High-Performance Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV)

3D Printed Radar Array Developed for HALE UAS

By Mike Ball / 18 Jun 2019

IMSAR 3D printed HALE radar array

IMSAR and antenna manufacturer Optisys have collaborated to create a low-Size, Weight, and Power (SWaP) radar designed specifically for use on High Altitude, Long Endurance (HALE) manned and unmanned aircraft platforms. The high-altitude radar system is made possible by combining Optisys’s ability to miniaturize antenna arrays through 3D printing and IMSAR’s military-proven radar technology.

IMSAR’s high-altitude radar is based on its existing, low-SWaP NanoSAR C technology, which provides the foundation for its Commercial, Off-the-Shelf (COTS) NSP-3, NSP-5 and NSP-7 airborne radar systems. The high-altitude radar is capable of multiple modes of operation from over 60,000 feet Above Ground Level (AGL) and is designed to operate continuously in stratospheric environments.

To allow IMSAR’s high-altitude radar to operate within the stringent SWaP requirements of HALE platforms, Optisys created a single array that combines multiple horns, waveguide combiners, mounting structures, and thermal features. The Optisys array reduces the parts required for the aperture by 94% and sufficiently reduces the space and weight required for the radar system to allow the radar to integrate into HALE platforms that were previously unable to carry radar sensors. The low-loss 3D aluminum array also allows for additional reductions in system power requirements to improve mission longevity.

Larry Moore, Vice President of Sales at IMSAR said, “Combining IMSAR’s low SWAP NanoSAR radar with the novel printed aluminum antenna array from Optisys has yielded an exquisite new class of radar designed for HALE aircraft. The use of this radar on HALE platforms allows for continued surveillance where multiple aircraft or satellites were needed previously. This provides unrivaled agility in imagery collection and time on station.”

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Posted by Mike Ball Mike Ball is our resident technical editor here at Unmanned Systems Technology. Combining his passion for teaching, advanced engineering and all things unmanned, Mike keeps a watchful eye over everything related to the unmanned technical sector. With over 10 years’ experience in the unmanned field and a degree in engineering, Mike’s been heading up our technical team here for the last 8 years. Connect & Contact
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