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News

Synthetic-Aperture Radar Payload for Unmanned Aircraft Systems

Insitu Inc : 25 February, 2010  (New Product)
The ScanEagle and Integrator unmanned aircraft systems from Insitu now benefit from the availability of NanoSAR for high resolution imaging in poor visibility
Insitu has announced the availability of NanoSAR, a tactical-level, synthetic-aperture radar (SAR) payload, for its ScanEagle dual bay and Integrator unmanned aircraft systems (UAS).


The NanoSAR payload module provides high-resolution imagery that can penetrate adverse weather conditions, battlefield obscurants, camouflage and light foliage, allowing radar-enabled area searches over land and sea.

“The armed forces now have an enhanced capability to identify and locate threats, which will save the lives of US and allied forces,” said Insitu Chief Technology Officer Charlie Guthrie. “This technology will allow mission commanders to own and control SAR assets at the tactical level.”

Insitu’s unmanned aircraft (UA) are equipped to accommodate many intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance assets including electro-optic cameras, infrared sensors, communications relay payloads and customer-specified payloads while maintaining long endurance. The NanoSAR payload can be integrated into ScanEagle dual-bay UA in the field without changing current ground control station hardware or support equipment. It will also be available as a payload option for Integrator.

Insitu has been working with ImSAR LLC in the development of NanoSAR for four years including two years of flight-testing.

“NanoSAR’s point-and-click geo-location feature provides rapid cross-queuing to on-board optics systems, which will allow Insitu’s UAS to conduct wider area searches even in extreme weather conditions,” said NanoSAR program manager at ImSAR, Adam Robertson.

The NanoSAR payload is ideal for adverse weather conditions, capturing high-quality imagery in challenging conditions such as fog, haze, sandstorms and smoke. Manmade objects appear bright in imagery even in the worst atmospheric conditions. Like traditional radar, SAR uses echo waveforms to resolve targets. A radar pulse is emitted and the echo of that pulse is used to detect objects and to identify range. Multiple radar returns are then used to create high-resolution imagery.
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