Optical Radar Integration with EO/IR Pod
Australia’s Sentient Vision Systems and Austrian company Airborne Technologies GmbH are designing and building new search and surveillance pods to carry Sentient’s ViDAR optical radar.
The two companies have signed an MoU to develop Airborne Technologies’ SCAR-Pod family for day and night operations, to be fitted to Leonardo AW-139 and AW-189 helicopters and Viking’s GUARDIAN 400. These are among the most capable and widely-used maritime surveillance and search and rescue (SAR) platforms in the world.
“Sentient and Airborne Technologies have had a long productive relationship providing airborne surveillance solutions,” explains Sentient Vision Systems’ Managing Director, Dr Paul Boxer. “This collaboration will provide a fully-certified, integrated optical radar capability for maritime search and surveillance operations throughout the world.”
Wolfgang Grumeth, CEO of Airborne Technologies, adds “A fixed installation of the ViDAR system is already flying on the Viking TWIN OTTER ISR demonstrator. This technology is a ‘must-have’ for state-of-the-art SAR operations. Therefore, we are keen to offer the ViDAR system also as a flexible solution as part of our SCAR-Pod family, providing additional surveillance capabilities for existing rotary- and fixed-wing fleets without extensive modification effort.”
The companies are offering this new day/night search and surveillance solution to both existing and new government and non-government customers, with pods available from later this year. Demand for airborne ISR capabilities could potentially reach $12.8 billion (€10.8 billion) per annum by 2026, according to research published by MarketsandMarkets.
The pods will carry the full ViDAR suite of ultra-high resolution EO/IR cameras, as well as image processing hardware, providing a fully integrated system. The ViDAR SCAR-Pod is easily installed to the airframe, providing a highly efficient autonomous search capability that is able to detect targets that radars cannot find.