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29 June, 2006 - 10:13 By Staff Reporter

Clever Blighter as Plextek develops portable anti-terror radar

Cambridge electronics hothouse, Plextek will be unveiling its latest ‘stealth' radar at Farnborough Air Show.

Plextek has launched the Blighter 202 series, a new production standard version of its unique man-portable radar system ideal for numerous 'homeland security' applications including area intrusion monitoring and airport, pipeline and utility services protection.

The Blighter 202 series has been enhanced with a new state of the art electronic design and an improved networking capability which allows multiple Blighter 202 units to be easily linked together, along with camera systems and other devices, for fixed wide area surveillance such as border security.

A number of other feature enhancements to improve detection performance, power consumption and portability have also been made.

Plexek will be showcasing the Blighter 202 series radar for the first time on stand C25 at the Farnborough International Airshow. A live demonstration of the Blighter radar can also be seen at the BAE Systems Pavilion (stand OE14) where Blighter features as part of BAE Systems’ Deployable Surveillance Unit (DSU) vehicle.

Mark Radford, Blighter product manager, Plextek said: “We’ve been evolving the Blighter radar system for the last three years and with the 202 series now have a genuine production standard version on which we can take orders.

“Blighter is still the only product of its kind, in its price range, in the marketplace, offering an affordable, man-portable solution to high performance security systems that have traditionally relied on cameras and thermal imagers.”

Blighter 202 uses electronic beam-scanning, with multiple scan modes, to detect moving people and vehicles without having to physically rotate. It is suitable for use in most weather conditions and can detect a single person out to 2km and vehicles out to 5km.

Colin Smithers, managing director, Plextek comments: “The market asked for a low-cost, covert, movement detection system that can be networked with other sensors, and we responded. We’ve pulled on our extensive defence electronics experience and been able to cleverly engineer classic technology into a truly innovative solution which we fully expect to transform the use of radar in diverse defense and security applications across the world.”

The entire Blighter 202 system, including integrated electronics, e-scan antennas and built in GPS and digital compass is combined into a single self-contained unit weighing just 15kg making it extremely easy for one person to carry, set-up and use.

An external 12V-battery pack and wireless enabled laptop or PDA allow the radar to be operated in almost any land-based location. Blighter 202 is an extremely power efficient system, drawing only 40W from a 12/24V power supply, while various power saving modes extend battery life even further by allowing it to 'sleep' between scans. The Blighter 202 specification includes compliance with FCC and CE type approvals.

Plextek have designed an interactive user interface to work with the radars which indicates when movement has been detected by placing a distinct marker at the target co-ordinates superimposed on a map of the area.

The radar can provide additional assistance with identification by providing the target Doppler signature as an audio output. Plextek has also offers a software development kit to allow the radars to be integrated into third party display systems.

 

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