The United Kingdom’s Roke Manor Research is looking towards certifying their Type-1 and Type-2 radar altimeters for use with inhabited aircraft by the end of the decade.
This follows the news on 20th November that the company’s Type-2 radar altimeter has been integrated as a standard subsystem on Saab’s Skeldar rotary Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV).
According to Paul Webb, Business Sector Manager for Unmanned Systems at the company, work is ongoing to clear these two products for use in aircraft beyond the UAVs, target drones and missiles that they currently equip.
Roke Manor’s Type-1 radar altimeter operates in the 4.2 to 4.4 Gigahertz (GHz) frequency range, and has an effective altitude of between 16-2,296 feet (5-700 metres). The company’s Type-2 system works at a lower altitude of between 0.6-328ft (0.2-100m) altitude in the 7.6-7.7GHz range. Mr. Webb says that these altimeters can be used in combination on the same platform to provide comprehensive altitude information for a UAV.
Alongside the certification of these altimeters for inhabited aircraft, Mr. Webb and his colleagues are working on initiatives to improve the minimum and maximum altitudes at which these altimeters can operate via a series of software upgrades.