Navy deal upgrades radar algorithms

Compass Systems will test new algorithms in support of Raytheon APY-10 and APG-79 radars.

Two radar systems critical to overseas water and air supremacy are receiving a much-needed upgrade.

Compass Systems Inc. has secured a $9.7 million Navy contract for the research, development, and testing of new radar algorithms in support of the APY-10 and APG-79 radars. Terms include researching emerging technologies that work with other sensor systems to improve target identification and classification.

The small, Maryland-based company has designed a number of systems for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), including the battle-tested TigerShark UAV class. Last year, the Navy awarded the company a $14 million contract to develop, build, and roll out the Optical Sensor System Cargo Aircraft Roll-on/Roll-Off.

Both radar systems were developed by Raytheon for the Navy. The APY-10 maritime, littoral and overland surveillance radar supports the service’s next-generation patrol aircraft, the P-8A Poseidon.

Raytheon said that the system has “a dedicated short exposure submarine periscope detection mode as well as ultra-high resolution imaging modes for maritime and overland operations.” Operating in this dual capacity is a feature unique to the APY-10.

The APG-79 has a storied history. The F/A-18 Super Hornets with the powerful APG-79s have deployed in several theaters over their nearly twenty-year lifespan. As part of Operation Inherent Resolve, several Super Hornets have conducted bombing raids on ISIS soldiers in Iraq. Upgrading this legacy system will allow the radar to use its active electronically scanned array (AESA) to steer the radar’s beam at nearly the speed of light.

Work will be performed in Lexington Park, Maryland, and should be completed by Nov. 2019. $50,000 is being obligated at the time of the award and will expire at the end of the 2016 fiscal year.  The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division in New Jersey is the contracting activity.