Military Embedded Systems

Synthetic aperture radar flight testing system introduced by Mercury at AOC 2023


December 11, 2023

Dan Taylor

Technology Editor

Military Embedded Systems

MES staff photo

60th AOC INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM & CONVENTION, NATIONAL HARBOR, Md.  Mercury Systems showcased new electronic warfare (EW) and synthetic aperture radar (SAR) technology at the Annual AOC [Association of Old Crows] International Symposium & Convention, underway in National Harbor, Maryland.

At the Mercury booth, the company displayed a scaled-down model of the mPOD Electronic Attack Training System to help visitors visualize the nine-foot pod meant to provide EW training for pilots of uncrewed systems. The mPOD is designed to emulate realistic combat scenarios and equips "adversary" pilots in the training scenario with the capability to accurately mimic near-peer jamming techniques. The company says that the system -- intended to improve readiness for combat in contested electromagnetic environments -- is designed to be integrated with aircraft displays and cockpit control panels and can be reprogrammed for various missions and threats.

Mercury also debuted its ARES-SAR air-to-ground synthetic aperture radar (SAR) radar flight-testing simulator, which aims to improve SAR system development by reducing the need for costly and time-consuming real-world testing. The ARES-SAR product can be used by itself or alongside the Mercury ARES3100, the company's advanced radar environment simulator for testing and training air-to-air radar capabilities in a laboratory environment or an anechoic chamber -- as both systems use Mercury’s software interface that makes it easy to quickly configure multiple test scenarios that include various geographies, imaging modes, targets, environmental effects, and countermeasures.

The Mercury ARES-SAR announcement describes SAR systems as an "integral tool" for crewed and uncrewed airborne and space-based systems, as they enable personnel piloting fifth-generation fighter jets to navigate safely, target munitions more precisely, and assess battle damage in all weather conditions, day or night. Such systems also can be deployed with satellites to conduct environmental monitoring, mapping, and surveillance missions

Development of ARES-SAR was funded by the U.S. Army’s Program Executive Office Simulation, Training and Instrumentation; the system is currently being used by several Air Force and Navy groups. 

AOC show attendees can visit Mercury at Booth #1331.

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