AESA vs. Pulsed Doppler vs. Phased Array vs. PESA Radar

AESA Radar vs. Pulsed Doppler

Technological advancements in the 1980s resulted in the invention of the Pulse-Doppler radar which had the capabilities of tracking while scanning. This feature enabled the radar to track specific targets, while also being alert for the possible entry of other objects. The bad news is that pulse-Doppler radars are also prone to jamming. This jamming could occur from EW pods as well as the electronic countermeasures (ECM) systems, which are integrated into the target aircraft. However, the modern ECM systems use digital radio frequency memory-based technology, to interfere with the radar’s ability to successfully track and engage the target.

The advancements in the radar technology cumulated the AESA radars, which were becoming increasingly mainstream in the fighter fleets of the world’s leading air forces. Typically, AESA radars are a combination of many small transmit/ receive modules (TRM).

1. AESA radar emits many different radio signals, through its numerous TRMs. This makes identifying an irregular signal difficult. A modern pulse-Doppler on the other hand emits one signal per pulse. This signal could stand out against the environment, thereby making it very easy for the RWR to identify that specific radar radio wave.

2. A modern pulsed-Doppler radar only emits one unique frequency per pulse, whereas an AESA radar emits multiple frequencies per pulse. This shows that in the case of the AESA, jamming is more difficult because of two main reasons. First, there is no single frequency to help in identifying and recording out the background noise. Secondly, the AESA radar can switch to a completely different frequency with each pulse, and this is very useful in terms of confusing the radar.

AESA Radar vs. Phased Array

1. AESA array is s a type of a phased array antenna, which is computer-controlled. In this type of antenna, the beam of radio waves can be electronically steered to point in different directions without necessarily moving the antenna. In this type of radar, each antenna element is connected to a small solid-state TRM, which is under the control of a computer. The antenna element performs the function of a transmitter and, or the receiver for the antenna.

2. An active phased array is a shipborne multifunction 3D radar that is developed and manufactured by the Thales Nederland. The phased array radar has four non-rotating sensor arrays, which are fixed on the pyramidal structure. In the phased array antenna, the radiofrequency current from the transmitter is fed to the individual antennas with the correct phased relationship so that the radio waves from the separate antennas are together to increase the radiation to the desired direction.

AESA Radar vs. PESA radar

Radars simply work by sending out radio waves and waiting for a response back. It works just like an echo. In addition to that, the amount of time that it takes for the radio waves to return shows how far that particular object is. Moreover, you can determine the location of an object better by sending waves from different points.

PESA Radar

This is a type of radar that takes one signal at a single frequency and then splits the signal between strategically placed antennas. The main aim of doing this is to maximize the range and the strength of the signal. PESA radar helps us in receiving normal information from the signal response. Furthermore, it also helps us know the distance and position of the object, based on the interference of the strategically-placed antennas, and the way these antennas relate. The PESA radar uses a common shared Radio Frequency source in which the signal is adjusted using digitally controlled phase shifter modules. Since PESA radar alters the phase of all antenna elements, the radar can be made to “point” in a particular direction.

AESA Radar

This type of radar was formed due to technological advancements in radar systems. The receivers and transmitters of the AESA radar were made much smaller and lighter. Rather than having a central transmitter, each antenna of the AESA radar has its own solid-state transmit-receive module or TRM. The modules are controlled by computers that function as both transmitters and receivers. AESA radar is considered to be an advanced version of the PESA radar.

AESA vs. PESA Radar

1. The main difference between these two types of radars is the number of transmitters. PESA radar system relies on one large transmitter, whereas AESA system has multiple TRMs.

2. In PESA radar, all the antenna elements are connected to a single transmitter, whereas in AESA radar, each antenna element is connected to a small and solid state Transmit/ Receive Module (TRM).

3. In PESA, the transmit power comes from a single amplifier from another place in the system. The transmit power is then distributed to the radiating elements. In AESA, the receive function is handled by multiple element amplifiers in the system, but it is combined into a single return.

4. Since PESA relies on single frequency, it is more susceptible to enemy jammers. AESA on the other hand has multiple frequencies, meaning that it is difficult for them to be jammed.

5. PESA is more technically simple as compared to AESA which is somehow complicated to understand and work through.

6. PESA radar has a slow scan rate and can track only a single target or handle a single task at a time. AESA radar, on the other hand, has a fast scan rate and can track multiple targets or handle many tasks at a time.

7. PESA radar produces a beam of radio waves, which can be electronically steered into different directions whereas AESA radar produces many beams at different radio frequencies simultaneously.