 23, 2015

Metamaterials allow design and use of light-matter interactions at a fundamental level. An efficient terahertz emission from two-dimensional arrays of gold split-ring resonator metamaterials was discovered as a result of ...

Heart of the black auroras revealed by Cluster

April 9, 2015

Most people have heard of auroras - more commonly known as the Northern and Southern Lights - but, except on rare occasions, such as the recent widespread apparition on 17 March, they are not usually visible outside the polar ...

Recommended for you

New device converts DC electric field to terahertz radiation

August 4, 2015

Terahertz radiation, the no-man's land of the electromagnetic spectrum, has long stymied researchers. Optical technologies can finagle light in the shorter-wavelength visible and infrared range, while electromagnetic techniques ...

The resplendent inflexibility of the rainbow

August 4, 2015

Children often ask simple questions that make you wonder if you really understand your subject. An young acquaintance of mine named Collin wondered why the colors of the rainbow were always in the same order—red, orange, ...

Magnetism at nanoscale

August 3, 2015

As the demand grows for ever smaller, smarter electronics, so does the demand for understanding materials' behavior at ever smaller scales. Physicists at the U.S. Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory are building a unique ...

Study calculates the speed of ice formation

August 3, 2015

Researchers at Princeton University have for the first time directly calculated the rate at which water crystallizes into ice in a realistic computer model of water molecules. The simulations, which were carried out on supercomputers, ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.