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Tactical reconnaissance radar ready for deployment


A Lockheed Martin photo.

NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE (BNS): Lockheed Martin’s Tactical Reconnaissance and Counter-Concealment-Enabled Radar, TRACER, has completed flight testing aboard a Predator B MQ-9 Unmanned Aerial System.

TRACER is a dual-band (UHF and VHF) synthetic-aperture radar capable of detecting and geo-locating objects that are buried, camouflaged or concealed under foliage.

Classified as a queuing sensor, TRACER processes images in real time, and can immediately down-link captured images to multiple ground stations, Lockheed Martin said.

Prior to the MQ-9 UAS flight testing, TRACER had successfully completed 100 test flights on manned platforms.

The company said, the flight tests aboard the Predator B MQ-9, TRACER focused on identifying targets of interest that would be relevant to multiple theatres - including CENTCOM, PACOM, AFRICOM and SOUTHCOM.

Over the course of the four month testing, the TRACER team validated the radar’s performance in the harsh environment of an UAS configuration, thus mitigating risk for eventual installation on a tier IV UAS or other platforms, such as the YMQ-18A unmanned aerial helicopter. During the tests the team also demonstrated satellite data link control of both the vehicle and radar system.

There are currently four qualified TRACER systems available for deployment on manned or unmanned platforms. TRACER was developed for the US Army’s Intelligence and Information Warfare Directorate, based at Aberdeen Proving Grounds, Maryland.

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Lockheed  Radar  TRACER  

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