The CSIR's command, control and information warfare area is finding new ways to use two-dimensional (2D) radars. Scientists have been developing techniques to estimate the vertical activity and height of an aircraft, based on the measurements from single 2D radar.
Herman le Roux
According to principal engineer Herman le Roux, this new development latches on to a bigger project - threat intent detection or identification. "This is a mathematical model of estimating the activity levels of an aircraft with regard to vertical manoeuvring by using a sensor that cannot measure the vertical attributes, only the horizontal ones," he says, adding that it can't measure the height of an aircraft. "This technology development uses 2D search radar."
"We found very few publications on this topic and noticed that most engineers estimate horizontal activity and not vertical activity, making this methodology even more special," he says. "It helps to identify possible military and non-military aircraft type threats." He says that the technology, once it's ready, may be applied in airspace management control.
The research also forms part of an effort to create a realistic simulation environment for decision support to the South African National Defence Force and ARMSCOR. The algorithms used to create flights paths for aircraft in the simulation environment are related to those used in the activity estimation techniques.
The paper penned by Le Roux and Henri Hakl, 'Vertical Activity Estimation Using 2D Radar', has appeared in Scientia Militaria, the South African Journal of Military Studies. A second paper on estimating the height of an aircraft has been submitted to a journal.
Enquiries: CSIR Communication