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Passive Radar Tech to Alert Indonesia About Foreign Aircraft Within the Borders

Passive Radar Technology System
Photo Credit: Adi Permana/Bandung Institute of Technology

Being a technology-oriented campus has pushed Indonesia’s Bandung Institute of Technology to continue producing new technologies that are in line with the country’s current needs.

One such technology is the newly developed passive radar technology, which can detect aircrafts.

The Technology

According to a recent press release, the passive radar technology system was built with the purpose of detecting the presence of any foreign aircraft that will cross the national borders illegally.

The design of the radar takes into account the need for it to be brought to remote areas. Thus, it is very handy and portable, without the need for any additional transport vehicles.

The passive radar technology is being developed by the Telecommunications Engineering Expertise Group (KK), from the School of Electrical and Information Technology ITB (STEI ITB), in collaboration with PT. LAPI ITB and the Indonesian Ministry of Defense Balitbang.

The system is presently at the development stage and has not yet been commercialised. However, it will be tested by the National Air Defense Command.

Background of the Initiative

  • Radar is an abbreviation for Radio Detection and Ranging. It is divided into two types: the active radar and the passive radar.
  • The difference between the two types is in the way it detects its target. Active radar has the capability of emitting its own radar while passive radar can only receive the signal.
  • Accomplishing a project such as an aircraft detection radar system requires a lot of time.
  • When asked, a member of the radar technology development team explained that they have started work on the project in 2017 and will continue doing so until 2020.
  • Their plan is to demonstrate the functions of the passive radar technology system by the end of 2019.
  • The past four years were spent on system testing. If they achieve perfect execution, then they are confident that the radar can be used in 2020.

Problems Encountered

The difficulty was in the need to purchase some of the COTS devices from abroad, since they are not yet available in Indonesia.

The devices had to be developed again at the University because buying ready to use devices directly cost a lot. The price was very expensive.

However, there are certain parts that the team was able to develop on their own, such as antennas.

The development of this technology should serve as an inspiration for other students and academics in Indonesia so that they will continue to develop their own devices and gadgets until there will finally be no need to buy equipment from abroad.

The goal is to eventually source all devices within the country and be able to tag them as originally made in Indonesia.

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