Overcoming Airborne Payload Limitations

Overcoming Airborne Payload Limitations

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Intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities of small to medium UAS are constrained by power and payload limitations. Passive radar overcomes both these barriers and exploits megawatts of existing energy in the environment to provide greater range and performance without highlighting the drone or user’s presence.

In an industry world-first, passive radar technology will be trialed on drones. Silentium Defence from Australia will trial integration of its surveillance sensors for situational awareness into airborne platforms, initially targeting small to medium drones and unmanned aerial vehicles.

The trials are expected to leverage the unique size, weight, and power advantages of passive radar over existing active radar capabilities to extend survivability and range of unmanned airborne ISR platforms and improve the quality of surveillance data generated.

According to the company’s announcement, its sensors are cost-effective, light-weight and more power-efficient which makes them easy to scale across operations and integrate with payloads, even on small format drones and UAV.

“Deployed independently or as part of a meshed network, UAV with integrated passive radar are more versatile and multi-purpose, providing covert situational awareness to inform the ISR picture, and counter-drone capability to protect people and assets simultaneously.”

Static and on-the-move deployments of the airborne passive radar systems will be trialed in collaboration with other suppliers and customers. 

Passive radar has already proven its value in maritime, ground-based air, and space surveillance roles with more than (AU)$15m in contracts executed with the Australian Defence Force and commercial organizations, according to the announcement.