IAI Unveiled a Passive Radar

ELTA Systems, a subsidiary of Israel Aerospace Industries Group, unveiled this week a new Passive Coherent Location Radar System, enables the creation of an air situation using non-cooperative transmitters. It detects and tracks aerial threats based on target reflection from FM or Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) towers. The reflections are received by one or a network of antennas, providing 3D real-time tracking of multiple targets in congested airborne traffic.

The PCL system installation can include one sensor or a cluster of sensors for redundancy and improved coverage. The sites are connected to the central PCL command and control processing unit via a dedicated data link. General Manager of ELTA Intelligence, Communications and EW division, Adi Dulberg, said that the PCL system detects and classifies aerial risks, “without unveiling the locator.”

Very small footprint

Passive coherent location systems (sometimes called ‘Passive Radar’) systems are a variant of Bistatic Radar in which the reciever and the transmitter are separate. But the PCL variant does not employ any transmitter at all – it exploit ‘existing illuminators’ as their sources of radar transmission. These sources can be analogue FM radio, cellular phone base stations, digital audio broadcast (DAB) and other sources.

Passive radar systems offer several key benefits. They are hard to detect by conventional means: Electronic sensors cannot pick them up because they do not transmit their own signals. They have no transmitters generating heat, so they cannot be detected thermal signatures, and they are small and quite difficult to spot. According to Visiongain rtesearch firm, the global passive radar market is projected to grow from US$ 2,324 million in 2020 to US$ 4,313 million by 2030, at a CAGR of 6.38% between 2020 and 2030.