Sandia National Laboratories
Synthetic Aperture Radar
Sandia National Laboratories Synthetic Aperture Radar Homepage

What is Synthetic Aperture Radar?

SAR Applications

Sandia SAR Capabilities

Sandia SAR Programs

SAR Imagery

SAR Movie Gallery

SAR Information Contacts

Lynx Synthetic Aperture Radar

The Lynx radar, designed and developed by Sandia National Laboratories for General Atomics, provides unmatched performance for reconnaissance and surveillance in adverse weather conditions. The system is light enough to fit into small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) like the Aeronautical Systems, Inc. UAV family, some of which are shown below. Currently, it is operational in an I-GNAT.

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles
(Clockwise from Top: Prowler, I-GNAT, Predator)

The sensor offers one-foot to ten-foot resolution stripmap capability and spotlight resolutions of four inches to ten feet. Depending on weather conditions and imaging resolution, the sensor can operate at a maximum range of 25 to 85 kilometers. In addition to SAR, the Lynx radar includes GMTI and near-real-time coherent change detection capability. The radar is packaged in two subassemblies (shown below) weighing less than 50 kg.

Lynx synthetic aperture radar assembly   Lynx synthetic aperture radar antenna assembly

For more information, please review "Lynx: A High-Resolution Synthetic Aperture Radar" (Launches Abobe Acrobat) or visit General Atomics' Lynx SAR Website.

Please read Sandia National Laboratories' news release about the Lynx Synthetic Aperture Radar system, which was officially unveiled August 28, 1999 by the Department of Energy's Sandia National Laboratories and General Atomics of San Diego.

An excellent presentation about UAVs and their capabilities - including their use of SAR - can be found on Nova's "Spies that Fly" website.

Lynx Synthetic Aperture Radar Imagery

(Note: Resolutions are for original images prior to downsampling for world wide web viewing.)

M-47 Tanks; Comparison of Resolutions at 1-meter, 1-foot and 4-inch resolutions
M-47 Tanks, Kirtland Air Force Base, Albuquerque, NM (1-ft resolution) and an optical photo of the same tanks
National Atomic Museum, Kirtland Air Force Base, Albuquerque, N.M. Note the B-52 bomber on display near the center of this image (1-ft resolution)
Sandia National Laboratories Solar Power Tower, Albuquerque, N.M. (1-ft resolution)
Farmhouse near Albuquerque, New Mexico (1-ft resolution)
Moving Target Indicator (MTI) image Three moving targets travelling on a runway at the Patuxent River Naval Air Station

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Lynx is a registered trademark of the General Atomics corporation.


To send feedback or request information about the contents of Sandia National Laboratories' synthetic aperture radar website, please contact:

Matthew R. Lopez, Business Project Lead
Synthetic Aperture Radar Website Owner
Sandia National Laboratories
Albuquerque, NM 87185-0519
845-2019 (Phone)
844-5924 (Fax)