QinetiQ has won a £1.4 M contract to develop a novel radar target simulator to emulate realistic radar echoes from targets such as missiles, aircraft, small surface craft and submarine periscopes. The contract includes provision for initial trials to evaluate interaction between the Radar Research Target Generator (RRTG) and the UK ARTIST (Advanced Radar Technology Integrated System Testbed) radar system. The RRTG will then be used to extensively test and evaluate the performance of ARTIST. The contract is due to be completed by December 2007 and be delivered two thirds of the way through the current ARTIST programme.

QinetiQ’s digital signal processing technology and Roke Manor Research’s analogue radio frequency hardware will be used in the RRTG development. In addition to testing ARTIST, the technology will be used for auditing, acceptance and through-life testing of in-service and future radar systems.

Andrew Sleigh, QinetiQ’s group managing director for defence, said, “As radar systems become more capable and adaptive, so the radar acceptance process becomes more complex and expensive. The versatility of the RRTG allows easy manipulation of target characteristics and scenarios, making it an extremely effective method of testing radar capability without the huge expense of conducting real-time trials with physical targets.”