Redstone Arsenal, Ala., - Two employees here recently developed a patented technology with potential uses in radar, sonar, imaging, satellites, global positioning systems, communications devices, and wireless communications, according to the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center.

The technology, dubbed the Apparatus and Method for Multi-channel Equalization, enables sensors to pick the best channel from those available and avoid signal quality break downs that can wreck system performance, according to inventors Jeffrey Levasseur and Brent Worley. It also brings another patent to the AMRDEC portfolio of technology advances, which the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command element routinely shares with civilian enterprises.

The two inventors have a long history with AMRDEC. Levasseur began his career there 26 years ago experimenting with prototype radar systems and has earned two Army Research and Development Achievement Awards for his contributions. Worley joined AMRDEC more than 21 years ago experimenting with digital beam forming arrays and adaptive signal processing. The two men both now work at the Advanced Technology Division of the Advanced Sensors, Guidance, and Electronics Directorate.

Improving the performance of sensor systems is important to AMRDEC, which works to deliver the best performance to Army Warfighters. Some advanced sensors use what is called a channel-matching process to work better in environments with a lot of interference. The process involves having the multi-channel system select a reference channel from among the many available to it. Until this advancement, systems would pick a channel arbitrarily. About 10 years ago AMRDEC's researchers realized they could improve that process by coming up with a way for sensors to select a reference channel intelligently. The resulting invention significantly improves performance by increasing system sensitivity and allowing the system to make real-time adjustments to prevent the failures that can occur with existing technology.

"The improvements include an apparatus and an algorithm that select a reference channel in the adaptive process during each system calibration cycle, producing optimal, or near optimal, channel matching" said Levasseur.

The invention now becomes part of AMRDEC's technology commercialization program, which the Center uses to stimulate commercial use of technologies it has developed.