One container, many sensors

This is a most-sought after trick: how to pack all available sensors into one easy-to-install container – and it’s more impressive when you talk about an aerial system.

And that is exactly what Israel Aerospace Industries subsidiary Elta did some time ago. The company has unveiled an integrated electronic support measure/electronic intelligence (ESM/ELINT) add-on capability for its ELM-2060 Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) reconnaissance pod.

The ELM-2060 delivers all-weather, stand-off SAR strip or spot imagery, with an optional ground moving target indication overlay.

The imagery is transmitted in real-time to a ground exploitation station, such as ELTA’s ELS-8994 RICENT (real-time image intelligence centre). 
The system is installed in a centerline pod which fits western or eastern-type fighters, and has been successfully operated by customers worldwide.

The integration of the ESM/ELINT capability was achieved through advances in hardware miniaturisation, which allowed for the addition of systems in the current pod configuration.

Based on ELTA’s ELK-8385 proven Interferometric ESM/ELINT system, the integrated dual-use pod – designated ELI-2060E – can deliver radar imagery with ELINT target overlay.

This capability allows the operator to collect enhanced multi-intelligence data during a single reconnaissance flight leg, increasing both the probability of detection of ground targets and providing enhanced identification capabilities.

Real-time exploitation and uplinked mission updates improve intelligence collection efficiency by focusing the imaging at the real-time areas of interest.

This sensor integration is pointing to a trend: air forces want as many sensors as can be packed into a “reasonable” sized container.

Fast moving technological enhancement enables that, and we can expect some more such “dense packing” in the near future.

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