Threat detection and response is at the heart of how radars keep warfighters safe on the battlefield. It’s crucial that radars provide highly-accurate measurements in near-real-time to help warfighters respond quickly and accurately to defeat high-priority threats. The five stages of threat detection allow those on the battlefield to progressively receive information about relevant threats for better real-time situational awareness.
The Five Stages of Threat Detection & Response
1. Threat Detection
In the first of the five stages of threat detection, warfighters receive the initial response from a sensor, indicating that something has moved or changed in the environment. This movement can be a result of a change in spatial location, range, or velocity. At this stage, the sensor does not know if the sensed object is a threat or not.
Detecting the presence of a threat at non-lethal distances from the sensor is crucial for early situational awareness. It provides an accelerated timeline for target identification and quick decision making.
2. Threat Identification
Next, the radar begins to analyze all available measured data from the sensor(s) in order to provide warfighters with an accurate understanding of the threat. It must sort through clutter and background noise to identify if the speed, size, and shape of the object detected could mean it is a true threat.
3. Threat Tracking
Once identified, the sensors will continue to track the potential threat as it moves. Tracking can be accomplished with radar, EO/IR (electro-optical/infra-red), and acoustical sensors. However, radars provide the most robust tracking capability because they can operate day or night and in all-weather environments.
Tracking must be done in near real-time in order to provide ample time for response and mitigation. While tracking, the system must also have the ability to simultaneously scan the environment for additional threats.
4. Threat Classification
One of the most important stages of threat detection is classification. Sensors are able to provide additional threat information over time, enabling warfighters to understand the dangers associated with them. Through this classification, they can determine the best method of neutralization for the situation.
5. Threat Neutralization or Action
In the last of the stages of threat detection, the threat is neutralized and the risk eliminated. This can be accomplished via non-kinetic or kinetic payloads that utilize the sensor measurements. While it seems like a complex process, all of this can happen over the course of mere seconds. Providing warfighters with accurate, real-time information is key to success on the battlefield.
Radar Features for Improved Threat Detection
Not all radars offer the same features and protections. It’s crucial to select an appropriate radar for the job. Here are some of the features and capabilities you should consider for maximum protection.
Sensor slaving uses a multi-sensor setup to provide full situational awareness. Multiple sensors with different fields of view enable more comprehensive coverage, ranging up to 360-degree full hemispheric coverage.
All of the sensors can operate independently within their coverage sector with reference to the master sensor. This allows detection, identification, tracking, and classification to be performed rapidly. This creates the opportunity for optimal coverage and a more thorough understanding of all potential threats in context.
One of the best ways to address all of the stages of threat detection is through software-defined radars. These radars can provide insight and threat identification on a number of different missions and are essential for multi-mission operations. These radars are programmable, meaning they are far more flexible in comparison to fixed hardware radars.
Their flexibility makes them a great investment and enables them to adapt on the move as new mission objectives develop. They are also ideal for performing multiple missions simultaneously (e.g. C-UAS and C-RAM).
Full Hemispheric Coverage
Warfighters need to be aware of threats coming in from any angle on the battlefield. Full hemispheric coverage means you’ll never be taken by surprise and will know about every threat that approaches. This coverage is often achieved by using several radars together to address any gaps in coverage and provide a back-up sensor.
Size & Mobility
If you’re operating missions on the move, you’ll want lightweight, portable, and mobile radars for the job at hand. Space-efficient radars also provide room for additional sensors to support more comprehensive, integrated solutions that are also easily scalable. Radars that operate both while stationary and on the move provide the most capability for warfighters to establish battlefield dominance.