Foliage Penetration Radar (photo : Lockheed Martin)
ARLINGTON - Radar signal processing experts at the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in Arlington, Va., are asking industry to develop a data-processing workstation to help pinpoint concentrations of foot soldiers moving in thick forests and other dense foliage.
The idea is to process radar signals from a foliage penetrating (FOPEN) radar mounted to manned and unmanned helicopters to filter out radar clutter like animals, wind-blown foliage, and moving water to estimate the position, size, and direction of travel of infantry concentrations moving in foliage.
The program is called Foliage Penetrating Ground Moving Target Indicator Radar Exploitation and Planning (FOPEN-GXP). Its goal is to develop and integrated a set of tools to enhance foliage-penetrating radar data as modules into a FOPEN-GXP system workstation.
DARPA wants to demonstrate the effectiveness of such a workstation with data from the Foliage Penetration Reconnaissance, Surveillance, Tracking and Engagement Radar (FORESTER) system, developed by Syracuse Research Corp. in North Syracuse, N.Y., which is mounted to a Boeing A-160 Hummingbird unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).
FORESTER radar (photo : DARPA)
DARPA issued a broad agency announcement (DARPA-BAA-10-07) Wednesday for the FOPEN-GXP program to develop foliage-penetrating radar signal processing workstations with modules that discriminate between Doppler radar signatures, estimate the state and activities of detected infantry concentrations, and plan where to place the radar sensors and determine radar modes for best results.
DARPA has tested the FORESTER radar on a manned UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter, as well as on an A-160 Hummingbird unmanned helicopter. Last year, DARPA expert tested the FORESTER on an A-160 to detect radar returns from moving humans and animals, ground vehicles, boats, and other clutter and false targets.
(Military & Aerospace Electronics)