ISRAEL : Foliage Penetrating Radar (FOPEN) – New Eyes Seeking Targets in Forests

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Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has added a foliage penetrating (FOPEN) radar to its ELM-2112 family of persistent ground surveillance radars.

Unlike other sensors in the ELM-2112 family, the ELM-2112FP operates in the L-band, to enable better penetration of dense foliage.

With this capability the new radar can penetrate ‘few tens of meters’ into dense vegetation, to detect moving targets hidden in dense shrubs, forests, and jungles, from a distance of several kilometers away.

Elta ELM-2112FP Foliage-Penetrating Radar. Photo: IAI

The ELM-2112FP assures surveillance continuity on targets and threats as these enter forested areas – usually invisible to conventional motion detection radars (operating in the C-X bands).

The new radar adds FOPEN capability to existing surveillance settings, as it can be connected to the same command and control system controlling existing radars, opening densely vegetated areas that could not be covered by conventional sensors.

The ELM-2112FP weighs 65 kg can be installed on masts or vehicles, or dismount on a tripod for temporary deployment.

Based on Frequency Modulated Continuous Wave (FMCW) technology the radar uses a single emitter and simultaneous, electronically scanned multi-beam array to cover a wide area.

Each pair (emitter and receiver array) covers 90 degrees. Multiple sets can be stacked to achieve wider coverage. Targets are detected by the analysis of the echoes returned from moving targets (Doppler effect).

The FOPEN radar extends the coverage of IAI Elta’s ELM-2112 ground surveillance family of radars into densely vegetated, forested areas. Photo: IAI

It can detect moving personnel in forested areas, including slow moving targets, from 2.5 kilometers away.

Vehicles moving inside the forest or jungle will be detected by the radar from a range of up to five kilometers.

The depth of detection is determined by the type of growth and density of trees.

The radar operates under all weather conditions and simultaneously track hundreds of targets, with very low false alarm rate, providing continuous surveillance of the assigned area of interest.

Developed IAI subsidiary Elta Systems the radar has been operational with several customers for years but was released only now, before its unveiling at the LAAD 2017 expo in Brazil next month.

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