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SAR Radar for UAS

Discussion in 'Inspire 1 Discussion' started by RaptorMan, Dec 26, 2015.

  1. RaptorMan

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    I started looking around on Google to see where we are in miniaturizing radar systems particularly SAR radars and it looks like we may not be very far away from consumer systems small and light enough for use on small UAS. There are some radars the size of fingernails that would be useful for short range collision avoidance and ground proximity, but there are also imaging SAR radars that are now small enough for installation on consumer sized drones like the Phantom.

    So, I'd guess we'll see system become available for us within 5 years but I'd guess any SAR radar will be pricey when first introduced. I'd also bet that the resolution and usefulness for navigation will be limited at first. But, sooner or later, the tech will mature, the quality improve, and the cost will go down.

    One additional possibility here is the inclusion of a transponder function and that could open the possibility of true unmanned autonomous operation. The thing I fear is that at some point a private or commercial AC or helo will run into a drone and given the media's love of attacking drone use and users I can well imagine that when that happens, and yes it will happen, then there could well be regulations REQUIRING transponders.

    So, there's good and bad here but if radar tech gets to be within reach of you and me and the tech develops to provide high resolution ground imaging, the benefits could outweigh the downside.


    Brian
     
  2. ___1___

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    This is a very interesting topic. There was a post last week about a Swiss (i think) company that is testing a transponder for drones.
     
  3. RaptorMan

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    Yeah I remember reading about the transponder thing, but I thought it was Norway or one of the other Scandinavian countries.

    I think we'll see the radar tech appear first in high end drones used by government and police but as the tech develops the much larger market will be higher end consumer systems then mid-range etc.

    I could see the imaging radars being hugely popular with the mapping community.

    I suspect that when this becomes viable we may see a two tier regulatory situation were folks without radar tech will be limited to 400 feet with the rest of the limitations whereas those that have the radar tech will be permitted much greater freedom.


    Brian