Overview of the Radar Industry
Overview of European radar activities by Philippe Eudeline, EuRAD 2010, Conference Chairman
The 7th European Radar Conference (EuRAD 2010) reflects the continued activity and attraction of the radar sector in Europe and worldwide. With regards to specific needs the European radar industry is developing new equipment and systems that are capable of addressing new threats, either for military applications such as Tactical Ballistic Missiles (TBM), piracy and illegal fishing or civil applications like the detection of birds, the wind farm environment and wake vortex detection.
In particular, these new requirements have a huge impact on the development of: radar architecture to accommodate new functionalities and improved performance; active array antennas with very high power T/R modules to withstand range requirements; and dedicated algorithms to detect very small targets (birds) or avoid clutter on wind farms.
All these developments have to be carried out in the face of intense competition from US radar companies. To enhance their position, connections between the European radar industry and European universities are being forged to enable them to work closely together to jointly develop future advanced radar capabilities and also increase the involvement of European SMEs, with the aim of achieving cost targets.
Antenna scattering and measurements, radar signal processing and system simulation, radar architecture and systems are all key considerations. They are being developed for civil applications such as air traffic control, meteorological, wake vortex detection and coastal radar as well as military applications such as airborne, weapon systems, air defence, passive radars, environmental remote sensing applications, space-time adaptive processing, through-the wall radar imaging, ultra-wideband radar, multilateration, new radar waveforms, including those with communication capabilities, sky-wave and ground-wave Over-the-Horizon (OTH) radar, Active Electronically Scanned Arrays (AESA) and Multifunction Phased Array Radar (MPAR).
Although the interest in coastal radar has been prompted, in some countries, by increased incidents of piracy, there are also issues such as sea clutter and environmental issues that are being addressed concurrently. Other innovations to be aware of are in the fields of MIMO and networked radar, automotive radar sensors in the millimetre frequency range, CAD tools and advanced techniques for radar and telecom systems design, waveform-agile radars, etc.