This area of research studies all technologies for the transmission, receipt and processing of information – the basis of numerous Leonardo product lines, particularly in the fields of sensors and communications. 

Leonardo plays a primary role in several areas of electronics, such as Monolithic Microwave Integrated Circuits (MMIC) produced using Gallium Nitride (GaN) technology for a new generation of multi-functional Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radars in various operating bands, L, S, C and X, for sea, land, air and space applications.

Advanced know-how in the field of micro-electronic integration has contributed to development of this new generation of radar systems, with solutions combining greater electronic and thermal efficiency with integration of the analogue microwave front-end domain and the digital back-end domain of antennas. This enables adoption of advanced architectural solutions such as ‘Digital Beam Forming’.

Development trends involve AESA-conforming antennas, allowing greater use on uneven surfaces, such as aeronautical applications in which limitations on flat surfaces are particularly challenging. Antennas also play a key role in development of radio frequency (RF) sensors and communication systems (radios and data links), because AESA flat architectures equip multi-functional radars with the ability to electronically point the beam either horizontally or vertically in relation to the surface of the antenna.

Another trend involves integrating single front-end broadband hardware with back-end software to process a range of different features, such as sensors, communications and electronic warfare. 

In this context, Leonardo is committed to developing new technologies and solutions for command and control (C2) systems, to transform the existing systems supporting decision-making into a truly cognitive C2 process that draws on Artificial Intelligence and cutting-edge solutions.

The Leonardo Lab tasked with developing skills in the field of electronics across all business areas is: