News story

Research and development of passive missile–borne radar

Case study from the University of Birmingham who will pitch their ideas to industry and investors at the CDE Marketplace on 27 April 2016.

A Sea Wolf surface to air missile leaves the launcher onboard Type 23 frigate HMS Montrose during an exercise.

The University of Birmingham has used Centre for Defence Enterprise (CDE) funding to develop an experimental demonstrator for passive missile-borne radar (PAMIR).

In the project, the university has looked at mobile communication and navigation satellite systems (Inmarsat and Iridium) to assess their power availability, as well as measuring the signal power density near the surface.

Initial tests have shown that the use of these 2 global satellite communications systems will make the radar system reliable. An experimental demonstrator and the processing algorithms and codes have been developed, along with 3 trials at UK coastal areas that prove the feasibility of the system.

In the future, a passive guidance system could be developed with capabilities including detecting the target, and rough coordinate estimation by a passive radar operating from a moving platform. The system has the advantages of not activating electronic support receivers of the target and it doesn’t have the limitations of infrared or other electro-optical sensors.

Dr. Marina Gashinova, Lecturer in Radar Sensors and Systems at the University of Birmingham said:

The funding and support we got from CDE has allowed taking our research to the next level.

Additional funding and defence industry partners are now being sought to progress the radar system.

The University of Birmingham was first founded in 1900 as England’s first civic University. It comprises more than 6,500 staff and has students in excess of 28,000.

About CDE

CDE funds novel, high-risk, high-potential-benefit research. We work with the broadest possible range of science and technology providers, including academia and small companies, to develop cost-effective capabilities for UK armed forces and national security.

CDE is part of Dstl.

Centre for Defence Enterprise

Building R103
Fermi Avenue

Harwell Oxford
OX11 0QX

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Published 19 April 2016