Under the sponsorship of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the United States Army and the United States Air Force, Lockheed Martin developed an airborne VHF/UHF dual-band synthetic aperture radar for imaging concealed targets. Since its inception in 1997, the FOPEN program has advanced to a mature system that has completed more than 400 flights.
Sophisticated Target Detection
The FOPEN radar was designed for operation from low to very high altitudes in a variety of manned and unmanned platforms. It has collected images at ranges greater than 40 km. Image formation and subsequent sophisticated target detection processing are performed in real-time onboard the aircraft. The system design supports a data link which allows for processed results to be down-linked immediately.
The associated FOPEN ground station provides mission planning and image display/exploitation workstations, along with generous data storage. This equipment has been engineered for ease of transportation to a site and can be unpacked and operational quickly in an office or small room.
Both airborne and ground subsystems have interfaces compatible with the Common Data Link. Careful configuration control of all software and hardware is maintained to assure customers of reliable, reproducible operation which has been proven over time. Key benefits of Lockheed Martin's FOPEN system include:
- Penetration of common obscuration techniques, nets and foliage
- Separation of potential targets from natural background clutter
- Simultaneous UHF and VHF imaging
On-board, real-time image formation & change detection processing
- Concurrent downlinking of images to ground stations
- Day or night, all weather availability, through foilage, clouds, rain and fog