Military Embedded Systems

Lynx radar's maritime wide area search mode performs anti-piracy operations during Navy test


August 24, 2012

John McHale

Editorial Director

Military Embedded Systems

SAN DIEGO ? 22 August 2012 ? The Maritime Wide Area Search (MWAS) mode of the Lynx multi-mode radar from General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA ASI) was demonstrated during the U.S. Navy?s Experiment Trident Warrior 2012 (TW12) that took place off the coast of Southern California.

The radar was integrated aboard a Predator B RPA surrogate (King Air 200), and the MWAS detected and imaged small vessels, such as fast boats, sail boats, and fishing boats. GA-ASI’s Claw sensor payload operator control software cued the Lynx MWAS radar to designated targets in coordination with the Navy’s AquaQuIPS multi-intelligence, ship track data fusion engine produced by Jove Sciences, Inc. (JOVE). AquaQuIPS generated a Common Operational Picture (COP) by using intelligence retrieved from multiple systems, including Claw.

“GA-ASI’s primary goal was to provide day/night Lynx radar and EO/IR [Electro-Optical Infrared] data on maritime targets in support of the AquaQuIPS Fly on Top Operation [FoTO] objective,” says Linden Blue, Reconnaissance Systems Group president at GA-ASI. The company measured the ability to cue the RPA, using data from multiple national resources, to find specific targets and then transmit image/video data back to the shore C2 data-fusion site as well as the Global Command and Control System-Maritime (GCCS-M), he adds

This was also the first time GA-ASI demonstrated Lynx MWAS capability for supporting anti-piracy and counter-narcotics missions by locating hard to find targets and then relaying their imagery with metadata back to Navy commanders.

Lynx MWAS, which is capable of a 30-degree per second scan rate with algorithms designed for detecting small vessels, such as Self-Propelled Semi-Submersible (SPSS) vessels, also has also been demonstrated on an aerostat. The MWAS mode, along with a 3x increase in the Ground Moving Target Indicator (GMTI) area coverage rate and a new Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR)-aided alignment mode, has been integrated into Lynx radars deployed by U.S. users over the past two years.

Trident Warrior is the annual exercise in the U.S. Navy’s primary FORCEnet Sea Trial experiment series and is geared to evaluate emerging technologies and network-centric toolsets for enhancing situational awareness for decision-makers across all levels of the Navy’s chain of command.


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