Multifunctional MIMO radar as drone payload
Mini-UAVs, with a payload of a few kilograms, are increasingly being used for a multitude of sensing tasks, and are equipped with many different types of small sensors. The benefits of radar are well-known, but very few radar systems exist for this category of platforms, because of the size and power requirements of most radar systems. TNO has gained broad experience with design and operation of compact small multi-channel radar systems, for advanced synthetic aperture radar (SAR) and ground moving target indication (GMTI) modes, as well as ground-based short-range surveillance tasks. For mini-UAV platforms we have designed a new radar sensor that allows both conventional and novel multi-beam SAR and GMTI modes. The 32-channel omnidirectional design (patent pending) is quite different from any existing small SAR.