Pulse-Doppler Cognitive 4D Radar for Counter UAS Unveiled

By Caroline Rees / 03 Nov 2021
Echodyne EchoShield
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Echodyne has released EchoShield, the newest addition to its portfolio of radars. Designed from the ground-up, to set a new price-performance standard for mid-range radars, EchoShield is an advanced software-defined multi-mission radar for commercial, defense, and government use cases. These include; counter-Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), border and base security, force protection, critical infrastructure security, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance, UAS detect and avoid, and Unmanned Ground Vehicles (UGVs).

Echodyne EchoShield

EchoShield’s architecture builds upon the field-proven success of Echodyne’s proprietary Metamaterials Electronically Scanned Array (MESA) radars. A pulse-Doppler cognitive 4D radar, EchoShield combines precise Electronically Scanned Array (ESA) beamforming and real-time dynamic waveform synthesis to deliver sub-degree tracking accuracy on hundreds of objects across a broad 3D field of view. 

EchoShield’s cognitive search capabilities integrate onboard or offboard data stores to adapt and direct radar resources when and where required. Whether using the radar’s onboard processing capabilities or ingesting data-rich range-doppler spectrograms into offboard compute, EchoShield’s Software Development Kit (SDK) enables deep integration and multi-sensor fusion.

Based on market demand, the initial software release prioritizes a counter-UAS mission and detection, tracking, and classification of any uncrewed aircraft, including low slow and small drones even in dense urban environments. Further releases will match radar resources with customer demand in dozens of applications and markets.

“Radar is a fundamental sensor for a wide range of commercial and government applications, but achieving high performance at reasonable Cost, Size, Weight and Power (C-SWaP) has always been a challenge,” said Eben Frankenberg, CEO of Echodyne. 

“Our customers have challenged us with certain radar performance attributes and EchoShield has been designed to meet these demanding requirements. Our customers are lining up for first units and already discussing production volume, so we’re very pleased with the market reception.”

EchoShield is designed to operate in the Ku band, with radiolocation service at 15.7-16.6 GHz and radionavigation at 15.4-15.7 GHz, and is commercially exportable. Its features include:

  • 130° azimuth x 90° elevation field of regard (fully customizable)
  • 0.5° tracking accuracy in azimuth and elevation, with very low track splitting/dropping
  • Powerful UAS classification with low false-alarms and near-zero false-negatives
  • Cognitive search capabilities integrate onboard or offboard data
  • Average tracking ranges for counter-UAS mission:
    • Group 1 (-20 to -10 dBsm): 2.7 to 4.8 km
    • Group 2 (-10 to -5 dBsm): 4.8 to 6.4 km
    • Group 3 (-5 to 5 dBsm): 6.4 to 11.4 km

“Our breakthrough MESA technology unlocks a level of beamforming previously only available with large ultra-expensive Active ESAs with hundreds of channels,” said Tom Driscoll, CTO of Echodyne. 

“EchoShield combines this precise beamforming with modern fully-adaptive cognitive-radar approaches and intelligent control software, and the result is a radar with best-in-class detection, tracking, and classification performance.”

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Posted by Caroline Rees Caroline co-founded Unmanned Systems Technology and has been at the forefront of the business ever since. With a Masters Degree in marketing Caroline has her finger on the pulse of all things unmanned and is committed to showcasing the very latest in unmanned technical innovation. Connect & Contact