by Nate Knight, vice president of air and missile defense

At Numerica, we are dedicated to the success of our customers. For our Air and Missile Defense division recently, that has meant delivering innovative solutions to address the rapidly evolving threat from drones. In 2020, we officially announced the availability of MIMIR™, our C2 solution for layered and distributed C-UAS systems. This year, we are launching something even bigger. 

The Spyglass™ Short Range Surveillance Radar is our newest air defense product and we’ve built it to address critical gaps in the short-range air defense radar market. Radar is a key sensor for C-UAS missions, ideally providing all-weather, long-range detection, precision tracking and identification of drone threats even during “silent flight” when they aren’t detectable by more common means. Critical challenges for C-UAS radar include:

  • Detecting threats at short ranges. Drone threats can pop up anywhere and a blind zone of even 200m can create a significant risk.
  • Detecting threats at long ranges. As drones and other airborne autonomous weapons gain sophistication, detecting them at longer ranges provides critical time to assess the threat level and implement a response.
  • Tracking with precision. High precision tracking enables a wide variety of drone mitigations that otherwise remain out of reach.
  • Surveillance volume. Adversaries have a rapidly expanding array of drone capabilities at their disposal, both in the air and on the ground. An effective radar solution needs to provide surveillance over a significant volume from the ground up.
  • Cost. The proliferation of low-cost autonomous drones, their ease of use and the variety of methods of deployment means that C-UAS solutions need to be cost-effective to allow for deployment across the entire threat space.  

We’ve designed and built Spyglass from the ground up to address these specific challenges. We’ve leveraged decades of experience building advanced algorithms and software solutions for air and missile defense problems to ensure that Spyglass extracts the most actionable information out of the data it produces. Our partnership with Liteye Systems, NEOTech and our experience deploying C-UAS systems around the world over the last four years has provided critical insights that have guided our design:

  • Ku Band Phased Array: Spyglass operates in the Ku Band providing high precision Doppler measurements that enable the reliable detection of slow-moving targets and the accurate characterization of drone threats. Our unique phased array design provides reliability, low cost, high precision tracking critical for integration with other sensors and weapon systems.
  • Simultaneous Transmit and Receive: We’ve designed Spyglass to simultaneously transmit and receive enabling detection of close-in threats and long-range detection at low transmit powers. This combination of features makes Spyglass highly deployable and an ideal solution for defense systems operating from 10m out to 5km and beyond.
  • Algorithm driven performance: Building a radar solution that can be broadly deployed requires more than innovative hardware. More and more, radar is a software and algorithm game. We’ve brought unique radar signal processing innovations to bear in Spyglass and a powerful software ecosystem that allows us to deliver continued innovation and performance improvements long after Spyglass has been deployed.

One of the most important lessons we’ve learned deploying C-UAS systems is that all of these features mean nothing if the solution isn’t reliable and trustworthy. Unreliable sensors can quickly erode operator confidence in the system and render it useless. Spyglass is designed and manufactured in the U.S. in partnership with our respected manufacturing partner NEOTech. We’ve also partnered with Liteye Systems as our exclusive reseller to tap into their highly-experienced operations team to ensure customers deploying Spyglass get expert end-to-end support. In collaboration with these organizations, we are producing Spyglass to meet stringent certifications and specifications providing both reliability and supply chain peace of mind.

Spyglass was inspired by our experience in working with C-UAS customers and partners and observing first-hand the need for a better radar solution. With a design that addresses the critical challenges in C-UAS radar today, Spyglass provides a solid foundation for the next generation of C-UAS solutions.

Spyglass has your mission covered. Learn more at www.numerica.us/spyglass-short-range-surveillance-radar/