Successful trials of Plextek’s micro radar shows game-changing capability for UAS


Innovation consultancy, Plextek have achieved groundbreaking results after successful air trials of a millimetre wave micro-radar designed for autonomous unmanned aerial systems (UAS).

unded by the newly formed Defence and Security Accelerator, as part of the Autonomous Last Mile Resupply competition, Plextek has tested the performance of a low size, weight and power radar as a sense and avoid drone mounted sensor.

Operating in the 60 GHz mm-waveband, results from trials indicated that the radar can provide a range of useful information to aid navigation in complex environments.


Peter Doig, Business Manager, Defence summarises:

For a drone to perform fully autonomous flight into unknown locations, it will be necessary for the radar sensor to detect the surrounding environment in front of and beneath the drone. In this manner, our trial was a success as results showed strongly visible returns from buildings, vegetation and objects.

Looking into the future, although it is possible that a single radar could provide sense and avoid capability as well as identifying suitable landing sites; within the wider systems context, this would more likely be realised with two sensors, one forward facing and one downward facing.”

The data gathered from the trials will be analysed in Plextek’s next phase of work within the program to further help understand the radar’s performance in different scenarios and environmental conditions.

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Plextek Services Limited (Plextek) is an independent innovation design consultancy, with the capability to execute a wide range of tasks including technology assessment; concept development & innovation; technology development & demonstration; equipment design; equipment manufacture, test & supply; equipment support & maintenance.