The Combat Capabilities Development Command Army Research Laboratory is testing the “art-of-the-possible” with a scaled-down version of today’s massive antenna element radar arrays. They’re focused on developing a low-SWAP and low-cost radar testbed to couple with new signal processing techniques in an effort to combat degraded visual environments (DVE) for helicopter navigation and landing. The envisioned radar concept relies heavily on the platform motion and signal processing power to deliver a 3-D imaging capability at a fraction of the SWAP of multi-element radar arrays. In order to meet resolution requirements, the radar must operate in the millimeter-wave regime, the initial testbed is planned to operate at Ka-band which necessitates that special care be taken to account for inertial measurement errors. If successful, ARL will transition the technical details of these radar modes in hopes that they can be further developed and eventually used on future vertical lift (FVL) platforms.
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