Diamond DA42 flies with Thales I-Master radar
Thales’s I-Master radar system has successfully completed flight trials onboard a Diamond DA42MPP Guardian aircraft.
Conducted in partnership with Diamond Aircraft Industries and Diamond Airborne Sensing at its facility in Wiener Neustadt, Austria, the week-long trial covered different radar modes at a range of altitudes and speeds.
The demonstration included using the onboard payload to transmit full-resolution radar images and electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) footage via a high-bandwidth line-of-sight data link to controllers at the ground station.
The DA42MPP NG, with its de-icing TKS protection, is all-weather capable, enabling flight operations to use the Thales I-Master radar to detect targets; these can then be identified by the EO/IR turret, which is also mounted on the platform, before the footage is sent back to headquarters via line-of-sight datalink.
I-Master is an all-weather, lightweight payload that is easily installed in a standard 15-inch gimbal outline. Its radar offers two modes: Ground Moving Target Indication (GMTI) and Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) imagery.
The Diamond DA42MPP (Multi-Purpose Platform) Guardian is a twin-engine aircraft specially designed for carrying interchangeable multi-function sensor equipment. The aircraft used during the I-Master trial was configured for an airborne mission capability of 7-9 hours with a two-man crew.
Eddie Awang, Vice President of Intelligence Surveillance & Reconnaissance at Thales UK, said, “I-Master delivers an advanced capability in a lightweight payload that is easy to install or swap between aircraft. We believe that the combination with the Diamond DA42 is particularly attractive, and meets an increased need for cost-effective, light, manned ISR platforms. It offers a complete solution for military, paramilitary, homeland security and border surveillance, pipeline security and incident management.”