SOSTAR-X Enters Airborne Test Campaign

Released on Thursday, May 25, 2006
AESA - Active Electronically Scanned Array
AGS - Alliance Ground Surveillance
EADS - European Aeronautic Defence and Space
GMTI - Ground Moving Target Indicator
ISR - Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance
MoU - Memorandum of Understanding
NATO - North Atlantic Treaty Organization
SAR - Search and Rescue
SAR - Synthetic Aperture Radar
The European SOSTAR-X program for the development and demonstration of an advanced airborne ground surveillance radar system has started flight testing.

After conclusion of the SOSTAR-X mission system ground integration being performed in Friedrichshafen, Germany, aircraft installation and ground testing were completed in Woensdrecht, Netherlands. On 28th April 2006, the Fokker 100 "SX" received its "Release to Service" after having passed successfully performance and EMI/EMC flight tests.

On 04th May, 2006, the Fokker SX 100 went airborne in Woensdrecht and landed after a four hours test flight. In parallel The Netherlands Army were simultaneously controlling the requested fixed and moving targets. During the flight all sensor modes were tested and the collected raw data were stored. The data were afterwards disseminated to industry for analysis and evaluation. First evaluation of test results showed that the mission test flight was very successful and all expectations were exceeded.

At the beginning of 2007, SOSTAR-X will prove the contractual performance in a customer flight campaign in France. An operational demonstration with a live military scenario will reveal to a selected audience the capabilities of the SOSTAR-X system. This demonstrator system must be considered to be the best performing European ISR aircraft ever. The campaign will feature capabilities like Wide Area GMTI Scanning and Tracking of Ground Movers and Helicopters, High Resolution Spotlight SAR and Swath SAR Imaging. Target Classification by Spectral Classification, High Range Resolution Length Measurements and Inverse Synthetic Aperture Radar Imaging of Ground Moving Targets will also be presented. Most of the mission and sensor planning will occur on-board by means of two operations & control stations. A wide-band data link will allow imagery to be down-linked in real time to a German and a French Ground Station for further analysis.

SOSTAR GmbH is a Joint Venture Company between Dutch Space, EADS, Galileo Avionica, Indra Sistemas and Thales. The company was founded in 2001 to perform the SOSTAR-X Program. The SOSTAR-X Program is to demonstrate by 2007 an advanced ground surveillance radar with AESA (Active electronically scanned array) antenna that meets the majority of the NATO AGS staff requirements for the radar. The program is being performed under an R&D contract awarded under a government MoU between France, Germany, Italy, Spain and The Netherlands.


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