Sandia DHC-6 Twin Otter
developed, and now operates a state-of-the-art synthetic aperture radar
installed in a DOE-owned DHC-6 Twin-Otter aircraft. The Twin Otter provides
a low-cost testbed which is easily adaptable to varied applications.
The SAR is a flexible, calibrated sensor which has been applied to a
number of imaging problems of national importance. An identical copy
of this SAR has been integrated for the DOE Office of Arms Control and
Nonproliferation and has been installed in a pod on a Lockheed P-3A
The Twin Otter
carries a complete data collection system including radar, GPS-aided
inertial motion measurement system, fully gimbaled antenna, real-time
image formation processor, high capacity data storage system, and optionally
a real-time automatic target recognition processor.
is able to collect flight data over the following radar bands.
- Ka (35 GHz)
- Ku (15 GHz)
- X (10 GHz)
- VHF/UHF (125
MHz - 950 MHz)
capabilities include strip map, spotlight, and squint modes, all at
a wide variety of elevation angles and other flight geometries.
For more information,
please review "A High-Resolution, Four-Band SAR Testbed
with Real-Time Image Formation." (Launches Adobe Acrobat)
AMPS Navy P-3A Orion
As a part of the
Airborne Multisensor Pod System (AMPS) program, Sandia operates and
maintains the SAR pod. The SAR operates in the Ku-band and is capable
of 1 meter resolution. The pod is visible under the right wing (near
the fuselage) of the aircraft.
Sandia Antenna Measurement Facility
Sandia also operates
a precision radar antenna test and calibration range that doubles as
a SAR / ISAR imaging instrument. The indoor facility allows detailed
measurements of target cross sections and scattering properties.
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