Improvements in Airborne Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) Detection Through Multi-band Imaging

Award Information
Department of Defense
Air Force
Award Year:
Phase I
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
AF 09-138
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
4865 Sterling Drive, Boulder, CO, 80301
Hubzone Owned:
Minority Owned:
Woman Owned:
Principal Investigator:
Farzin Lalezari
Principal Investigator
(303) 449-5211
Business Contact:
Theresa Boone
Chief Operating Officer
(303) 449-5211
Research Institution:
Dual-Band airborne Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) imaging provides all-weather, day and night ISR capability with the ability to image through foliage. The proposed system is a UHF / X-Band system which uses a modified Commercial-Off-the-Shelf (COTS) radar built by Artemis, with an innovative antenna design by FIRST RF. The radar system itself has been specifically tuned for use aboard smaller UAVs, at a weight of only 20 lbs and power consumption of only 150 W. This radar has enjoyed legacy success in a number of other programs and systems, and so Phase I radar development will focus on modifying the hardware to support UHF / X-Band operation, versus the existing L-Band / X-Band system. Concurrently, FIRST RF will develop novel single aperture, dual-band UHF / X-Band antenna to interface to the radar. The UHF antenna is based on existing wide-band SAR antenna hardware proven through programs such as DARPA and Army's TRACER programs. It will be modified to support the simultaneous operation of an X-Band array. The X-Band array consists of gimbaled high-gain transmit/receive apertures. The antenna system supports the most challenging goal of designing for the smallest UAV platform available. BENEFIT: Immediate benefits of this lightweight Synthetic Aperture Radar technology include support for operations in the Middle East to detect buried IEDs and tunnels. The system has been specifically designed to operate aboard the smallest UAVs in DoD's fleet, including the ubiquitous Shadow 200. This air-vehicle has gained widespread use across the services, with additional systems, modules and capabilities continually being fielded for this vehicle. FIRST RF is well positioned with our support JIEDDO-related activities, and so a clear commercialization potential and marketing path exist for this technology. Extended benefits include border security and Homeland Defense, in terms of a wide-area change detection surveillance system. This system provides day and night all weather operation, and can be flown aboard relatively quiet and low-observable airframes to support a low-probability of detection ISR system for border protection.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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