Lockheed adds persistent surveillance, penetrating radar offerings

Lockheed Martin has added a persistent surveillance option to its Dragon series of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance systems, company officials said Oct. 23.

The Dragon Sentinel, which consists of a group of sensors deployed on either an aerostat or tower, is designed to provide U.S. ground forces with persistent surveillance or reconnaissance of a specific geographic area over an extended time period. The Dragon Sentinel's sensors are designed to function in a net-centric, interoperable environment.

The company also is refining a new radar system that can penetrate trees to detect the movement of enemy troops and vehicles, officials said. After multiple ground tests, Lockheed Martin has integrated the new penetrating radar system into a modular pod for airborne testing on a Blackhawk helicopter or a Predator-B aircraft.

The ground/dismounted-moving target indication system is an addition to the Army’s existing Tactical Reconnaissance and Counter-Concealment-Enabled Radar system, known as TRACER,  the officials said.

TRACER is a lightweight, low-frequency synthetic-aperture radar that can peer through foliage, rain, darkness, dust storms, or atmospheric haze to provide real-time tactical ground imagery. The system uses fine-resolution UHF radar and a broad swath to provide single-pass radar images as well as multi-pass change detection products for multiple imaging modes.

TRACER is currently deployed by the U.S. Southern Command for counter-terrorism and other missions.

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