Active Electronically Scanned Array

From Academic Kids

An Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) is a revolutionary type of radar whose transmitter and receiver functions are composed of numerous small transmission/reception modules that each scan a small fixed area, negating the need for a moving antenna. AESA radars feature short to instantaneous (milisecond) scanning rates and have desirable low-probability of intercept characteristics.

Being immobile, AESA radars have vastly simpler mechanical designs. They require no complex hydraulics for antenna movement nor hinge appendages that are prone to failure. The AESA radar occupies less space than typical radar, because of its lesser infrastructure requirements and of course its absent range of motion. With these improvements, maintenance crews are far less severely taxed, and the radar is much more reliable.

Main advantages over mechanically scanned arrays are extremely fast scanning rate, much higher range, tremendous number of targets being tracked and engaged (multiple agile beams), low probability of intercept, ability to function as a radio/jammer, simultaneous air and ground modes, Synthetic Aperture Radar.

Mechanical steering may be added to AESA radars for increased radar field of view, however, no such equipped AESA radars currently exist. The movement performance of the antenna would not need to be nearly as great as that of a traditional radar, as the radar sweep is not integral to the contact update rate.

List of AESA radars

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