Metamaterial Electronically Scanning Array

Echodyne’s radar vision platform represents a new category of sensor technology – combining the all-weather, long range, and ground-truth measurements of radar with the high-resolution imaging capabilities normally associated with cameras or high-end LIDAR.

Radar vision consists of high-performance agile imaging radar hardware combined with computer vision-like software for classification, recognition, and perception. Radar vision is made possible by Echodyne’s patented Metamaterial Electronically Scanning Array (MESA), which represents a major breakthrough in radar technology.

Phased array radar has long been the gold standard in radar, electronically steering a high-gain high-resolution spot beam instantly around the field of view. MESA radars operate the same way, providing high-resolution ground-truth data at any time and in any weather. Unlike phased arrays, however, Echodyne’s MESA can be produced in high volumes, at commercial price points, and in small lightweight form factors.

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Ultra-thin lightweight aperture
Multiple panels can be tiled together to create large apertures
Active metamaterial surface eliminates the need for phase-shifters
Beam shaping and multi-beam capability
Beam steering capability in both directions covers nearly a full hemisphere
Ability to switch beam direction nearly instantaneously (<1µs)
Metamaterial uses well established printed circuit board manufacturing technology
Integrated beam-control and interface electronics (backside)


MESA accomplishes its breakthrough by fundamentally changing the way the radar antenna array interacts with the source signal to electronically steer the radar beam. In traditional passive and active electronically scanned phased arrays (PESA and AESA), discrete phase shifters embedded in the antenna control the beam direction. MESA, in stark contrast, does not require phase shifters at the antenna elements. In fact, MESA can steer perfectly without a single phase shifter. Eliminating phase shifters dramatically reduces system complexity, eliminates primary sources of power loss, and simplifies waste-heat dissipation. MESA’s unique approach nets tremendous savings in cost, size, weight and power (C-SWAP) over traditional arrays. MESA supports all radar methodologies including FMCW and Pulse Doppler and extends across the entire radar frequency spectrum from L to W band.