General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. announced Aug. 22 that it successfully demonstrated additional features of the Maritime Wide Area Search mode of its proven Lynx(r) Multi-mode Radar during the recent U.S. Navy Experiment Trident Warrior 2012 held off the coast of Southern California in July.
GA-ASI is a leading manufacturer of Remotely Piloted Aircraft, tactical reconnaissance radars, and electro-optic surveillance systems.
Integrated aboard a Predator B(r) RPA surrogate (King Air 200), Lynx MWAS demonstrated its ability to detect and image very small vessels, including fast boats, sail boats, and fishing boats. GA-ASI’s Claw(r) sensor payload operator control software cued the Lynx MWAS radar to targets in coordination with the Navy’s AquaQuIPS multi-INT, ship track data fusion engine developed by Jove Sciences, Inc. AquaQuIPS generated a Common Operational Picture by utilizing intelligence retrieved from multiple systems, including Claw.
“GA-ASI’s primary goal was to provide day/night Lynx radar and EO/IR [Electro-Optical Infrared] data on maritime targets in support of the AquaQuIPS Fly on Top Operation [FoTO] objective,” said Linden Blue, president, Reconnaissance Systems Group, GA-ASI. “We succeeded in measuring the ability to cue the RPA, using information from multiple national resources, to locate specific targets and to transmit image/video data back to the shore C2 data-fusion site and GCCS-M [Global Command and Control System-Maritime].”
The missions, including a real-world night surveillance flight, were executed with success and demonstrated the ability to provide situational awareness and surveillance data of a large littoral/maritime area, and to detect, classify, and identify maritime targets in various weather conditions. GA-ASI also achieved a historical first by demonstrating Lynx MWAS’ ability to support anti-piracy and counter-narcotics missions by detecting hard to find targets and relaying their imagery with metadata back to Navy commanders for dissemination and action.
Capable of a 30-degree per second scan rate with algorithms optimized for detecting small vessels, including Self-Propelled Semi-Submersible vessels, Lynx MWAS has also been demonstrated successfully on an aerostat. The MWAS mode, along with a three-fold increase in the Ground Moving Target Indicator area coverage rate and a new SAR-aided alignment mode, has been incorporated into Lynx radars deployed by U.S. customers over the past two years.
Trident Warrior is the annual exercise in the Navy’s primary FORCEnet Sea Trial experiment series and is designed to evaluate emerging technologies and network-centric toolsets to enhance situational awareness for decision-makers across all levels of the naval chain of command.