Airbus Defence and Space extends leading position in state-of-the-art radar technology


Airbus Defence and Space has developed a new generation of transmit and receive modules which give the new AESA radar systems with electronic beam scanning (AESA = Active Electronically Scanned Array) previously unattained performance. The company thus continues to consolidate its leading position in state-of -the-art radar technology.

“Our new-generation modules increase performance, while the cost of production is reduced,” says Thomas Müller, head of Airbus Defence and Space’s Electronics business line. “This means that the advantages of AESA technology are now also open to areas in which they could not be used previously.” As examples, Müller cited the surveillance of coasts and industrial facilities, but also the use on board small navy ships or coast guard vessels.

In contrast to conventional systems, radars based on AESA technology can perform several tasks practically simultaneously. The transmitting energy is generated directly in the antenna, namely in a multitude of transmit and receive modules (TRMs), instead of in a delicate central transmitter whose functionality is of critical importance. The new technology offers so many operational advantages for the user that we can expect AESA radars to be used in many fields of reconnaissance and surveillance in future. The Airbus Defence and Space products using the new TRMs include the Eurofighter’s future e-scan radar and the security radars in the Spexer family.

The new generation of modules also enables the Spexer systems to reach significantly higher detection ranges compared to conventional coastal protection radars, thus increasing the time available for protection forces to react, while decreasing the cost of infrastructure due to the reduced number of observation towers required.

Moreover, this technology also opens up completely new options to discover oil pollution, in combination with cameras from Cassidian Optronics.