BAE Systems updates JORN radar electronics

BAE Systems Australia engineers have installed the first prototypes of the complex signal receiving and processing electronics that will update Australia’s JORN network of over the horizon surveillance radars.

The company congratulated its Jindalee Operations Radar Network (JORN) team on its significant progress with the delivery of Phase 6 upgrades as installation commences at the first radar site in remote outback Australia.

The newly developed JORN hardware – replacing analogue systems with digital devices and updated software – is designed for ease of manufacturing and is ‘exceeding performance expectations’, according to the company.

The hardware will now enter pre-production ahead of site trials in mid-2022.

The team recently replaced 500kg of electronics, power supplies, brackets and supports and installed prototype Phase 6 kit – the first time this new upgraded equipment has been installed and operable at a JORN radar site.

Australia operates three JORN sites, synthesising date received to identify vessels approaching Australian waters at great distances.

Delivery of Phase 6 will involve more than $250 million of engineering design, development and validation effort.

BAESA’s JORN programme manager Richard Udall said: “The success of this installation is clear evidence of the hard work undertaken by our Surveillance team in our Hardware Integration Facility to deliver this world-leading capability.”

Dr Gordon Frazer from Frazer Labs and an OTHR advisor to BAE Systems Australia, said the recent installation was the first use of the world’s most advanced and high-performance High Frequency receiver and he was impressed by the quality of data it was producing.

Dr Gordon said: “This is also the first demonstration of a Common Aperture capable receiver on the JORN antenna system, a critical step for Phase 6.

“I have been methodically working through the new Phase 6 equipment in the Hardware Integration Facility. I see performance levels in key areas beyond any previous OTHR.”

Picture: BAE Systems Australia

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