Ferrite Phase Shifters and Other Waveguide Components and Subsystems
MAG is equipped to serve military, government, aerospace, laboratory, and commercial markets with high-technology microwave component and system activities from applied research through volume production. Products manufactured include ferrite phase shifters plus a wide range of components for performing switching, circulator, isolator, variable power divider, and other radio frequency (RF) functions. MAG has successfully provided components for synthetic aperture radar systems for over 30 years. Electronic scanning antennas (ESAs) have also been designed and manufactured by MAG. In addition, electronic drivers, beam steering controllers, and related electronic test equipment are produced as an offshoot of needs initiated by control of microwave components. MAG products are found on land and sea and in the air, successfully deployed in many well known programs. These programs include those for aircraft landing control, air defense, warning and control, surveillance and tracking, fire control, weather observation, high altitude surveillance, threat identification, threat simulation, and laboratory and instrumentation. MAG also supports legacy systems, in some cases where the original manufacturer is no longer in business or willing to provide products produced in the past.
Early growth of the company was made possible by the development at MAG of new “Dual-Mode” and “Rotary-Field” ferrite phase control elements, the latter of which was subsequently used in electronic steering of the antenna for the USAF/Westinghouse E-3 Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) radar. MAG provided engineering services and hardware items throughout the feasibility study and engineering model phases of the AWACS program and continues as supplier of hardware for production phase AWACS antennas. MAG also developed and supplied items for the Electronically Agile Radar (EAR), a USAF-sponsored program, which served as a prototype for the B-1B APQ-164 Offensive Radar System. MAG subsequently received the contract to support the production of the Phase Control Module (PCM) for the B-1B Radar System and successfully produced in excess of 130,000 PCMs. MAG’s familiarity and experience with ferrite components and systems is unrivaled in the industry.
Building on its reputation as a component level designer and provider of waveguide and control devices for the radar community, MAG has also become a source of ESA arrays and subsystems. Antenna projects include the space-fed Phased Array Antenna System (PAAS/TPAAS) family designed at X-Band, Ku-Band, and C-Band. The I-30 Expedient Antenna, a 2101 element antenna using 48 digital signal processors (DSPs) running in parallel, was designed and delivered within 18 months. Other projects include a small Ku-Band antenna with a waveguide feed for interceptor terminal guidance, and a small Ka-Band antenna using a resonant feed for a tank fire control system.
The heart of these antennas are MAG’s phase shifters, which have the advantage of ease of adaptability to any interface, whether free-space, waveguide, coax, or stripline. This advantage allows great flexibility in antenna design in the quest to fulfill specification requirements. MAG can design reflectarrays and transmission lenses using either illuminated feed horns or waveguide, stripline, or coaxial distribution networks. Also, through work with phased arrays, MAG has developed an extensive vendor base, with technical expertise ideally suited to antenna fabrication.
Production facilities include equipment for ceramic grinding, precision machining, thin film deposition, vacuum impregnation, chemical film processing, general assembly, and mil-spec soldering, each in its own dedicated area. A full complement of up-to-date laboratory apparatus for electronic and microwave measurements exists at MAG under real-time control by in-house computers that are interfaced with appropriate test equipment.