General Atomics Aeronautical Systems’ (GA-ASI) Lynx maritime wide area search (MWAS) radar has successfully demonstrated its target detection capabilities during the US Navy’s recently concluded Trident Warrior 2012 (TW12) exercise in Southern California, US.
During the July 2012 exercise, Lynx MWAS, operating from a Predator B remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) surrogate, King Air 200, demonstrated its ability to detect and image very small vessels, such as fast boats, sail boats and fishing boats.
GA-ASI’s Claw sensor payload and analysis software coordinated the radar with the navy’s AquaQuIPS multi-INT, ship track data fusion engine and guided it towards the targets.
A common operational picture (COP) was then generated by the AquaQuIPS using intelligence data from multiple systems, including Claw.
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Linden Blue, GA-ASI Reconnaissance Systems Group president, said the company’s primary goal is to offer day / night Lynx radar and electro-optical infrared (EO/IR) data on maritime targets in support of the AquaQuIPS fly on top operation (FoTO) objective.
”We succeeded in measuring the ability to cue the RPA, using information from multiple national resources, to locate specific targets and to transmit image / video data back to the shore C2 data-fusion site and GCCS-M [global command and control system-maritime],” Blue added.
Apart from establishing the radar’s capability in maritime targets detection, classification and identification in varied environments, the real time night missions also confirmed its ability to deliver situational awareness and surveillance data of a large littoral / maritime region.
The demonstrations made Lynx MWAS the first radar to support anti-piracy and counter-narcotics operations by detecting targets and transmitting video imagery along with metadata to navy commanders for dissemination and further courses of action.
Lynx MWAS has a scan rate of 30°/sec and features algorithms that are modified for detection of small vessels, such as self-propelled semi-submersible (SPSS) boats.
The MWAS mode has also completed successful demonstrations on an aerostat during the US Air Force Air Combat Command (ACC) mobile unified communications (MUC) exercise in July 2011.