Ben Passfield

Key to the success of the Global Hawk is the ISS (Integrated Sensor Suite), developed and produced by Raytheon (Hall 2-A13).Pairing very high resolution Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) and Moving Target Indication (MTI) with Electro-Optical (EO) and Infrared (IR) sensors, the ISS has unique capabilities. The SAR can operate simultaneously with the EO or IR sensor, enabling _wide-area searches (WAS) for threat assessment and situational awareness. Field commanders can also select a narrower focus on specific targets, enabling prosecution and battle damage assessment. The MTI detects moving targets over areas exceeding 30,000km2. Targets with opening or closing velocities as little as 2.1 m/s (400ft/min) can be seen. The EO system incorporates a Raytheon third-generation IR sensor and Kodak digital CCD visible camera. The images gleaned are of such high quality that users can distinguish types of vehicles, aircraft and ships.

Designed for multiple battlefield applications, the ISS provides field commanders with information on enemy intentions from great distances, although without compromising the exceptional clarity and accuracy of the near real-time images. In the words of Dr Paul Kaminski, former US Undersecretary of Defense: "Global Hawk...will become a strategic see the 'big picture,' to see it broadly, and to see it clearly."

Source: Flight Daily News