WP3: Design finalization for critical subsystems

The Design Study and Preparatory Phase projects under FP6 and FP7, respectively, brought the EISCAT_3D project very close to the point of implementation. The Preparatory Phase project, in particular, looked closely at the front end sub-array digital beam-former for the multi-beam capabilities of the overall system as this is among the most difficult subsystems to implement given currently available technologies. Full realization of the potential of EISCAT_3D pushes the state of the art in this area when both bandwidth and minimized power consumption are taken into account.

The Preparatory Phase results included several possible approaches to beam forming, all of which were shown to be technically feasible, but each with different levels of cost, complexity, power consumption, and technical availability with readily available components. This work package will make the final design decision for the sub-array beam-former based on these criteria. It will do this via both updated analysis of component availability and by contacting industry for performance estimates for the various approaches. In doing this, considerations will be given to both short term and long term costs (e.g. purchase price, energy consumption, maintenance and repair costs, etc.). Additionally, trade-offs concerning the design authority/ownership will be considered.

The activities in this work package include:

  • Engineering assessment of the possible approaches to sub-array beam-forming
  • Requests for limited demonstrations of the technological solutions from the vendors