NAVDEX 2021: Ideas at Sea provides passive optical radar for UAE trial


The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is installing the Generation II HeliSAR passive optical radar from Ideas at Sea (IAS) on its National Search and Rescue Centre (NSRC) AW139 helicopter, with an initial trial to be completed in the coming months.

This makes the UAE the first country in the world to test the latest HeliSAR radar for maritime search operations, IAS announced on 23 February.

The HeliSAR day/night optical radar works by autonomously detecting, classifying and tracking small objects (such as boats) at sea, even in challenging sea states by day and at night.

‘IAS HeliSAR means that we can find people lost at sea over 30 times faster than existing search operations,’ said Stephen Toumajan, general manager of the NSRC.