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German Air Force explores passive aggressive surveillance

1st November 2019 - 12:00 GMT | by Thomas Withington in Toulouse

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The Luftwaffe (German Air Force) is blazing a trail with its interest in passive radar, with the technology promising to enhance its ground-based air surveillance capabilities.

Whereas conventional radar transmits RF (Radio Frequency) energy which collides with an object and is then reflected back, allowing the radar’s determination of the target’s velocity, bearing and altitude, passive radar exploits RF energy already in the environment. 

Passive radar can work in two ways: Firstly, it can detect disturbances made by aircraft in existing RF transmissions. For example, a passive radar can determine disturbances in local television or cell phone signals, geo-locate where

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Thomas Withington

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Thomas Withington


Thomas Withington is an award-winning analyst and writer specialising in electronic warfare, radar and military …

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