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US Navy

Holographic radar


The Naval Air Warfare Center, based at Point Mugu, California, required a new type of scoring system for installation on high-speed target boats to test the accuracy of defensive gunnery in trials against simulated fast-attack craft. This had proved difficult to date due to the harsh environment and the dominant effects of sea clutter on the radar signal.


We developed a system from concept to trials-ready equipment at TRL6 (test readiness level) in just 15 months. To achieve this we used:

  • Cambridge Consultant's background IP in holographic radar technology
  • An all-new, fully-integrated radar head
  • A radar data processor built from commercially available parts, including a standard PC containing a high-performance graphics processor and fibre optic data interface
  • Our experience in radar design, mechanical design, signal processing, FPGA design and software development

The proof-of-concept system was delivered to the NSWC test range at Dahlgren, VA, for demonstration testing and successfully detected and tracked a series of 16 shells, including a high-explosive round and a four-shot rapid-fire burst.


The work has demonstrated the capability to provide accurate, reliable scoring of 5” shells in a rapid fire scenario.

 holographic radar

The results from the proof of concept demonstration tests confirm that the measured performance of the system stacks up with calculations. This gives the Navy a valuable new capability and the possibility to extend the applications for the system to other test requirements, including 50cal at 600 rounds/minute, with confidence in meeting performance requirements.