Airborne Surveillance Radar


Airborne radar has been an indispensable asset for surveillance operations since its first demonstration in 1936. This talk will illustrate the development of airborne surveillance radars by Racal and THORN EMI Electronics since WWII up to the present day. It will cover maritime surveillance (ASV), from H2S Mk1, which played a vital role in hunting submarines in the Battle of the Atlantic, through to Searchwater 2000MR, which is being developed for the new RAF Nimrod MRA4 maritime reconnaissance aircraft. Surveillance of the battlefield will also be described, from the side-looking imaging radar fitted to the RAF Phantom aircraft in the 1970s through to the latest synthetic aperture radar (SAR) and ground moving target indication (GMTI) systems. Air-to-air surveillance will also be reviewed, including the Searchwater Airborne Early Warning (AEW) radars operated by the Royal Navy on their carriers.

Finally, the airborne assets used to support the research for the latest radar developments will be described, together with an overview of some of the topics under research.