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Stratospheric HALE Radar for STV
  • Patrick Rennich,
  • Lauren Wye
Patrick Rennich
Aloft Sensing, Inc.

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Lauren Wye
Aloft Sensing
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Aloft Sensing, Inc. (Aloft) is developing a breakthrough compact radar system for deployment on high-altitude long-endurance (HALE) stratospheric platforms. These emerging platforms offer the unmatched ability to persistently observe science targets and capture the dynamics of rapidly evolving surface vegetation and topographic phenomena. Aloft’s radar system is specifically designed to overcome the challenges associated with synthetic aperture radar (SAR) and interferometric SAR (InSAR) operation from these platforms in the stratosphere, maintaining coherence over the minutes-long collection apertures and tolerating the non-linear flight trajectories to generate high-quality imaging and interferometric products. The large fractional bandwidth of Aloft’s radar system, combined with innovative motion compensation techniques, enable high-precision repeat-pass interferograms to be generated despite the coarse trajectory control of HALE platforms. Furthermore, Aloft’s patent-pending positioning, navigation, and timing (PNT) technique supports coherent multistatic operations, such that a new type of cross-platform interferometric and volumetric radar products is possible. This presentation describes the current state of Aloft’s payload development and demonstrates, via system performance models, that millimetric surface changes, centimetric topography, and decametric volumetric resolutions can be obtained from this 7 kg HALE radar system.