HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – BAE Systems on Wednesday unveiled its new iMOTR mobile multiple-object tracking radar that aims to use commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) technology to provide military test ranges with greater tracking data.
The company developed the iMOTR for two years using internal company research and development funding. It leverages existing in-house radar designs that are matched with COTS components, including improving gallium nitrate, radio frequency, and analog-to-digital technologies all to design this radar. BAE described it here at the Space and Missile Defense Symposium as highly capable but also affordable.
The iMOTR is meant to provide a high degree of accuracy in tracking time, space, and position information (TSPI) for objects in flight, particularly at military test and evaluation ranges.
“Our iMOTR solution is inexpensive compared to the legacy multiple-object tracking radar systems currently in use on test ranges,” and delivers radar capabilities needed for test range requirements and will reduce test range operation and sustainment costs, Mark Keeler, acting president of BAE Systems’ Intelligence and Security sector, said in a statement.
Timothy Boolos, programs director for integrated electronics and warfare systems at BAE clarified here that iMOTR could help validate other kinds of test systems. For example, when Lockheed Martin [LMT] offers a new Patriot missile system someone has to test it before the Army can take delivery of the system.
He said when operating a complex system like the Patriot a lot of things are happening as the test range overloads the battlefield with targets and objects. The iMOTR is designed to have the ability to take data from everything in that swarm of targets and threats and put it together in a precise way. This is for precision intakes to validate these kinds of systems in the field, Boolos said.
Boolos said BAE submitted a proposal for iMOTR to the U.S. government within the last month, but could not comment further.
Separately, the company has applied for export for international contracts. “In fact we have followed the procedures for export control and approval. We do not currently have an export license,” Boolos said
“We are given to understand we will be granted them in time but we do not have one now,” he added.
BAE expects to submit two proposals with the iMOTR for unspecified international allies of the U.S. and “pending export approval, we will be submitting on that.”
This system has C- and X-band active electronically scanned array antenna and enhanced clutter suppression for improved accuracy assessments of launch data, the company said. This allows for more precise flight-path tracking for objects traveling near the ground.
The iMOTR is mounted on a commercial trailer optimized for mobility. The company said the radar is ruggedized and weather-proof to resist shock, dust, sand, humidity, and rain.
The radar system’s tracking information can also be shared with other radars or data collection sensors in real-time. BAE said it is equipped to provide higher precision TSPI data on a larger number of multiple objects in flight above current test range radars. The company said all of these capabilities allow the testing community “to test larger, more complex scenarios that are critical to developing the next generation of solutions to enhance national security.”
“The successful design of iMOTR leveraged industry advances in performance, availability, and affordability for both hardware and software. It will deliver a multiple-object tracking radar solution best matched to meet the ever increasing demands of test and evaluation ranges worldwide,” Keeler added.