19 Jul 04. AMS is making progress in the area of photonics and nanotechnology and is actively involved in researching and developing both the individual components (antenna, receiver, transmitter and processor) and technologies used in the innovative radar: NOR – Nano-Optical Radar.
The NOR will be more than a question of scale resulting from constant reduction of the dimensions at play: it will introduce and focus on intrinsic behavioural differences. It will not just represent a step forward using emerging technologies (first and foremost photonics and nanotechnologies), but a genuine architectural revolution.
The radar as we know it will no longer boast the same shape or substance. It will be a multifunction, multirole, multidomain, adaptive and above all knowledge based sensor. However this is a process which requires time and investments.
The prefix “nano” means 10-9 or one billionth of a unit. When used in connection with nanotechnology, or better still nanoscience (meaning the science of the matter where various disciplines come together), the prefix refers to the manipulation of matter at an atomic level. Action focuses on the most intimate structure of matter with the extraction or inclusion of atoms in order to obtain new behaviours and properties. These become dominant as well as visible on this scale only as a result of quantum mechanics-related behaviours.
Nanotechnology is an emerging domain with enormous potential, an area of major change and investment with regard to achievable results, performances still to be discovered and revolutionary applications. AMS is extremely active in this sector and works with a number of research centres and university institutes in Italy and abroad.
Nanotechnology is a sector of great potential where. However all activities must be performed with extreme caution since the prospects are totally ground-breaking. They arise in most sectors (from biology, medicine and energy to electronics, computers and genetic engineering) and go hand in hand with a “dark” side related to the possibility of making permanent changes to the structure of matter.
AMS has identified some highly innovative sectors such as:
Technologies to protect the antenna and radar system (Radome) also with the aim of making them less visible as far as electromagnetic signature is concerned and above all dynamically frequency-selective (Nano Frequency Selective Radome )
Nanotubes – based transmitters components (TX Nano Valve)
High-efficiency photonic material synthesised by nanotechnological chromophores (Optoelectronics Devices based on Organic Nanomaterial – ODEON)
A Broadband Photonic A/D Converter
A Digital-Photonic Co-processor particularly suitable for vector – matrix processing functions such as Adaptive Digital Beam Forming, Space Time Adaptive Processing and Knowledge Based processing.
Digital components and nanotechnology devices which make it possible to implement Nano-Software Defined Radio able to transmit enormous amounts of coded, semiprocessed data for data fusion algorithms to remote centres, and to create adaptive and real time radar system architectures such as Direct Digital Beam Synthesis & Steering which have not been possible to date.