BAE Systems trials portable radar

Plextek has announced that BAE systems has purchased one of its Blighter portable radars for evaluation.

The Blighter 200 series is lighter and cheaper than currently available military radars, can be carried by one person and uses an electronic beam-scanning antenna so it has no moving parts. The hardware measures 480mm x 400mm x 160mm, is mounted on a tripod and operates using a 12V or 24V battery.

Instead of rotating like traditional radars, it electronically scans an 80° arc. Several can be used to scan a wider area, or a single unit can be set to examine a smaller sub-section of the arc and focus on a particular area of interest.

The unit uses a Doppler radar to detect moving objects such as vehicles or people. The range depends on the landscape, and objects can be detected from 20m up to 8km.

An audio output option translates the Doppler signature into characteristic sounds. Each different object has an audio signature; for example, a person moving would give the sound of arms and legs moving, or a vehicle would give a deeper sound.

The radar unit connects with a cable or wireless computer to a laptop PC. A map of the scanned area is displayed with distinct markers indicating moving objects superimposed on it.

Blighter is now being put through a series of evaluation tests, including a coastal surveillance trial.