posted on Feb, 18 2004 @ 11:24 AM
Innovative "Synthetic Aperture Radar" (SAR) for reconnaissance and precision-guided weapons will soon be mated to "Automatic Target Recognition"
(ATR) in UAV's
Sandia Laboratories is developing miniSAR weighing less than 30 pounds, will be one-fourth the weight and one-tenth the volume of its predecessors
currently flying on larger UAVs such as the General Atomics' Predator.
The new miniSAR will have the same capabilities as its larger cousins. Like the larger class of Sandia SARs, it will be able to take high-resolution
(four-inch) images through weather, at night, and in dust storms. The only difference will be range. The larger SAR can produce an image in the 35
kilometer range due to its larger antenna and higher transmitter power, compared to the miniSAR, which is expected to get a range of about 15
kilometers -- more than adequate for small UAV applications. SARs are commonly used for military reconnaissance purposes.
According to Cal Poly's Dr. Saghri, "In short, our goal is to develop a robust SAR ATR that is invariant to the target pose (orientation) and scale.
The process involves feature extraction, target modeling, training, and matching."
What this all boils down to is that in the very near future (months rather than years) the MiniSAR mated with Raytheon's "Automatic Target
Recognition" (ATR) system will turn armed UAV's into hunter killers like never before, and the cost effectiveness will enable massive numbers to be
acquired for the military.
Pictured below: Example of SAR image
Tank Convoy (4-inch resolution)
[Edited on 18-2-2004 by Kano]