28 January, 2019 - 08:44 By Kate Sweeney

South African Air Force deal for Cambridge Pixel

Cambridge Pixel, which develops radar display, tracking and recording sub-systems, is supplying its IFF (identification friend or foe) secondary radar processing and plot extraction technology to Tellumat, as part of an upgrade of the South African Air Force’s Secondary Surveillance Radars at six airfield sites across the country.

Tellumat engineers needed to replace obsolete and hard-to-maintain plot extraction hardware at the airfield sites and to deliver enhanced capabilities. These included IFF radar decoding, simplified maintenance and the provision of a modern plan position indicator (PPI)-style radar display.

Warren Whitfield, software development manager, Air Traffic Management division, Tellumat, said: “Cambridge Pixel’s modular SPx software library made it easy for our engineers to design a custom solution that interfaced with existing equipment, where it was still fit for purpose, and add the new capabilities, such as IFF radar, that our client required.

“Cambridge Pixel’s software modules are seriously best-in-class! This flexibility of the software modules approach has helped us to introduce new technology to extend the life of the Selex ATCR-33 and ATCR-2T radar systems, whilst minimising the cost of the upgrade programme.”

The two legacy plot extractors were replaced with dual independent systems containing Cambridge Pixel HPx radar interface cards as well as synchronous serial adapters to output the plot data to the remote sector control centres.

A Windows-based user interface was built for each system using the display components from Cambridge Pixel’s SPx library to provide an integrated picture of maps, primary and IFF plots and scan-converted radar video.

Tellumat’s new custom solution – including Cambridge Pixel’s SPx Server plot extraction software – interfaces to the combined IFF video and mode pulses data stream for plot extraction. Plots are then passed to a remote display system for target tracking for ATC and mission control scenarios. 

A separate channel interfaces to the primary radar to extract primary plots.

Richard Warren, director of software, Cambridge Pixel, said: “Cambridge Pixel’s SPx software library was specifically designed to allow system integrators, such as Tellumat, to build custom upgrades for radar processing applications like this.”

Cambridge Pixel’s radar technology is used in naval, air traffic control, vessel traffic, commercial shipping, security, surveillance and airborne radar applications. 

• The company will showcase its technology at The International Defence Exhibition and Conference at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre from February 17 to 21.

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