Author Topic: Philippine Navy's Tethered Aerostat Radar System (TARS)  (Read 1944 times)

Ayoshi

  • Timawan
  • Boffin
  • *
  • Posts: 2025
    • View Profile
Philippine Navy's Tethered Aerostat Radar System (TARS)
« on: July 21, 2017, 11:36:49 PM »
usni.org - April 18, 2016
Quote
A team led by U.S. Pacific Fleet – with members from the Naval War College, U.S. 7th Fleet, Navy headquarters and more – will train and assess the Armed Forces of the Philippines on “analyzing information collected at fusion centers and preparing it for review by decision makers and international partners.” The assessment will take place in the coming months, during a bilateral Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) exercise in June and a multilateral Southeast Asia Cooperation and Training (SEACAT) exercise in August. The results will help inform future investments the Pentagon may make in future MSI projects, according to the document. PACFLEET will send similar assessment teams to work with Vietnam, Malaysia and Thailand.

Second in the summary of projects is a maritime intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) improvement project worth nearly $18 million. Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) will oversee the bulk of this program, providing a Tethered Aerostat Radar System with long-range detection and monitoring capabilities to help the Philippines “detect maritime and air traffic within its coastal waters.” The aerostat will detect traffic within 90 nautical miles of its location in Puerto Princesa Palawan, Philippines, and it will feed information back to the military and law enforcement’s common operating picture.


Turbulence For The Philippines: Blimps Over The South China Sea | cimsec.org
Quote
During his recent visit to the Philippines, the United States Secretary of Defense promised delivery of a variety of sensors and communications equipment worth $42 million to the host nation. One of the critical sensors in this suite is an observation blimp that can peer across the South China Sea (SCS), providing maritime domain awareness to the Philippines.

The Philippines is one of several claimants to sovereign rights over few SCS islands; they are faced with a coercive China claiming such rights over 80 percent of the sea. China has forcefully seized control of maritime features in the SCS from both Vietnam and the Philippines. In addition, the PRC has started land reclamation projects and built artificial islands. Radars and missile batteries have been installed on some of the features, and military planes operate and land there routinely.

< snipped >

A network of sensors established in and over the SCS would enable monitoring of land reclamation activities, build up of military assets on the islands, transits of coast guard and maritime militia units, oil exploration rigs, and any other object that can potentially fly or sail as China has become innovative in asserting its claims. The communications equipment offered to the Philippines will enable secure transmission of data from these sensors for faster and more transparent decision-making.

One of the critical sensor nodes in this suite is an observation blimp that can peer across the SCS using onboard radar. The blimp is a powered, gas filled lighter-that-the-air airship. It does not have a rigid structure like that of a balloon, but can instead be steered while floating in the air. Hindenburg is a famous example of these airships, which had a rigid structure.

< snipped >

The potential of airships to provide constant mass area surveillance renewed military interest in them. Airships were useful to coalition forces in Afghanistan, forces along the US-Mexico border, and by Israel over Gaza, just to name a few.

Ayoshi

  • Timawan
  • Boffin
  • *
  • Posts: 2025
    • View Profile
Re: Philippine Navy's Tethered Aerostat Radar System (TARS)
« Reply #1 on: July 21, 2017, 11:39:43 PM »
Photo taken from MaxDefense - July 22, 2017


The PN's first Tethered Aerostat Radar System. Due to obvious reasons, MaxDefense won't identify the location.
Photo exclusively shared to us by one of our MaxDefense Community member contributor who wish to remain anonymous.

adroth

  • Administrator
  • Boffin
  • *****
  • Posts: 3577
    • View Profile
    • The ADROTH Project
Re: Philippine Navy's Tethered Aerostat Radar System (TARS)
« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2017, 10:48:16 PM »
PH Navy to get US-donated radar system on Aug. 22
 Priam Nepomuceno  August 19, 2017, 10:41 am

http://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1006809

MANILA -- The Philippine Navy (PN) will formally take possession of its first-ever tethered aerostat radar system (TARS) donated by the US government.

The turnover ceremony will be led by US Embassy in Manila’s Deputy Chief of Mission, Michael Klecheski, and PN flag-officer-in-command, Vice Adm. Ronald Joseph Mercado, at the Naval Education and Training Command in San Antonio, Zambales on Tuesday.

Navy spokesperson, Capt. Lued Lincuna, said the TARS, a self-sustained, unmanned lighter-than-air systems, would enhance the PN’s capability in maritime intelligence surveillance reconnaissance by effectively detecting maritime and air traffic within the country’s coastal waters using sensors.

It will also be used in the conduct of humanitarian assistance and disaster response operations.

The TARS includes a weather station that provides telemetry data to the ground station for the monitoring of ambient temperature, pressure, wind speed, and other pertinent parameters in the operation of the system. (PNA)

adroth

  • Administrator
  • Boffin
  • *****
  • Posts: 3577
    • View Profile
    • The ADROTH Project
Re: Philippine Navy's Tethered Aerostat Radar System (TARS)
« Reply #3 on: August 27, 2017, 02:10:03 AM »
U.S. Delivers New Aerostat Radar System to Philippine Navy
Home | News & Events | U.S. Delivers New Aerostat Radar System to Philippine Navy

https://ph.usembassy.gov/us-delivers-new-aerostat-radar-system-philippine-navy/

Manila, August 23, 2017 — Col. Ernest C. Lee, Chief of the Joint U.S. Military Assistance Group in the Philippines, formally transferred a new 28M Class Tethered Aerostat Radar System (TARS) to Flag Officer in Command of the Philippine Navy (PN) Vice Adm. Joseph Ronald S. Mercado in a turn-over ceremony at the Naval Education and Training Command (NETC) in Zambales on August 22, 2017.

Vice Adm. Mercado was the guest of honor and keynote speaker, and U.S. Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission (DCM) Michael Klecheski also delivered remarks during the turnover.

The 28M Class TARS is a self-sustained, rapidly deployable, unmanned lighter-than-air platform which can rise to an altitude of 5,000 feet while tethered by a single cable.

Sixteen Philippine Naval Information and Communication Technology Center personnel are engaged in a rigorous six-week training program at the NETC in Zambales to learn assembly, handling, operation, maintenance, and troubleshooting for the TARS.  These sixteen students will become instructors for the next class of operators.

Through this donation, the PN is poised to enhance its capability in Maritime Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance by effectively detecting maritime and air traffic within the country’s coastal waters using sensors.  Moreover, it will also be utilized in Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Response (HADR) operations.

The TARS includes a weather station that provides telemetry data for the monitoring of ambient temperature, pressure, wind speed and other pertinent parameters to successfully operate the system.

The NETC in Zambales is the staging point for the TARS as it is the largest PN base with flat terrain, and fits the minimum requirement of 300 square feet for the launching of the system.

This donation is part of the U.S. Maritime Security Initiative (MSI), a capacity-building assistance program for Southeast Asian countries including the Philippines that aims to improve their ability to address a range of maritime challenges

===



The 28M Class Tethered Aerostat Radar System (TARS) at the Naval Education and Training Command in Zambales.



(L-R) Col. Ernest C. Lee, Chief of the Joint U.S. Military Assistance Group (JUSMAG) and Vice Adm. Ronald Joseph S. Mercado, Flag Officer in Charge of the Philippine Navy shake hands after signing formal turnover documents giving the TARS to the Philippine Navy.

r3mu511

  • Timawan
  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 106
  • Old radars never die, they just phase array.
    • View Profile
Re: Philippine Navy's Tethered Aerostat Radar System (TARS)
« Reply #4 on: August 30, 2017, 06:30:28 AM »
^looks like they stuck a regular Furuno FAR marine radar onto it... ah well...


gemini1

  • Timawan
  • Jr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 63
    • View Profile
Re: Philippine Navy's Tethered Aerostat Radar System (TARS)
« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2017, 01:20:04 PM »
^ Whats with the "ah well" ....Is that a good thing or a bad choice?

LionFlyer

  • Timawan
  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 149
    • View Profile
Re: Philippine Navy's Tethered Aerostat Radar System (TARS)
« Reply #6 on: August 30, 2017, 08:56:08 PM »
^ Whats with the "ah well" ....Is that a good thing or a bad choice?

Missed opportunity? Would have expected a synthetic aperture capable radar system, capable of GMTI/MMTI, a good EO package and some ELINT capabilities with a basic airborne AIS receiver (http://www.l-3ar.com/Draft_0612/html/PROD-Ma-AIS-SAirAISR_txt.php)

The advantage of the TAR is persistence (subjected to weather), as opposed to a fuel/range constrained platform. They can even function as OTH communication node, targeting platform etc..

Sticking a commercial radar on it... well it does the job and u get better range out of it, being able to peer over the horizon, but more could be done.

r3mu511

  • Timawan
  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 106
  • Old radars never die, they just phase array.
    • View Profile
Re: Philippine Navy's Tethered Aerostat Radar System (TARS)
« Reply #7 on: August 31, 2017, 01:02:33 AM »
yup, like @lion ^said... I was hoping for more but was expecting furuno, so yeah "ah well"...

Manokski

  • Global Moderator
  • Jr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 38
    • View Profile
Re: Philippine Navy's Tethered Aerostat Radar System (TARS)
« Reply #8 on: August 31, 2017, 05:47:42 AM »
^looks like they stuck a regular Furuno FAR marine radar onto it... ah well...
How can you tell?  All we can see from the available pictures is the antenna.
Further, the sensor platform is pretty flexible.  It sometimes has the EO ball attached and sometimes not. 
Neither can you tell what other communications antennas are attached, much less visible.

r3mu511

  • Timawan
  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 106
  • Old radars never die, they just phase array.
    • View Profile
Re: Philippine Navy's Tethered Aerostat Radar System (TARS)
« Reply #9 on: August 31, 2017, 08:33:28 AM »
^just from the shape and profile of the antenna @chief... that oval shaped end-cap profile is something the FAR X-band radiators/antennas have that makes them familiar in the 2000-series family of furunos...

mayk

  • Timawan
  • Jr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 66
    • View Profile
« Last Edit: August 31, 2017, 08:46:32 AM by mayk »

gemini1

  • Timawan
  • Jr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 63
    • View Profile
Re: Philippine Navy's Tethered Aerostat Radar System (TARS)
« Reply #11 on: August 31, 2017, 03:29:39 PM »
^ Well, That could only mean that the US still doubts the AFP's capability to maintain and or secure  high tech gears that were supposedly installed on that TARS, or.... maybe they think that, all we need is to see whats out there?

r3mu511

  • Timawan
  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 106
  • Old radars never die, they just phase array.
    • View Profile
Re: Philippine Navy's Tethered Aerostat Radar System (TARS)
« Reply #12 on: August 31, 2017, 07:28:03 PM »
here's an option that might brighten things up...

in the original US NAVAIR & Army PGSS (persistent ground surveillance system) program there were two main contractors for the aerostats: TCOM (which supplied the 28M aerostat the PN got), as well as Raven Aerostar...

now Raven also happens to own Vista Research (http://ravenaerostar.com/vista/history-vista), which specializes in the manufacture of backend radar signal processors which take the raw output signal from regular commercial marine radars and applies signal processing to provide more advanced target detection & tracking capabilities...

so Vista can take a typical commercial marine radar (like for example a furuno) and integrate that to it's SSRS (smart sensor radar system) to give products like it's F25 and F50 series (http://ravenaerostar.com/products/vista-research/ssrs-f25, http://ravenaerostar.com/products/vista-research/ssrs-f50)...

so maybe the TCOM 28M aerostat the PN got might have it's marine radar antenna and frontend connected to a Vista SSRS backend for the signal processing... now that would make it much better :)

LionFlyer

  • Timawan
  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 149
    • View Profile
Re: Philippine Navy's Tethered Aerostat Radar System (TARS)
« Reply #13 on: August 31, 2017, 07:49:50 PM »
I was about to put a post on Vista Research as well. You beat me to the punch. :) Yes, antenna doesn't tell the entire picture...there are options depending on the customer.  Have done projects with mixed and matched parts before. For example, there are third party plot extractors (usually used to upgrade an older radar systems), different types of antennas (depending on the application)

r3mu511

  • Timawan
  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 106
  • Old radars never die, they just phase array.
    • View Profile
Re: Philippine Navy's Tethered Aerostat Radar System (TARS)
« Reply #14 on: August 31, 2017, 08:13:21 PM »
(inb4 the "not to rain on your parade..." posts, hehe... much less stressful now that there's something to speculatively be optimistic about, glass half full and all that... watching Phil mil modernization can be such an exercise in teeth-gnashing and hair-pulling eh, lol...)