Integrated, Scalable Design Prototyping Process to Improve the Specific Power Efficiency of Radars

Interdisciplinary Areas: Power, Energy, and the Environment

Project Description

Interviews conducted with warfighters and Navy engineers revealed that radar systems requiring high powers, which result in high operating temperatures, create a pain point shared by many stakeholders. Because of the risk of radar overheating failures, power must be limited in current systems. Improved radar system efficiency would allow more comprehensive missions with fewer delays, thus saving lives through improved readiness. It is therefore vital to provide greater power efficiency to radar systems to reduce the peak dissipated power and operating temperature in radars to increase the mean time to failure (MTTF), particularly in unmanned aerial platforms. We are addressing this problem by developing a minimum viable product and prototype. The minimum viable product we created is a radar package simulation tool, where the architecture, materials, and geometries can vary in the prediction of power added efficiency (PAE) and MTTF. The prototype to be built is a physical hardware package consisting of discrete power devices laid out in an array with spacing typical of a radar system to show both system scalability and the improvements in PAE and MTTF. We are also in the process of developing additional commercial partnerships to facilitate fabrication and testing of our advanced prototype designs, as well as longer-term reliability testing.

Start Date

May/June 2022

Postdoc Qualifications

Demonstrated ability to model thermal transport in complex 3D geometries across multiple length scales. Ability to design, fabricate, and test a prototype power electronic circuit operating at radio frequencies with active cooling. Interest in studying failure modes for the resulting system, including the application of accelerated lifetime testing and appropriate failure models.


Peter Bermel, Electrical & Computer Engineering. Email:
Justin Weibel, Mechanical Engineering. Email:
Ozguc, Serdar, Liang Pan, and Justin A. Weibel. "Topology optimization of microchannel heat sinks using a homogenization approach." International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer 169 (2021): 120896.
Wang, Z., S. Alajlouni, P. Bermel, and A. Shakouri. "Explaining an unusual electromigration behavior--A comprehensive experimental and theoretical analysis using finite element method." Journal of Applied Physics 129, no. 21 (2021): 214502.
Bermel, Peter. "Capturing Waste Heat with CMOS Microelectronics." Joule 4, no. 5 (2020): 982-983.
Pan, Zhenhai, Justin A. Weibel, and Suresh V. Garimella. "Transport mechanisms during water droplet evaporation on heated substrates of different wettability." International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer 152 (2020): 119524.