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

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Cambridge, UK – 21st June 2018 – Innovation consultancy, Plextek have achieved groundbreaking results after successful air trials of a millimetre wave micro-radar designed for autonomous unmanned aerial systems (UAS).

Funded 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.

Notes to editors

Based near Cambridge, UK, Plextek designs new products, systems, and services for its clients in a diverse range of industries including defence & security, medical & healthcare, and wireless communications.

Central to its culture is the company’s ability to innovate, taking an idea from concept to market. For more than 25 years the team of consultants, engineers and project managers has turned our clients’ business opportunities into commercial success, designing, manufacturing and supplying leading-edge products. Supported by our network of suppliers, commercial partners and research organisations, Plextek is the trusted partner of choice for more than 300 commercial clients, government agencies, and ambitious start-up companies.

For images, information or interview requests, please contact: Adam Roberts via email: or call: 01799 533200

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