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NRL Partners With General Atomics to Build Integrated Radar Technology

NRL Radar

The U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) recently announced plans to partner with General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI) to incorporate NRL-developed inverse synthetic aperture radar (ISAR) imaging software with the company’s Lynx Multi-mode Radar.

This integrated radar technology will support the warfighter in areas such as improved intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions. The technology developed under the NRL and GA-ASI Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) will also support joint warfighter missions over land and sea—a goal that has been envisioned by the ISAR community for some time now.

"Because ships and small watercraft at sea are usually in motion—having both forward velocity and other linear and angular motions, for example, pitch and roll and heave and sway—this creates a problem for typical ISAR platforms," said Thomas Pizzillo, head of NRL’s Radar Analysis Branch. "The addition of a maritime-ISAR mode to the General Atomics Lynx radar, as a software-only upgrade, is the most cost-effective alternative to introduce this capability to the MQ-9 fleet."

GA-ASI’s Lynx radar is designed to be integrated with unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) systems to produce high-resolution imagery in highly concealed areas and weather conditions. The system’s various search modes—such as synthetic aperture radar (SAR), ground/dismount moving target indicator (GMTI/DMTI), and robust maritime wide area search (MWAS)—provide wide-area coverage for any integrated sensor suite.

The Lynx Multi-Mode Radar system offers an extremely beneficial complement to NRL’s leading naval radar expertise and ISAR algorithms. Through this CRADA, GA-ASI systems equipped with NRL-developed maritime and ISAR software enhancements will have increased real-time object classification capability and improved joint-ISR capabilities across aerial, naval and terrestrial battlespace platforms.

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To view the original press release about the NRL and GA-ASI CRADA announcement, visit

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