EMSI was awarded a Rapid Innovation Fund contract in October 2013 to develop a 3rd party Maritime Search / MTI and Short-Dwell ISAR mode for the Dismount Detection Radar (DDR). DDR, a pod radar, was developed by Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems (RSAS) for use on the Reaper MQ-9. As originally funded by the Air Force, DDR only had a mission requirement for dismount and ground vehicle target types. However, it was anticipated that DDR would necessarily expand into the maritime domain to support Joint Operations. Unfortunately in early 2014, the DDR development program was cancelled. The Air Force focus has shifted to the Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System Recapitalization (JSTARS Recap) program, and EMSI was directed to transition our efforts to demonstrate a sensor agnostic maritime mode in support to JSTARS Recap development efforts.
The original objective of this Rapid Innovation Fund (RIF) transition program was to provide maritime modes for DDR based on EMSI’s ISAR processing of surface moving targets. DDR is based on a Radar Open Systems Architecture (ROSA) for third party integration of “best of breed” modes and algorithms. EMSI’s unique, short-dwell ISAR and Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) maritime target exploitation technology derives from short-dwell ISAR technology that we developed for automated ISAR imaging of non-instrumented aircraft in flight for Air Force. EMSI transitioned these TRL 9 algorithms into routine Air Force use in the late 1990s.
Maritime mode requirements were derived from the mission, which is to provide surveillance and imagery of fast-moving small to medium targets from an airborne platform, operating in a dense maritime environment using short radar dwell times, as depicted in the figure. The maritime environment is defined to be open-ocean and littoral areas in all weather and at all times of the day. Under a typical mission scenario the operator will request surveillance of the blue area, with the red areas being potential cued search areas with targets of interest. The operator will then further request detailed information about areas of interest (red) within which ISAR images of potential targets will be generated. The yellow area represents the total instantaneous Field-of-Regard (FOR) of the radar system. The ISR aircraft will operate from an appropriate standoff range, out of range of threat systems.