European defence electronics specialists Cassidian have provided more details regarding the company’s SMART (Scalable Modular Aerospace Radar Technology) airborne ground surveillance radar technology demonstration project.
As reported in last month’s ChainHomeHigh (see ‘Smart Decision’, CHH, May 2013), Cassidian recently announced its development of the prototype SMART radar which it says can outfit both Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and inhabited platforms. The radar performed flight testing at Goose Bay, Canada in June 2012.
Cassidian has told ChainHomeHigh that development of the radar has been funded by Germany’s BAAINBw (Bundesamt für Ausrüstung, Informationstechnik und Nutzung der Bundeswehr/Federal Office of. Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In- Service Support). Although not confirmed by the company, it is believed that the organisation contributed a total of €6.6 million ($8.6 million) of funding to the initiative.
Cassidian revealed that during the flight tests last year, the prototype SMART radar was flown onboard a Bombardier Learjet business aircraft. SMART has been developed to evaluate radar capabilities and technologies in response to Germany’s AF-SAATEG (System für die abbildende Aufklärung in der Tiefe des Einsatzgebiets/MALE-UAV Multi-Function Radar System) requirement. Although exact performance information pertaining to this radar remains classified, the company says that it gathers ultra-high resolution imagery at long ranges.
In terms of the programme’s next steps, Cassidian hope to develop a broadband 360º-scanning belly-mounted version of SMART. Nevertheless, the firm is keen to emphasis that, at present, the SMART radar remains a technology demonstration initiative and does not represent a production system, although some of the components and technologies developed for SMART could migrate to any production radar which Cassidian may choose to develop in response to the formal AF-SAATEG requirement. Cassidian emphasises that; “a deployable product always has to take into account specific customer requirements and platform integration specifics and therefore needs some adaptation.”