JED - June 2014 - 33

Advanced Components for EW (ACE) Program
Lays Out Plans for New EW Capabilities
By John Haystead


6.) Advanced Electronic Protection - Allow unfettered operations in the increasingly dense EMS environment.
According to Dr. Hary, multiple factors were considered in the
selection process, but all the selected "technologies had to meet
three criteria: relevance and quantifiable impact to EW system
capability; sufficient maturity level to support brassboard demonstration in a four-year timeframe; and unique capability for
DOD missions that commercial industry would not provide."
Overall, the ACE effort is divided into four major technology thrust areas: Integrated Photonic Circuits (IPC); Millimeter-Wave (mmW) Source and Receiver Components for EW;
Reconfigurable and Adaptive RF Electronics (RARE); and
Three-Dimensional Heterogeneous Integration for Photonic
Sources (3D HIPS). Two technology efforts were funded in
each thrust area, together with two additional efforts to address the overall EW system impact within and across thrust
areas. Specifically: Aurrion (Goleta, CA) and Lockheed Martin
Space Systems (Newtown, PA) were awarded contracts in the
IPC area; Raytheon (Tewksbury, MA) and Northrop Grumman
Aerospace Systems (Redondo Beach, CA) in the mmW Components area; Raytheon and Rockwell Collins (Cedar Rapids, IA)
for RARE; and LGS Innovations (Florham Park, NJ) and HRL
Laboratories (Malibu, CA) for 3D HIPS. BAE Systems (Merrimack, NH) and Lockheed Martin Mission Systems and Training
(Moorestown, NJ) both received awards to look at EW system
applications over the four thrust areas and to better refine
brassboard concepts for demonstration. In addition, tri-service
SME teams were formed in each thrust and technology area
to work closely with the industry teams throughout Phase 0,
including several SMEs from the Defense Advanced Projects
Agency (DARPA) on specific technologies.
With completion of Phase 0, the contractors have now submitted their final reports, which are available to US government agencies and their contractors (Distribution C) on the
Defense Technical Information Center (DTIC) website. According to Dr. Hary, program recommendations have now been made
to the senior leadership of the three Services and DOD. "We've
clearly identified key component technologies and necessary
funding levels to develop these leap-ahead capabilities."
The recommendations from Phase 0 include "an approximately four-year, focused component technology investment
effort to provide leap-ahead EW capability and to demonstrate
these in EW system brassboards." It also recommends a projected follow-on program start in FY2016, but notes that this will
be governed by service POM planning cycles and program approval/funding. Says Dr. Hary, "If approved, there will be a full
and open competition in the 2016 (end of 2015) timeframe."

With the completion of Phase 0, a number of major achievable technology advances in each of the four thrust areas have

The Journal of Electronic Defense | June 2014

he Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) Sensors
Directorate (Wright Patterson AFB, OH) has completed the first phase (Phase 0) of its comprehensive Advanced Components for EW (ACE) program,
and it has made recommendations on how to move
forward with the exponentially-rapid, EW technology development effort.
Ten contracts totaling $3M were awarded to nine contractors
under the program last June to create advanced components
to "revolutionize future US EW capabilities that leap-ahead of
the systems capabilities of others that use globally-available
commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) components." As described by
Dr. Stephen Hary, principal engineer, AFRL Sensors Directorate, and ACE Program Phase 0 program manager, "the focus of
ACE was not to invent new technology, but to leap ahead and
rapidly harvest technology - to take it and mature it beyond
the 'on-the-laboratory-shelf' state into EW-relevant brassboard
systems ready for technology insertion at the end of a fouryear time period." While Hary observes that some advancement
in EW capabilities can be achieved through better Concept of
Operations (CONOPS) and improved operating techniques and
tactics, "the ACE program recognizes that focused investments
in fundamental technology areas that don't pull from the same
COTS tech base that everyone else is pulling from," are what is
needed for rapid capability improvements.
Modeled after the DOD's Microwave/Millimeter-Wave Monolithic Integrated Circuits (MIMIC) program, a tri-Service government
team consisting of AFRL, Army Research Laboratory (ARL), Naval
Research Laboratory (NRL), Army CERDEC, and Office of Naval Research (ONR) subject matter experts (SMEs) participated in the
development of the overall ACE strategy and award selection, and
worked closely with the award recipients to identify technologies
and brassboards to provide the leap-ahead capability.
The candidate ACE technologies were evaluated based on
their "ability to impact six desired 2023 (ten-year), end-state
capabilities to counter the rapidly evolving challenges to electromagnetic (EM) spectrum dominance that threaten Blue
Force lethality and survivability across all domains." The objectives are defined through six technology challenges:
1.) Cognitive, Adaptive EW - Effectively outpace adversary decision and technical options;
2.) Distributed /Coordinated EW - Spatially and temporally diverse
responsiveness to dense and complex threat environments;
3.) Preemptive/Proactive Effects - Real-time sensing, assessment and optimization of EA effectiveness;
4.) Broadband/Multispectral EW Systems - Robust ability to
sense and react to threat systems across the widest possible spectral extent in order to control the EMS;
5.) Modular/Open/Reconfigurable
- Timely deployment or insertion of advanced EW in response to rapidly changing conditions; and



JED - June 2014

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of JED - June 2014

The View From Here
Conferences Calendar
Courses Calendar
From the President
The Monitor
World Report
50 Years of Airborne SIGINT
ACE Program Lays Out Plans for New EW Capabilities
Technology Survey: Spectrum Analyzers
EW 101
NAWCWD Hosts 43rd Annual Collaborative Electronic Warfare Symposium
AOC News
Index of Advertisers
JED Quick Look
JED - June 2014 - cover1
JED - June 2014 - cover2
JED - June 2014 - 3
JED - June 2014 - 4
JED - June 2014 - 5
JED - June 2014 - The View From Here
JED - June 2014 - 7
JED - June 2014 - Conferences Calendar
JED - June 2014 - 9
JED - June 2014 - Courses Calendar
JED - June 2014 - 11
JED - June 2014 - From the President
JED - June 2014 - 13
JED - June 2014 - 14
JED - June 2014 - The Monitor
JED - June 2014 - 16
JED - June 2014 - 17
JED - June 2014 - 18
JED - June 2014 - 19
JED - June 2014 - World Report
JED - June 2014 - 21
JED - June 2014 - 50 Years of Airborne SIGINT
JED - June 2014 - 23
JED - June 2014 - 24
JED - June 2014 - 25
JED - June 2014 - 26
JED - June 2014 - 27
JED - June 2014 - 28
JED - June 2014 - 29
JED - June 2014 - 30
JED - June 2014 - 31
JED - June 2014 - 32
JED - June 2014 - ACE Program Lays Out Plans for New EW Capabilities
JED - June 2014 - 34
JED - June 2014 - 35
JED - June 2014 - 36
JED - June 2014 - Technology Survey: Spectrum Analyzers
JED - June 2014 - 38
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JED - June 2014 - 46
JED - June 2014 - 47
JED - June 2014 - 48
JED - June 2014 - EW 101
JED - June 2014 - 50
JED - June 2014 - 51
JED - June 2014 - 52
JED - June 2014 - NAWCWD Hosts 43rd Annual Collaborative Electronic Warfare Symposium
JED - June 2014 - AOC News
JED - June 2014 - 55
JED - June 2014 - 56
JED - June 2014 - Index of Advertisers
JED - June 2014 - JED Quick Look
JED - June 2014 - cover3
JED - June 2014 - cover4