Airborne Radar Test Bed

A customized aircraft serves as a platform on which research teams can assess the viability of prototype radar concepts and systems.
The Airborne Radar Test Bed is a flexible platform enabling advanced ISR radar research and system prototyping. Illustration: Charles Voner
The Airborne Radar Test Bed is a flexible platform enabling advanced ISR radar research and system prototyping. Illustration: Charles Voner

The Airborne Radar Test Bed is a high-performance radar platform used for the prototyping of advanced system concepts and the demonstration of enabling RF components. Our staff developed the test bed primarily for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) applications; it is designed to accommodate a variety of radar modes of operation, such as ground moving target indication, synthetic aperture, inverse synthetic aperture, and high range resolution. We built the test bed with an open architecture that allows us the flexibility to reconfigure the hardware and software to meet the needs of the different applications or missions for which we are conducting R&D. This flexibility includes the ability to change a radar system's frequency of operation, waveform bandwidth, and number of channels. The test bed's ability to record raw data allows techniques and algorithms to be optimized in post processing. Additionally, we are planning updates to the test bed to enable real-time onboard processing. By taking advantage of this test bed's capabilities, we hope to develop and transition new radar technology to the warfighter on shorter timelines than previously possible.