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DHS S&T Funds Washington Startup to Test Metamaterial-Based Radar

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) awarded $454,099 to Echodyne Corporation of Kirkland, Washington, to continue critical research and development on new radar systems using metamaterials. DHS awarded the funds through a Phase 5 Other Transaction Agreement with S&T’s Silicon Valley Innovation Program (SVIP).

Previous Echodyne efforts with SVIP have focused on the development of an innovative Metamaterials Electronically Scanning Array (MESA®) radar for use in a variety of border security applications. MESA uses metamaterials to build a new architecture for fully electronic scanning radar systems with high fidelity and fast directional changes—with much lower cost, size, weight, and power.

“The Echodyne radar was a key sensor in the successful U.S. Customs and Border Protection Autonomous Surveillance Towers Program,” said SVIP Transition Director Ron McNeal. “This Phase 5 award will allow S&T and DHS to explore new use cases for the MESA radar in Counter-Unmanned Aircraft Systems scenarios. This is a great opportunity to explore new applications of this proven technology and increase the impact of SVIP’s investment to reach more DHS users.”

S&T will begin integrating the radar with other sensors into a system-of-systems that will be tested later this year to evaluate its ability to detect and track small unmanned aircraft systems.