New JORN HF receiver 'swallows the spectrum'

Thursday, 14 March, 2019

New JORN HF receiver 'swallows the spectrum'

The Australian Defence Force’s (ADF) Jindalee Operational Radar Network (JORN) monitors the HF spectrum to track objects across Australia’s northern and western air and sea approaches, and plays a vital role in supporting the ADF’s air and maritime operations.

In the past, JORN has only been able to focus in on a single radar channel at a time, limiting its capability.

But a newly developed common aperture receiver receives almost the entire HF spectrum at the same time, enabling tasks to be run in parallel — monitoring different aspects of the ionosphere and simultaneously tracking multiple radar channels, each with full receiver aperture gain.

Australia’s DST research agency has proven the concept and shown how JORN’s performance can be improved and expanded, enabling the recently announced JORN Phase 6 Development to leap forward.

“In this case, we’ve built a full set of common aperture receiver gear,” said DST engineer Geoff Warne. “That will now be transitioned into a role where it can be used to evaluate any receiver that the contractor builds.”

The team overcame a design challenge that required very low internal noise with a highly linear response across the HF spectrum. Significant effort was also expended developing a sophisticated digital back end that allows the operator to focus attention on different channels.

Providing industry with this starting point has ensured significant costs savings for Defence while also significantly reducing technical risk.

Image courtesy DST

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