Machinedesign Com Sites Machinedesign com Files Uploads 2013 05 12348 Sm Acoustic
Machinedesign Com Sites Machinedesign com Files Uploads 2013 05 12348 Sm Acoustic
Machinedesign Com Sites Machinedesign com Files Uploads 2013 05 12348 Sm Acoustic
Machinedesign Com Sites Machinedesign com Files Uploads 2013 05 12348 Sm Acoustic
Machinedesign Com Sites Machinedesign com Files Uploads 2013 05 12348 Sm Acoustic

Acoustic component shrinks phase-array radars

May 22, 2013
Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have devised a passive time-delay component which will make phase-array radars smaller, simpler, more efficient, and less expensive.
Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have devised a passive time-delay component which will make phase-array radars smaller, simpler, more efficient, and less expensive. The thin-film device converts electromagnetic waves into acoustic waves using a piezoelectric transducer (the changing electromagnetic signal makes the piezoelectric material change shape, creating an acoustic wave that mirrors the electromagnetic wave). The acoustic waves travel across the device, about a few microns, then hits another piezoelectric transducer that converts them back to electromagnetic waves. The time spent crossing those few microns as relatively slow-moving acoustic waves creates the delay.

So far, Georgia Tech engineers have built a delay device measuring 40 μm2 that can handle the entire radar bandwidth while delivering a 10-nsec delay.
Current phase-array radars use electrical delays which are merely sections of cable. Radar signals take about a nanosecond to travel across 1 ft of cable. The delays are critical in shaping and steering the radar beam, with each element in the array transmitting a few nanoseconds after the previous one. Without proper time delays, signals get degraded by periodic interference.

The new device can be packaged and integrated into the silicon substrate of a radar component, replacing many feet of cable, according to researchers.
Resources: Georgia Institute of Technology, www.gatech.edu

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