SAAB radar technology demonstration on ZalaZONE


On November 4th, a radar technology demonstration took place at the  ZalaZONE Automotive Proving Ground in cooperation with the Institute for Transport Sciences, HungaroControl and MouldTech Systems.

The ZalaZONE Automotive Proving Ground is not only suitable for testing ground vehicles, but also drones and related technologies. The growth in the number and role of drones has created a need for modern technological developments at all levels of the drone ecosystem.

As Dr. Dániel Rohács, President of the Hungarian Drone Coalition stressed, by 2025, 70,000 drone flights are expected to take place in Hungary every year, which poses challenging problems for example in safety, security, communication, and synergies with other – and more particularly – autonomous vehicles. In this environment, SAAB – one of the world’s leading companies in the development of defence technology and radar technology – could provide the sound technology for drone detection and help to meet the safety targets. 

Dr. Zsolt Szalay, Head of ZalaZONE Research and Innovation said that the ZalaZONE Proving Ground is particularly focused on the automation of ground and air vehicles and their synergies, making ZalaZONE an ideal location for testing drone radar capabilities.

The demonstration at the ZalaZONE Automotive Proving Ground on 4 November 2022 will include a technical demonstration of the SAAB Giraffe 1X radar with the purpose to test the drone detection capabilities in the airspace around ZalaZONE.

Conventional radar systems usually have problems with detecting and tracking small UAVs operating at slow speeds and, even if detected, distinguishing them from birds and other elements in the surrounding environment.

The Giraffe 1X enhanced UAV–drone tracking mode function is capable of coping with the challenges of the UAV threat.  It detects and tracks even small UAVs, with a false alarm rate reduced to an absolute minimum. It can be used for a wide range of applications: monitoring airport flight zones, local protection of own forces and while on the move, camp or critical infrastructure protection, and UAV surveillance of larger areas.

During the demo, we will test different flight characteristics, drone sizes and compositions, as well as potential use cases. We will also investigate the interaction with the built environment in the smart city zone in the ZalaZONE area, potential communication, navigation problems and characteristics.

UAVs and drone pilots for testing were provided by ZalaZONE and its strategic partner MouldTech Systems Ltd. HungaroControl investigated the integrability of radar data for air navigation systems, while the Institute for Transport Sciences, as the coordinator the Hungarian Drone Coalition ensured the necessary technical background. ADS-B equipments were given by Duplitec.  The ADS-B transponders were made available by MILTECH Haditechnikai és Informatikai Zrt. with the contribution and support of the American company SAGETECH.