COLOGNE, Germany --- The German Air Force and electronics specialist Hensoldt are gearing up to deploy a new sensing technology in southern Germany that promises to target enemy aircraft without pilots knowing they are being tracked.
The company first unveiled its TwInvis passive radar system at the Berlin Air Show in April, where it was rumored as a technology with the potential to detect stealthy aircraft like the F-35.
The upcoming test in early November is part of what the German Air Force considers a “measuring campaign” to evaluate the technology, a service spokesman said. The Air Force expects to participate in the event with aircraft and personnel.
Passive radar systems rely on commercial airwaves to watch a given airspace. In a nutshell, the sensors can compute the positions of aerial objects based only on their reflections in the buzz of broadcast signals over populated areas.
The lack of a dedicated emitter against which reflections are tracked in traditional radar setups means the system cannot be detected by anti-radar weapons. At the same time, a key drawback for passive radars is that they must have sufficiently strong commercial broadcast activity in the targeted area to work at all.
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