CEI and Ball Aerospace Developing Sense and Avoid (SAA) Targeted Advanced Radar Technology (START)

SAA Targeted Advanced Radar Technology (START) Receives SBIR Phase III Award – AF09-133. The CEI team offers a unique perspective on Sense and Avoid (SAA) radar technology that will benefit the program described by this SBIR topic. CEI and Ball Aerospace are developing a radar supporting the SAA mission for Global Hawk under an Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL)-sponsored program called USTAR: Unmanned Sense, Track, and Avoid Radar.


Colorado Engineering Inc. (CEI), along with its teammate, Ball Aerospace, proposes to leverage its collective expertise with phased array antenna design, advanced processing architectures, and radar signal processing algorithms to research, identify, and mature technologies that will improve the cost, size, weight, and power consumption of radar systems supporting SAA systems. This effort will help accelerate the realization of a scalable, air-to-air radar sensor solution supporting SAA functionality on a variety of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), both large and small.

The team will draw from its experiences with this system to help identify and guide research into areas of component technology and alternative antenna and signal processing architectures, which hold the most promise for enhancing the size, weight and power (SWaP) and performance of SAA radar designs. BENEFIT: CEI has developed software and hardware technologies for a variety of government programs, and the team has transitioned more than 37 products to production for use in DoD and Government systems.

CEI also has experience commercializing technology developed under Government-funded programs. Products are packaged as commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) items, listed on a catalog price sheet, supported with technical application notes and marketing materials, and made available for sale to both the commercial and Government markets. CEI will promote technologies developed under this effort as part of its standard commercial product marketing and sales activities. The technology enhancements anticipated under this program will reduce cost, size, weight, and power (CSWaP) requirements while increasing system performance.

Enabling SAA radars to operate in smaller SWaP footprints will expand the applications and market for these technologies to a wider range of commercial and Government aircraft, both manned and unmanned. The ability to enhance commercial, manned aircraft with robust non-cooperative collision avoidance capability would enhance air traffic safety. Advanced SAA radar technologies would help make commercial applications of unmanned aircraft a reality for applications such as overnight freight transport. The SAA radar technology would also have maritime applicability.