Farnborough Air Show

Selex PicoSAR maps urban and rural areas

 - November 27, 2006, 12:41 PM

Selex Sensors & Airborne Systems (Outside Exhibit 2) has flown its new PicoSAR synthetic aperture radar, demonstrating the system’s ability to map both urban and rural areas at altitudes ranging from 3,000 to 9,500 feet.

A lightweight active electronically scanned array radar tailored for small airborne platforms such as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and helicopters, PicoSAR is designed to provide high resolution ground mapping and ground moving target indication in all weather conditions. The first flight was made aboard a Eurocopter AS 355 Twin Squirrel helicopter operating out of Cumbernauld in Scotland and was “a great success,” according to Dean McCumiskey, executive vice president for radar and international programs.

“We are confident that PicoSAR is more than able to meet our customers’ demands for a flexible, compact radar capability,” McCumiskey added. “Although our primary target for PicoSAR is to meet the requirements of the tactical unmanned air vehicle market, this flight trial on the Twin Squirrel highlights the radar’s ability to provide a sensor capability for helicopters and fixed-wing platforms. Adding PicoSAR to the platform can deliver increased all-weather situational awareness without significantly increasing the aircraft payload.”

Selex, the company formed by the combination of BAE Systems Avionics and Galileo Avionica of Italy, is owned 75 percent by Finmeccanica and 25 percent by BAE. Other AESA radars in its portfolio include the Seaspray 7000E and Vixen 500E.