Submissions close 18 November 2021.

Multi-Function Aperture research Phase 2 call proposals


The program is 3 phases that are intended to run over at least a 5-year period. Five Australian universities have supported the first phase of the program under a multi-party collaborative agreement.

Phase 1, ending in February 2022 developed the core concepts to:

  • address key Science and Technology (S&T) challenges
  • retire risk to set up foundational technology pathways in the next phase.

The MFA Program is now seeking responses from interested industry and academic organisations to become part of the MFA team. This forms Phase 2 of the program.

We need assistance to develop Australian-based and sovereign capabilities in one (or more) of the following ways:

  • establish new industrial capabilities relevant to MFA
  • leverage existing in-house industry capabilities
  • focused research in collaboration with industry partners.

The second phase of the program will:

  • extend the research effort underpinned by Phase 1 and refocus towards industrial research capabilities and development
  • require significant industry engagement and close collaboration with university partners
  • collaboratively transform concepts from the first phase into technologies that will be readily scaled and integrated.

The outcomes of the second phase will set up the third phase to develop a fully capable, multi-function aperture-evaluation-demonstrator to assess how the new technology can be exploitable in future force in-being.

The research areas


The MFA has developed S&T proposals during phase 1. We expect 9 to continue forward in phase 2.

  • Antenna array elements and surface: 2 developed array designs operating over a decade of bandwidth, providing wide scan angle range and dual polarisation.
  • Impedance matching: Novel impedance matching techniques are being designed to meet the multi-function wideband requirements of the antenna surfaces.
  • Beam forming and excitation: Novel forms of array excitation for beam forming, steering and control accompany the MFA surface designs.
  • RF amplifier design: GaN power amplifier and low noise amplifier designs for the MFA front-end RF transceiver to support multi-carrier functionality across a decadal bandwidth.
  • Circulator and switch design: Development of switch and circulator designs capable of operating with high isolation across the MFA bandwidth.
  • Self-Interference Cancellation: Wideband interference cancellation, based on novel Simultaneous Transmit and Receive (STaR) techniques suited to the antenna surface designs.
  • Digital Pre-Distortion: Digital pre-distortion of RF amplifiers under load to enable wideband multi-carrier operation with minimal impact from in-band distortion.
  • System simulator: Phase 1 established a high fidelity electro-magnetic simulation environment that is being used to assist with validation and future proofing of the array designs.
  • Thermal Management: Novel semiconductor design combined with electronic fabrication techniques to improve thermal management.

Application process


Tender responses are to be submitted electronically via AusTender website.

Industry briefing


Defence Science and Technology (DSTG) will provide a research program brief to all interested parties via Microsoft Teams on 7 October 2021 at 2pm (AEDT).

The brief will provide an opportunity to respond to questions and clarify information. Any questions after the brief has ended must sent in writing and DSTG will provide a written response to all parties.

Nominations to attend the briefing will must be in writing to the MFA mailbox MFA-NGTF@dst.defence.gov.au. The DSTG team will sent out a Microsoft Teams invite once they have received the nomination.

For security purposes:  At the time of nomination, you must include Full Name, Organisation, Position, Mobile Telephone No. and email address of all nominated personnel.

Contact officer and RFP inquiries


Proposers are to direct any questions or concerns regarding this RFP in writing to the Contact Officer.

Email: MFA-NGTF@dst.defence.gov.au

Proposers may submit questions or concerns to the Contact Officer up until five Working Days prior to the Closing Time specified in the Tender Details Schedule.

The call for proposals closes at 2pm (EAST) on 18 November 2021.

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