Reutech radar unit an integral component of Meerkat surveillance system


A major component of the recently unveiled Postcode Meerkat wide area surveillance system is the Reutech RSR 904 ground surveillance radar unit.

The unit, also known as “Ngada” in the Nguni languages and meaning Meerkat, supplies information allowing operators to observe activity in its coverage area prior to further analysis in the system.

Reutech’s Anthony Green said the RSR 904 has a greater role as it operates not only in the environmental domain but also in the economic realm “by way of protecting South Africa’s borders”.

“In both instances the task relates to detection, classification and tracking of people across remote open areas. This capability enhances border protection agencies’ ability to stem the illegal movement of people and vehicles who may be engaging in activities detrimental to a country’s economic well-being,” he said.

Border surveillance is typically characterised by wide areas and long distances requiring all weather and day/night surveillance. While cameras may be used to provide surveillance over an area, they are generally limited in terms of ability to concurrently observe wide areas and longer ranges during night time and under inclement weather conditions.

“This,” according to Green, “is where radar proves its worth. Radar can benefit from cameras in a system by aiding classification of detected objects by directing high magnification but narrow field of view optical systems at specific objects of interest.”

Its compact design, low emitted power levels, low power consumption and ease of deployment and operation make the RSR 904 well suited for fixed or mobile installations in multiple ground surveillance applications in support of the safeguarding of a country’s borders or catching suspected poachers, Reutech said.

The RSR 904 short-range ground, sea and air surveillance radar is suitable for the detection of dismounted personnel or vehicles in a ground surveillance role, or for the detection of watercraft or aircraft.

The Postcode Meerkat wide area surveillance comprises radar, cameras and information analysis software able to detect, track and classify people entering protected areas, such as the Kruger National Park. The system will be used as part of the park’s anti-poaching operations.