Multi-Band Synthetic Aperture Radar Counters IEDs

By on Friday, February 4th, 2011

Northrop Grumma’s Multi-Band Synthetic Aperture Radar (MB SAR), recently provided counter-improvised explosive device (IED) support to help enable the safe drawdown of U.S. combat troops in Iraq.

Northrop Grumman developed MB SAR, a groundbreaking software-defined radar and real-time onboard processing system, with support from the U.S. Air Force’s Aeronautical Systems Center. The design leverages internal research and development, and significant small business innovative research technology funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the Naval Aviation Systems Command.

The radar’s multiple bands support many missions including locating IEDs, imaging under foliage and into buildings, and detecting changes over a wide area.

The ability to survey very large areas in all weather conditions, day or night, and to cue other on-board sensors enables airborne assets to provide real-time, tactically-relevant information directly to troops on the ground or for border surveillance.

“We are gratified with the recent feedback from the Naval Research Laboratory [NRL] that our sensor suite performed so well and helped protect our armed forces,” said John Olesak, vice president of integrated intelligence systems for Northrop Grumman.

“The rapid integration performed by the team to get this sensor to the field is a credit to the team’s engineering capability and mission focus. The working relationship with NRL was a key ingredient in the success of the quick reaction deployment.”

NRL’s Project Perseus integrated the MB SAR aboard a U.S. Navy NP-3D Orion aircraft, which performed missions as a part of Task Force Observe, Detect, Identify and Neutralize.

Because the system is software-defined and designed for extreme flexibility, Northrop Grumman’s team was able to rapidly adapt to mission requirements as well as integrating, testing and calibrating the system in less than five weeks.

With the success of this deployment, Northrop Grumman is investigating other opportunities to deploy MB-SAR to support broader airborne missions.

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