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DIFFERENT (DIgital beam Forming For low-cost multi-static spacE-boRnE syNthetic aperTure radars) (DIFFERENT)
Start date: Dec 13, 2013, End date: Jan 1, 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

DIFFERENT aims at building the foundation of a new generation of space-borne Synthetic Aperture Radars (SAR) with a significant reduction in cost, size, mass and power consumption, and enhanced performances with respect to systems currently available. The final product will be a compact, dual-band, dual-polarization radar with DBF capabilities. DIFFERENT will achieve these results setting up a consortium between SMEs and research institutions to develop and to exchange technologies and know how to improve competitiveness of SMEs. 1) DIFFERENT proposes advances towards space-borne radars building a low-cost, compact SAR by combininga) a new concept of multi-static dual-band (Ka/X) dual-polarization passive SAR having digital beamforming (DBF);b) the development of DBF BICMOS chip and of SiGe MMIC to enhance radar operations and to allow an unprecedented level of integration; c) the development of a dual-band (Ka/X) dual-polarized low-cost array antenna which will have a shared apertur; d) integration technologies that will make use of materials new to the space sector and that will ensure the high level of integration to reduce costs and weight of the overall payload. 2) DIFFERENT targets the stable integration of SMEs into the Earth Observation (EO) value chain by developing know how in the following key areas which are recognized as strategic for the future scientific and commercial missions a. SiGe BiCMOS integrated circuitsb. Advanced integration techniquesc. Digital Beam Forming3) DIFFERENT will open to SMEs new possibilities in the entire space sector developing a distributed SAR space system fulfilling governmental and commercial needs. 4) The DIFFERENT consortium is tailored to sustain the involved SMEs towards the acquisition of a leading role in the EO value chain. SMEs central position in DIFFERENT is supported by a national space agency (DLR), by a research institute and technology provider (IHP) and by two academic partners (UNICAL / KENT)
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