Plextek picks tracking technology supplier

Dec. 7, 2011 at 3:56 PM
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CAMBRIDGE, England, Dec. 7 (UPI) -- British technology firm Cambridge Pixel has been contracted by Plextek Ltd. to supply tracking technology for electronic ground-scanning surveillance radar.

Plextek's Blighter radar family provides a solid-state, all-weather radar scanner that can operate over land and water to detect small moving targets and are designed for mobile and fixed area surveillance.

"We have successfully used Cambridge Pixel's technology as part of a surveillance project to detect and track illegal immigrants trying to enter the USA across the hills on the Mexican border," said Nick Booth, Blighter sales and marketing manager at Plextek.

"Using Cambridge Pixel's tracking technology -- we market this as BlighterTrack -- operators are able to see the path traveled by intruders and at the same time filter out unwanted radar detections from wildlife and wind-blown vegetation so the targets presented are nearly always genuine targets and not distracting false alarms."

Cambridge Pixel said Plextek's Blighter development team needed a cost-effective software-based radar target tracker that could be optimized to track targets with target track identification, heading and speed. The team also wanted a tracker that was fully parameterized and configurable.

Pixel opted for Cambridge Pixel's technology because it is a mature product that had all the capabilities at a commercial market price.

Cambridge Pixel tracking software receives radar detections from Blighter radar and correlates information across multiple scans to create tracks that describe the position and dynamics of targets of interest. The tracks are reported back into the BlighterView HMI display, or into a customer's display or sensor fusion application, Cambridge said in a news release.

The tracker's actions can be defined using configuration files for different track processing in different geographical areas of the radar's coverage.

Plextek, a British electronics design company, started developing the Blighter radar in 2003. Blighter has since been sold to commercial, government and defense clients.

"We are delighted to be supplying our tracker technology to Plextek to enhance its Blighter range," said Cambridge Pixel Managing Director David Johnson. "The Blighter radar provides state-of-the-art capabilities for highly sensitive intruder detection and our flexible tracking software has been configured to exploit the sensor's capabilities …"

Tracking technology by Cambridge Pixel is part of its SPx suite of software libraries and applications for radar visualization, radar video distribution and target tracking.

Plextek in September released its new Blighter B303 radar system, based on an earlier version. The B303 provides 180 degrees of electronic scanning with a detection range of nearly 5 miles. It can also scan about 38 square miles in just 1.5 seconds, Plextek said.

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