GENERAL ATOMICS DEMOSTRATES LYNX(tm) RADAR SYSTEMS AT FARNBOROUGH
23 Jul 02. General Atomics used the Farnborough Air Show to provide live flying demonstrations of its unique Lynx SAR radar. The results as Mike Reed of GA told BATTLESPACE were astounding, “We demonstrated the system to a number of high ranking military officials and they said that they had never see resolution of such accuracy in a radar of this size before.”
Based on leading-edge technology developed for GA by Sandia National Laboratories, the 115-pound LYNX offers unequalled day/night, all-weather reconnaissance, surveillance and target tracking for military, civil, and commercial customers.
Operating in SAR (Synthetic Aperture Radar) mode, LYNX provides photographic-like images of up to 4-inch resolution. Depending on weather conditions and imaging resolution, the sensor can operate at a range of up to 85 kilometres. LYNX can produce 1-foot resolution imagery at standoff distances of up to 55 kilometres. At 4-inch resolution, the radar can image scenes 40 kilometres away in fair weather and 25 kilometres away (about 16 miles) even through clouds and rain. The radar can detect very small changes in a scene (including footprints) by using a technique called coherent change detection.
In GMTI (Ground Moving Target Indicator) mode, it can detect moving targets with up to 4-inch resolution. LYNX’s CLAW system has a user-friendly interface similar to that of optical systems and is capable of cross-cueing multiple sensors with the same analysis tools as an electric light table-type program.
General Atomics (GA) has already signed contracts with U. S. Army and U. S. Air Force customers for the purchase of a total of six LYNX(tm) radars, newly designated the AN/APY-8 by the U.S. Military. GA has sold to the Army [through Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC)] three LYNX systems for installation on a U. S. Army DH-7 Airborne Reconnaissance Low aircraft. In addition, one LYNX, previously leased, but recently purchased, has been in use with the U.S. Army since July 2000. The Canadian Army has also leased LYNX in a General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI) I-Gnat(tm) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) in support of several exercises this spring and summer.
The Army is using a LYNX for installation and demonstration of its synthetic aperture radar and ground moving target indication modes on a Black Hawk helicopter for future rotor-craft applications. GA will perform installation, conduct flight tests, perform vibration test and analysis, and validate tracking accuracy during the demonstration, which will take place this fall and winter.
The Black Hawk effort has several options for LYNX radar utilization.
The Eglin Air Force Base radar test facility has purchased a LYNX system to assess the radar’s capabilities in the laboratory and on a variety of aircraft. The Air Force has also purchased a unit (through GA-ASI) for installation on an unmanned aerial vehicle. GA will provide the radar and ground display, and perform integration onto the aircraft.
In all of the sales, the GA-originated and produced Control of LYNX and Analysis Workstation (CLAW) software package will be the human/machine interface for LYNX. CLAW is a PC-based software package that allows point-and-click operation, display, and analysis of radar and optical payloads.
LYNX Program Manager, Jon Lathrop, says, “From the original LYNX concept in 1996 to today, all aspects of the LYNX program highlight the tremendous capability of GA and its affiliate companies. GA has shown the ability for rapid prototyping, manufacturing, and flight test on a variety of manned and UAV aircraft.”