DARPA eyes foliage-penetrating radar signal processing workstation to detect infantry moving in forests

ARLINGTON, Va., 26 Feb. 2010. Radar signal processing experts at the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in Arlington, Va., are asking industry to develop a data-processing workstation to help pinpoint concentrations of foot soldiers moving in thick forests and other dense foliage.

Posted by John Keller

ARLINGTON, Va., 26 Feb. 2010.Radar signal processing experts at the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in Arlington, Va., are asking industry to develop a data-processing workstation to help pinpoint concentrations of foot soldiers moving in thick forests and other dense foliage.

The idea is to process radar signals from a foliage penetrating (FOPEN) radar mounted to manned and unmanned helicopters to filter out radar clutter like animals, wind-blown foliage, and moving water to estimate the position, size, and direction of travel of infantry concentrations moving in foliage.

The program is called Foliage Penetrating Ground Moving Target Indicator Radar Exploitation and Planning (FOPEN-GXP). Its goal is to develop and integrated a set of tools to enhance foliage-penetrating radar data as modules into a FOPEN-GXP system workstation.

DARPA wants to demonstrate the effectiveness of such a workstation with data from the Foliage Penetration Reconnaissance, Surveillance, Tracking and Engagement Radar (FORESTER) system, developed by Syracuse Research Corp. in North Syracuse, N.Y., which is mounted to a Boeing A-160 Hummingbird unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).

DARPA issued a broad agency announcement (DARPA-BAA-10-07) Wednesday for the FOPEN-GXP program to develop foliage-penetrating radar signal processing workstations with modules that discriminate between Doppler radar signatures, estimate the state and activities of detected infantry concentrations, and plan where to place the radar sensors and determine radar modes for best results.

DARPA has tested the FORESTER radar on a manned UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter, as well as on an A-160 Hummingbird unmanned helicopter. Last year, DARPA expert tested the FORESTER on an A-160 to detect radar returns from moving humans and animals, ground vehicles, boats, and other clutter and false targets.

Companies interested must respond initially by 13 April 2010, and ultimately no later than 23 Aug. 2010. An industry day, which is classified secret, will be on 10 March 2010 at Schafer Corp., 3811 North Fairfax Dr., 4th floor, in Arlington, Va.

For questions or concerns contact Mark Luettgen, the DARPA program manager, by e-mail at DARPA-BAA-10-07@darpa.mil, by fax at 703-741-1374, by post at ATTN: DARPA-BAA-10-07, 3701 North Fairfax Dr, Arlington, VA 22203-1714.

Register for the industry day, which is only for people who hold DOD secret security clearances or higher, online at www.schafertmd.com/conference/FOPENGXP.

More information is online at https://www.fbo.gov/spg/ODA/DARPA/CMO/DARPA-BAA-10-07/listing.html. A detailed description is available for download in .pdf format.

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