Lighter, smaller yet still powerful – miniSAR debuts at world radar expo in Beijing
Published: Apr 13, 2023 11:19 PM
Photo: Deng Xiaoci/GT

Photo: Deng Xiaoci/GT

The twenty third Research Institute of the state-owned arms giant China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation (CASIC) Second Academy, displayed for the first time its newly developed mini interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR) at the 10th World Radio Detection and Ranging Expo in Beijing on Thursday. The device is a small yet powerful millimeter-wave mapping radar that weighs only 4 kilograms and is capable of being carried on smaller drones. 

“It is an upgraded version of the CASIC InSAR, a result of industrialization and miniaturization,” Zhou Luanbing, spokesperson with the 23rd Research Institute, told the Global Times on Thursday. 

The miniSAR is intended for civilian use, with an emphasis on quick response, flexible deployment and lower costs. It is compatible with smaller drones, Zhou explained.

The previous InSAR weighed some 50 kilograms, while the new miniSAR only weighs 4 kilograms, Global Times reporters learned at the expo. 

But the mini version maintains the high precision of the much heavier and larger InSAR.

Photo: Deng Xiaoci/GT

Photo: Deng Xiaoci/GT

Developers explained that such small drone-compatible miniSARs could become useful in Northwest China’s cloudy and rainy weather conditions, where optical radars onboard satellites have limited performance.

Developers believe that the mini devices could be deployed in more flexible working scenarios such as scientific research, verification of poverty-lifting policy implementation and urban planning. 

Having been held every other year since 2001, the World Radio Detection and Ranging Expo has become a comprehensive platform for cutting-edge technology display, innovation and exchanges for the global radar industry.