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Czech company ERA introduces new passive surveillance system

The PLEES has a surveillance field of view of 360° by antenna rotation and a 30° instant field of view. (Michal Zdobinsky)

Czech Republic's ERA introduced a new Passive Long-range ESM Surveillance System (PLESS) with a range of up to 700 km on 18 September during the opening of the NATO Days event in Ostrava.

The new over-the-horizon system is capable of detecting, locating, analysing, identifying, and tracking slow-moving and stationary targets – via sources of electromagnetic radiation in the 0.1 to 18 GHz band – in a fully passive mode.

According to ERA, the intercept range enables the use of signal reflection interception in the tropospheric layers. It operates on the Angle of Arrival (AoA) principle, with support for multilateration using the time difference of arrival (TdoA) principle. For the 2D location of the target, at least two separate sensors are needed, as the triangulation method is used. Direction-finding accuracy is less than 0.5° for troposcatter.

On the ground PLESS can target long-, medium-, and short-range ground-based radars. It can detect signals from pulsed to communications, such as radar, datalinks, or jammers, ERA literature said.

In the maritime domain it can detect, locate, track, and identify various signal transmitters on vessels or Automatic Identification Systems (AISs). PLESS can also detect and identify aerial platforms, or can locate and determine the position of a ground control station for the control of UAS.

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