PLAYING DARPA: GO-ANYWHERE PHASED ARRAYS
This is a very intriguing one brought to my attention by Ms. P.H., and I have to comment about it.
A couple of days ago, I blogged about the capabilities of ionopheric heaters such as HAARP and EISCAT being used to map gravity waves and to modify terrestrial and space weather conditions. HAARP and EISCAT are both phased antennae arrays, and HAARP, as most people are aware, is a field of such antennae near Gakona, Alaska. Phased antennae arrays are basically antennae that broadcast their signals slightly out of phase with each other, so that the signals themselves, when "added up," can be shaped or bent to a particular pattern, or targeted to a specific region.
Now, with that in mind, our good friends at DARPA are now talking about this:
Pay attention to these parts:
"Phased radio frequency (RF) arrays use numerous small antennas to steer RF beams without mechanical movement (think radar without a spinning dish). These electronics are invaluable for critical DoD applications such as radar, communications and electronic warfare. Their lack of moving parts reduces maintenance requirements and their advanced electromagnetic capabilities, such as the ability to look in multiple directions at once, are extremely useful in the field. These benefits, though, come with a high price tag. Current phased arrays are extremely expensive and can take many years to engineer and build."
"DARPA created the Arrays at Commercial Timescales (ACT) program to seek new technologies to form a shared hardware basis for many future DoD phased array development programs. If ACT is successful, the resulting technologies may save DoDbillions of dollars and require years less research and development time for new systems. ACT will oversee technology research into three technical areas: 1) a common building block for RF arrays, 2) a reconfigurable electromagnetic interface (the antenna interface from the electronics to the waves in the air) and 3) over-the-air coherent array aggregation."(Emphasis added)
Extrapolating from these two paragraphs we get the following argument and implications:
- Phased arrays are difficult and expensive to build, and in the state of current technology, are permanent fixed installations such as HAARP;
- The military currently has a variety of ships, aircraft, and permanent fixed ground installations (in addition to civilian antennae for radio and television broadcasting), that could, with the right technology, be networked together to form phased arrays;
- These facilities could be networked together as the situational requirements demand, and then dissolved as those requirements evaporate, leading to new networked arrays to meet new situations, and so on.
The key here is, in part, that "reconfigurable electromagnetic interface," which, in my opinion, is a euphemism for the needed computer processing to design such arrays. Such software would have to account for the broadcast power of various individual antennae in any putative network, its phase, and also have the architectural and processing sophistication to design, from these disparate components, the phased network.
This is, as you might have guessed, pretty sophisticated and heady stuff (but we would expect nothing less from DARPA, would we?). Now let's extrapolate this even more: imagine that such a design capability was achieved. Now apply it to ionospheric heaters: one would be able to "design" an ionopheric heating phased array from existing broadcast facilities, no matter where they were located.
...remember, this is what they're admitting publicly...
See you on the flip side...
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