Last fall, the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) successfully tested a shared-aperture antenna. It employed a separate active-array transmitter and an array of receiving elements. This was probably the first such device, and it has increasing significance for warships. For decades, a problem in warship design has been how Io provide enough antennas for an increasing number of functions. Satellite dishes already compete with radars for the best positions in a ship. The satellite antennas become more important with the development of networked warfare concepts. In effect, whatever is connected to the ship by satellites becomes a sensor for the ship, often the most important sensor. That makes the competition for positions urgent, and the choices difficult.
World Naval Developments: Shared Aperture and the Future
By Norman Friedman, Author, The Naval Institute Guide to World Naval Weapon Systems