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New project (SPICE) to improve military sensor performance

EDA’s Steering Board has given its green light for the launch of a new project designed to improve the receiver performance of electronic radio frequency (RF) sensors used in military platforms in adverse and heavily contested environments. Dubbed SPICE (‘Superior Performance in Contested Environments’), the project builds on the successful work already accomplished at the Agency in the same critical domain. 

At this stage, the Netherlands and Sweden are participating in this new project which is however open to all Member States. It aims to further develop the excellent results of two previous EDA ad hoc projects on Switched Applications (SWAP) and Switched Applications-Complementary (SWAP-C), local RF power generation and amplification based on switched technology. These projects were focused on narrow band transceivers to improve the performance of radars for naval applications and on wideband transceivers for electronic warfare for combat aircraft. Both of them demonstrated the superior performance of gallium-Nitride (GaN) technology for the transmit path compared to other technologies previously used.

Improving the receivers

Over the next 36 months, SPICE will take this work forward with the aim of improving the performance of the receive channel of the transceiver (dynamic range, linearity, efficiency etc.). This is done in an integral approach over the complete RF chain, while taking into account additional requirements such as cost and other system-imposed constraints (including cooling). The work will start with investigating, defining and specifying concepts with which the linearity and performance of receivers can be achieved. This also includes an assessment of all the technologies currently available. 

As part of an exploration and experimentation phase, the consortium will work on wideband receivers, narrowband receivers and packaging and integration technologies. The consortium involved in the afore-mentioned projects remains the same, contributing to increase the expertise of the European defence industry and create a stable supply chain around key European players.