Cassidian flight tests SmartRadar
Cassidian has developed a flexible airborne ground surveillance radar, which can be deployed on a variety of manned and unmanned platforms for the detection of ground and sea targets.
As part of a major flight test series carried out from the German air base in Hohn (in the Federal State of Schleswig-Holstein), the “SmartRadar” showed record detection performance, now including various operating modes for maritime surveillance, the company claims.
This confirms Cassidian’s concept of a software-defined sensor, which can be used for different surveillance tasks while only requiring minor modifications. The use of a special modular architecture permits scalability of bandwidth, frequency band and processing performance. This signifies great progress compared to conventional radars, which are normally optimised for a specific task in a narrow frequency band.
Rapid adaptation to new operational requirements through simple, configurable firmware and software together with a variable cooling design make SmartRadar suitable for a multitude of manned and unmanned platforms of different sizes.
The novel technological design in conjunction with the innovative and extremely powerful real-time modes has already undergone a variety of tests on behalf of the German procurement authority BAAINBw (Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support).
One version of Cassidian’s SmartRadar is integrated into a pod equipped with an autonomous cooling system, making it easy to adapt to various mission aircraft.
The high performance of the radar is largely due to state-of-the-art AESA technology (AESA = Active Electronically Scanned Array) which uses a large number of transmitter and receiver (T/R) modules in the antenna. These modules are developed and manufactured by Cassidian in its own facility, known as the "Microwave Factory”.