Coherent operation across a distributed swarm of sensors provides capabilities that match—and in some cases exceed—the capabilities of large single-platform sensors. Increased detection range, collection speed, and target geolocation are among the numerous benefits of distributed coherent radar operation. To realize the clear benefits of a distributed coherent radar system, each platform requires positioning, navigation, and timing (PNT) information with precision on the order of a small fraction of a wavelength. Current inertial navigation systems (INS) cannot provide this level of positioning, and only the most expensive and heavy clocks provide sufficient timing. Aloft Sensing’s innovative PNT algorithms achieve the necessary accuracy to fully support coherent operation of a distributed mesh radar system, and Aloft’s mesh synthetic aperture radar (MSAR) and mesh moving target indication (MMTI) algorithms enable realization of the full mesh sensing benefits for military and commercial applications. The proposed Phase I SBIR project assesses the feasibility of Aloft’s unique PNT and mesh radar sensing algorithms under practical real-world conditions and optimizes the algorithms for use cases of particular interest to the Air Force. The proposed Phase I project concludes with a recommended prototype demonstration plan, to be executed on a future Phase II effort.
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