According to Defense Update, the new FOPEN can detect targets through a ‘few tens of meters’ of jungle, shrub or forest. From up to several kilometers away, targets that usually become all but invisible to conventional radars when they enter forested areas can now be detected.
Weighing in at 65 kg, radars with FOPEN capabilities can be connected to the same control system and command as current radars. The ELM-2112FP can also be installed on a tripod for temporary use, or on masts and vehicles.
UPI quotes ELTA Systems General Manager Israel Lupa in a news release saying, "This radar is a technological breakthrough that takes the family of persistent radars a step further by providing a viable solution for securing borders and facilities … This unique and proven capability offers a real and immediate operational solution to the full area persistent surveillance, and we are confident that there will be a strong demand for such a system."
The radar is able to cover a wide area using an electronically scanned multi-beam array along with a single emitter simultaneously using Frequency Modulated Continuous Wave technology (FMCW).
Multiple pairs of receiver arrays and emitters can be employed to cover even wider areas, and by themselves can cover 90 degrees. The echoes from moving targets are detected and used find their location in what is called the "doppler effect."
Slow moving targets and moving personnel can be detected by the radar from 2.5 kilometers away in forested areas, while vehicles in these environments can be picked up from a range of up to five kilometers away.
The density of trees and other growth affects how deep detection is, though it is designed to withstand all kinds of weather. Equipped with a false alarm rate that is quite low, the radar can track hundreds of targets all at once, allowing ongoing surveillance of a chosen area.
Though the ELM-2112FP has only recently been released, with an official unveiling scheduled for next month during the LAAD expo in Brazil, it has been out into operation by different customers for years.
IAI’s website describes the technology as "an innovative, advanced high-resolution radar that provides persistent surveillance through foliage, thereby addressing the ‘intelligence gap’ that has existed until now in forested areas."