Integrated Topside Innovative Naval Prototype
Integrated Topside (InTop) is an Innovative Naval Prototype (INP) program that will develop a scalable family of Electronic Warfare (EW), radar, Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) and communications capability to support multiple classes of ships and other Navy platforms. InTop is utilizing a modular / open RF design to facilitate best-of-breed technology and cost effective upgrades. The InTop vision is to:
- Dominate the RF spectrum
- Enable innovation through a RF Open Architecture (hardware and software)
- Create affordable systems that are scalable across platforms
InTop plans to reduce the number of topside apertures present on Navy ships through the use of integrated, multi-function, multi-beam arrays. In the past, the topside design approach was based on developing separate systems and associated antennas for each individual RF function which led to a significant increase in topside antennas. This increase has led to problems with Electro-Magnetic Interference (EMI), Radar Cross Section (RCS) and the overall performance of critical ship EW, sensing and communication functions.
InTop builds off of a past ONR effort, the Advanced Multi-Function RF Concept (AMRFC), which was a proof-of-principle demonstration that showed the feasibility of multi-beam, multi-function apertures capable of simultaneously supporting EW, communications and radar functions in two arrays (transmit and receive). The AMRFC test bed also provided a modular architecture where interfaces were sufficiently defined between units (arrays, signal processing, resource manager, etc.) that systems developed by different companies and government labs could be integrated and work together in one overall system.
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