Northrop Grumman demonstrates antenna sharing and pattern capabilities at Naval Research Laboratory test facility

Linthicum, Md. October 28, 2019 Photo(s): By Northrop Grumman
InTop EW/IO/COMMS system deployed at Chesapeake Beach, Maryland serving as the test bed for Low-Level Resource Allocation Manager (LLRAM).

Northrop Grumman Corporation in partnership with the US Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) successfully completed a critical test in the development of the Integrated Topside (InTop) Low-Level Resource Allocation Manager (LLRAM) program last month at NRL's test facility in Chesapeake Beach, Maryland.

LLRAM in conjunction with the InTop Electronic Warfare/Information Operations/Communications (EW/IO/COMMS) system demonstrated the simultaneous sharing of a single antenna, while flexing its adaptable size and antenna pattern capabilities, and performing a mission that would have required multiple dedicated antennas in the past. The significance of the test is to enable future antenna reductions on ships that are already capacity-constrained, allowing for more advanced warfighting capabilities in an ever-increasingly complex battlespace environment.

"The Northrop Grumman/NRL demonstration of LLRAM concepts was conducted in the same environment that proved crucial to the development of the SEWIP Block 3 EDM," said Mike Meaney, vice president, maritime electronic and information warfare, Northrop Grumman. "The efficiency of signal sharing capabilities, scalability and advanced resource management capabilities developed on the Low-Level Resource Allocation Manager program will allow for a significantly reduced footprint topside."

The demonstration showed that the EW/IO/COMMS Advanced Development Model for SEWIP Block 3 can serve as a platform for proving out advanced multi-function concepts using existing NRL test assets.

LLRAM and EW/IO/COMMS were developed under the Office of Naval Research (ONR) Electromagnetic Maneuver Warfare Command and Control (EMC²) Integrated Topside (InTop) Innovative Naval Prototype. The system leverages four AESA arrays (low band transmit/receive and high band transmit/receive) and intended platforms include cruisers, destroyers and aircraft carriers.