Electronic Weapons: Long Eyes On Your Back


June 21, 2010:  There are a growing number of lightweight electronics items being developed for the troops, and one of the latest is a backpack size radar unit. The European (Thales) Lynx is a 25 kg (55 pound) system. Half that weight is the radar sensor itself, which measures 53x35x13 cm (21x13.8x5 inches). The radar can detect a walking man at six kilometers, a SUV or light truck at 12 kilometers and a low (under 330 meters) flying helicopter at 11 kilometers. The manufacturer expects to sell most to police and security firms, but Special Forces teams staking out a remote mountain pass somewhere would also find it useful.

Lynx is not the first such lightweight radar on the market. In the last year or so, the British Blighter B202 Radar entered service. This is a 16 kg/35 pound device that has no moving parts and can run, unattended, for 12 hours on one battery. The radar can detect people walking up to four kilometers away (and large vehicles up to eight kilometers). You can connect the radar to the internet and monitor it from anywhere. The radar software plots the speed and path of anything it detects. The radar does a 78 degree horizontal scan (electronically, not mechanically), and a 20 degree vertical scan. The software can be set to transmit five or one second updates. Up to 700 separate contacts can be tracked at once.

The Blighter B202 is used by police departments and commando units for surveillance. For commandos, the best feature of the Blighter B202 is its light weight (the lightest ground radar available.) California ranchers are using the radars to discourage people and drug smugglers from using their property.





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