SA Radar Interest Group readying for biennial conference


The South African Radar Interest Group (SARIG) will early next month host its latest radar conference under the theme of “The Influence of Artificial Intelligence on Radar Technology”.

The conference will be held at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research’s (CSIR’s) International Convention Centre in Pretoria on 8 November, preceded by two tutorials related to the conference theme on 7 November. These aim to assist radar practitioners in adapting to changing technology trends.

Molahlegi Molope, chairperson of the South African Radar Interest Group (SARIG) and IEEE AES10/GRS29, told defenceWeb that more than fourteen speakers are lined up for the conference.

During the morning of 8 November, the CSIR’s Reeshen Reddy will speak about Industry 4.0’s impact on electronic warfare strategy and technology evolution; Professor Amit Mishra from the University of Cape Town (UCT) will look at opportunities presented by generative artificial intelligence in the radar and electronic defence domain; DragonFly’s Professor Mike Inggs will explore drone radar for agricultural use; and Waldi van der Lingen from the University of Pretoria (UP) will examine node placement for bi-static radar networks.

The afternoon session will see Dr J Taylor from Reutech Radar discuss using staring array radar architecture to detect and classify low-observable targets; the UCT’s Dylan White examine how to use radar to measure Antarctic ice; Dr Neil-John Lord from the University of Pretoria speak about target tracking using artificial intelligence; the UCT’s Dr Stephen Paine present on a passive radar processing chain; and the CSIR’s Brian Burmeister discuss next-generation sensors and electronic warfare engagement simulation (SEWES) architecture.

Other conference speakers that are confirmed include Brigadier General Andre Barends, Director Technology Division at the South African Department of Defence; Thomas Gwarisa from Peralex; Eben du Plessis and Chris Mocke from Hensoldt; William Bourn from UCT, Sipho Sithole from the Tshwane University of Technology; and Professor Warren du Plessis from the University of Pretoria.

Established in 2008, the SARIG is a not-for-profit organisation established to further the cause of radar in South Africa. It has grown from strength to strength, boasting a total of 93 members from academia, research institutes, industry and state-owned entities. In May 2023, it established a permanent relationship with the local joint chapter of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) AES10/GRS29 when three of its members were elected as the leaders of IEEE AES10/GRS29. Together, they have hosted mini Radar conferences (three per year, and two during the biennial conference year).

The SARIG held its first conference in 2014 when it celebrated the 75th anniversary of radar in South Africa. This was followed by an international radar conference in 2015 in collaboration with the IEEE, attended by 210 people from around the world. The most recent conference in 2021 was held virtually due to the Covid-19 pandemic, under the theme ‘Radar for Society’. The previous edition in 2019 explored the theme of ‘Radar in the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR)’.

Bookings for the 2023 conference can be made here.