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A Real Breakthrough in Foliage Penetration Radar

Modern warfare has changed from the days when battles were fought on large battlefields. Now more often than not governments and security forces are battling insurgent activities carried out by forces that hide men and materials under the cover of foliage. In several parts of the world it has become increasingly necessary for security forces to acquire the capability to see, remotely from the air, what is hiding under the forest cover. Foliage Penetrating Synthetic Aperture Radars provide precisely this capability.

Since the introduction of Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) immediately after World War II, radars employing SAR technology have become faster, smaller, and have gained much higher performance levels with every passing year. With the advent of modern fast computer signal processing, the handling of image data from Synthetic Aperture Radars has become precise and almost photo like. The defining characteristics of SAR systems is the use of relative motion between an antenna mounted on an airborne platform and its target region to create a large synthetic aperture that provides the coherent-signal variations which are used to obtain a fine spatial resolution of the scanned data. The latest SAR systems can provide resolutions of a few centimetres.

This capability, in combination with the ability to penetrate foliage, provides intelligence solutions for the security forces that were not available earlier. The Miltronix Foliage Penetration Radar -FOLPEN-MIDDRS, is a state-of-the-art, software-defined radar (SDR) system that provides a compact, high performance design. This Miltronix product represents the culmination of years of work by members of the design team on the design, construction, and operation of this VHF/UHF SAR systems.

First deployed in the 1990, this type of SAR system rapidly drew interest from both civilian and military sectors for providing superior information on targets under tropical foliage. Very few high quality, foliage – penetrating SAR radar systems exist in the world today, and the Miltronix Foliage Penetration Radar system is perhaps the most advanced such system anywhere. Innovators on the team have designed and built some of the most advanced editions, and the current Miltronix’s Foliage Penetration Radar- FOLPEN, is the latest and most capable iteration of this cutting-edge technology.

Miltronix FOLPEN Radar System Capabilities

The system is capable of detection of military and non-military targets under trees, even in dense tropical foliage environments. The system is also able to detect minefields to depths of 50 cm or higher, depending on soil type.
Medium-sized groups of personnel are detectable using the change-detection algorithms that are incorporated into radar system. The Miltronix’s FOLPEN-MIDDRS offers a variety of detection capabilities in both forested and non-forested environments, including detection of:
Foliage Penetration Radar – System Performance Specifications
Altitude Swath Width Coverage Rate Sq Km/Hr SNR RFI Image Quality
1500 m 2500 m 400 High Low Excellent
3000 m 5000 m 800 Medium Med Very Good
4500 m 7500 m 1200 Low High Good