C4iSR: Land

IAI unveils foliage-penetrating ground surveillance radar

17 March 2017

Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has unveiled a new version of its ELM-2112 ground surveillance radar that is designed to detect threats moving through foliage, saying it has been "operationally deployed for several years".

IAI has unveiled the ELM-2112FP foliage-penetrating ground surveillance radar. (Israel Aerospace Industries)IAI has unveiled the ELM-2112FP foliage-penetrating ground surveillance radar. (Israel Aerospace Industries)

Using frequency modulated continuous wave (FMCW) technology, the ELM-2112FP "enables personnel and vehicle movements to be detected for up to several kilometers in forested areas, in real-time and irrespective of whether or not there is a clear line-of-sight," IAI said in a 14 March press release. Its range depends on the type and density of foliage.

Noam Donenfeld, business development manager at IAI-Elta's Land and Naval Radars and Systems Division, said the radar is already in service with multiple customers he declined to identify and said it operates on the L band frequency, unlike other radars in the family, which operate on the X and C bands.

"The idea is a penetrating surveillance detection ability based on a single, very wide staring beam," he said. "This lights up the target."

Noting that previous foliage-penetration radars were carried by aircraft, Donefeld added, "What is unique here is that it is ground based and can be affixed on top of a pole, peering into a forest and detecting targets." Weighing 65 kg, it can also be mounted on vehicles.

Donefeld said that objects must be moving in order for the ELM-2112FP to detect them. "Like all ground radars that look at field targets, this is activated by Doppler," he said.

The IAI press release quoted a commander in charge of a border protection system that uses the radar as saying, "Using this radar has opened our eyes in places that were so far beyond our vision; this system has huge operational value."

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