Thales has announced the development of a new lightweight active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar for use aboard smaller rotary- and fixed-wing manned and unmanned aircraft vehicles (UAVs).
The Airmaster C is an ultra-compact system that utilizes the latest radar technology to be suitable to smaller platforms such as UAVs that previously were not able to generate the power and cooling levels needed for such a system to operate.
The AirMaster C is designed to cover the full spectrum of land, air and maritime surveillance missions and offers state-of-the-art target detection capabilities.
Thales has developed the AirMaster C, a new surveillance radar with an ultra-compact, programmable 2D active antenna based on SiGe (silicon-germanium) technology. SiGe is much more energy efficient than other technologies used for AESA radars, and allows the radar to self-cool.
The system weighing less than 20 kilograms and housed in a single unit design, the radar has a 30% lower SWaP (size, weight and power) than the other radars in this class.
In addition to this breakthrough SiGe technology, other innovations are deployed. Multi-polarisation (a capability displayed by many cameras) will allow the radar to automatically select the optimal settings to maximise detection performance on each mission.
The radar also offers a simultaneous short-range and long-range detection capability, similar to the human eye, for instantaneous surveillance.
With its 2D navigation and weather modes, the AirMaster C will also provide valuable navigation support in all types of environments and weather conditions.
The AirMaster C is a smart software-defined radar designed to reduce aircrew workload. With its autonomous sensors, self-learning functionality and the ability to analyse and classify huge volumes of data, the radar can automatically adapt to different uses, terrains and environments. The AirMaster C builds on the innovative design and proven success of the Master series.
“We’re proud to present the latest addition to the Thales family of airborne surveillance radars, the AirMaster C, which meets the full range of current and future operational requirements. With this new product, Thales offers an optimised surveillance solution for a broader array of platform types and operators, ensuring they benefit from the highest levels of mission performance as they face the new challenges ahead.” Hervé Hamy, Vice President for Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR), Thales.