Electronic Weapons: Deception Killer Radar

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January 31, 2008: A U.S. radar manufacturer (Lockheed Martin) has developed a new capability for phased-array radars that enables incoming targets to be more precisely identified. In particular, the new digital beam forming feature enables fake missile warheads to be detected. This makes it possible to make more attacks on real warheads, and fewer anti-missile missiles wasted on the deceptions.

In addition, the design of the individual nodes in a phased array radar has been changed, using more sturdy materials, and enabling each of the thousands of nodes (in a typical ship radar) to use more power. This provides more range and precision. Phased array radars are used in ships, aircraft and in large ground based systems, as well as space satellites.

Digital beam forming is just the latest new development of radar technology, forming part of a trend that began over 70 years ago, when the first radar entered service. Cheaper and more abundant computer power has led to many improvements, by being able to get more information from the signals bounced back.

 


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