Raytheon continually pushes the boundaries of technology to create the foundations for building solutions that make the world a safer place.  As the pace of scientific discovery and technological advancement continues to accelerate, Raytheon’s robust research portfolio, leveraging internal and external technology sources and partners, ensures our position as a technology leader for defense and security.

Raytheon uses a balanced approach to technology development that connects our domain experts to advances in external research communities and companies, along with internal research and development (IRAD) efforts, to solve specific needs of our customers. This issue of Technology Today highlights recent research projects from IRAD, external partnerships, customer funded activities and companywide innovation challenges. Readers may also be interested in our 2018 edition of Technology Today which presents Raytheon’s research and applications of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. 

Raytheon is a leader in producing gallium nitride components that form numerous innovations featured in this issue.

Two of this edition’s articles show new directions for research in core component technology areas. In “The Next Generation of Millimeter Wave RF Amplifiers,” Nick Kolias and Andrew Brown present results on extending the frequency of operation of gallium nitride (GaN) monolithic microwave integrated circuits (MMICs) up through W band. Raytheon’s GaN MMICs have achieved a benchmark for W-band power that will enable new system applications such as high frequency data links. Lenonard Chen’s article, “Advanced Electro-optical and Infrared: Sensing Across the Spectrum,” discusses electro-optical and infrared (EOIR) focal plane array (FPA) imagers that continue to drive higher pixel counts, frame rates and dynamic range, and that have sensitivities meeting tactical and strategic requirements. Chen explains how with the advent of efficient 3D integration, smart sensors are feasible, from basic on-chip image processing to implementing neuromorphic algorithms, and how focal plane arrays span from near IR to long wavelength IR.

Sriram Chandrasekaran and Jon Rawstron authorWide Bandgap Semiconductor Power Electronics Conversion and Control,” an article on developing wide bandgap semiconductors silicon carbide (SiC) and gallium nitride (GaN) power electronic circuits to improve system power efficiency and drive down associated size and weight. For a given power level, SiC and GaN power transistors can operate at higher frequency with lower loss, and therefore higher efficiency, than conventional silicon power electronics and are reinvigorating the field of power electronic circuits and systems. 

In “Raytheon’s Three Dimensional Heterogeneous Integration (3DHI) Electronics Technology,” Thomas E. Kazior and coauthors present 3DHI as an enabler of future systems that will benefit from the intimate and flexible integration of multiple heterogeneous device and circuit technologies. For example, the 3D heterogeneous integration of high power and efficiency GaN power amplifiers (PAs) with functionally dense Silicon (Si) CMOS logic will create a new class of compact, digitally enhanced radio frequency (RF) integrated circuits (ICs) that can revolutionize radar and multifunction systems. The article further discusses efforts to make this solution cost-effective by taking advantage of existing and emerging 3D commercial technologies, such as wafer bonding, interposers, and 3D fabrication techniques.  

Another technology under development to reduce system size, weight and power (SWaP) is integrated photonics. The article “Photonic Integrated Circuits Research and Development at Raytheon,” by Richard Belansky and Mo Soltani discusses work to exploit recent advances in photonic integrated circuits (PICs) for applications such as sensing, imaging, spectroscopy, laser communications, RF photonics and positioning, navigation and timing (PNT). With all the advances occurring in emerging PIC technologies, Raytheon researchers and engineers are actively pursuing PIC implementations to provide lower cost, higher yield technology insertion solutions for both existing and future Raytheon programs.

Jon Goding and Heather Romero, in “Advancing Weapon Systems Cybersecurity through Automation,” explore recent research in cybersecurity for weapon systems and the drive for automation to enable humans and machines to respond directly, rapidly and effectively to indicators of malicious activity. This article examines research across the entire life cycle of weapon systems, from advanced algorithms, to deployment of those algorithms in operational weapon platforms, to the automated development and maintenance tools now being piloted by Raytheon’s own engineers. 

With advances in the ability to model, manipulate and characterize materials at the nanoscale, implementation of nanotechnology across defense and commercial sectors continues to expand. In this edition’s Eye On Technology, the article “Transitioning Nanotechnology: Small Dimensions, Big Impact,” by K.C. Fong, C. Haynie, M. Herndon, and C. Koontz examines 2D materials and nanoscale design as enablers for future electronic and sensor technology capabilities.

Raytheon remains a technology driven company dedicated to creating discriminating solutions for our customers through a broad portfolio of research in science and technology. By driving next generation core technologies and expanding capabilities into new technological domains, Raytheon is constantly evolving — setting a challenging pace as a leading provider of defense and civil solutions to make the world a safer place. 

— John Zolper