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PSR94 Report Summary

Project ID: 698282

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - PSR94 (Commercialisation of 94GHz Phase Shifting Radar (PSR94))

Reporting period: 2015-10-01 to 2016-09-30

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

The PSR94 is a 94GHz Phase Shifting Radar front end to be commercialised and sold primarily to millimetre wave radar systems manufacturers in the aerospace sector.
The PSR94 RF front end includes an electronically scanning antenna with no moving parts and in addition to this it has many other commercial and technical benefits over existing mechanically scanning (moving parts) antennae, namely; it is much smaller, has a wider scanning angle, is much cheaper to manufacture, has low power consumption and is very easy to control.
The programme for this commercialisation is 2 years and we will bring the PSR94 from TRL 6 status demonstrated in relevant environments to a complete and qualified product ready for customer use in an operational environment, TRL 8/9.
Space debris is an increasing problem which causes significant damage to expensive satellite payloads. Over the course of space exploration, earth observation, unmanned landing and interstellar rendezvous have proven to be costly and error prone due to radar in-accuracy.
In commercial aviation, helicopter “brownout” (landing in degraded visual environments) has been the cause of many crashes.
In communications, there is a constant industry led requirement for higher data rates across mobile networks.
For space and aircraft radar systems, the PSR94, using a physically small and light radar front end, takes an extremely complex and difficult method of antenna scanning and allows the manufacturer to produce a very high resolution image that is extremely reliable and accurate for the user to utilise.
In the communications industry, the transmission properties at 94GHz ensures very high data rates are achievable (research carried out by University of Stuttgart predicts data rates of 15 Gbit/s) far in excess of current 4G data rates.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

In an effort to ensure Arralis is market ready activities including a dissemination and exploitation strategy for the company was created. This allowed the mapping of tasks to fully exploit the results of the PSR 94 project. The dissemination strategy ensures all relevant stakeholders are kept informed of progress within the project. This strategy fed into a marketing roadmap for the company which coordinates the efforts of all participants ensuring all data disseminated is uniform. This was also vital in steering the company’s marketing strategy for the project and beyond with extensive research in market size, target segments and pricing structure. Actions including press releases and exhibitions formed part of the communication tools used to engage with the audience made up of scientific community, industry members and customers. Exhibitions which Arralis attended over the previous 12 months include International Microwave Symposium, Farnborough, Small Sat and Industry Space Days.
Customer market readiness was also one of the key tasks performed as part of the first 12 months. A full market analysis report was developed along with the production of a live sales pipeline. This was the product of face to face meetings, sales presentations and product technical meetings with customers in some of our most important markets. The outcome has led to interest generated among a number of leading aerospace companies.
During product optimisation the manufacturability analysis lead to a change in method due to scalability issues

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

The PSR 94 will be the only 2- axis electronically continuous scanning antenna at 94GHz which exists in the world today. All forms of 2- axis scanning at such high frequencies, i.e. above 80GHz, require some aspect of mechanical scanning where the antenna physically moves. The PSR94 is solid state in nature, no movement is involved, which increases the reliability of the overall system for the end user. It is seldom applied at 94GHz as we are doing and the original was a low frequency coaxial design.
The phase shifting approach is a unique Rotman lens method that has the added advantage of being patentable and an international patent process has been undertaken. This design has been uniquely applied to 94GHz for which the Rotman lens, at the time, was not perceived as feasible.

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