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An aircraft is patrolling the sea along a country’s coastline. Analysis from the latest Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) mission has left no room for uncertainty: fresh footsteps are detected on nearby beaches, indicating activity in a well-known area, favoured by illegal smugglers. The Commander is very clear on the necessity to come back to monitor and catch them in the act, but the operator tasked with the mission is concerned. She knows the sensors will detect the maritime activity but when the targets move to land, her current system will lose the trail… 

Breaking the sea to land barrier

Detecting activity in a given area is but one step of border protection. Once a specific area of interest has been identified, it is critical to detect and apprehend targets of interest - such as illegal smugglers, insurgents, etc. And this is made particularly difficult when the trail crosses from sea to land

I-Master delivers seamless surveillance when targets move from sea and land. The Maritime Moving Target Indication (MMTI) mode offers accurate detection and tracking of targets in the maritime domain - small or large, slow or fast. If targets reach shore and start moving on land, operators can seamlessly switch to Ground Moving Target Indication (GMTI) – tracking slow foot patrols up to speeding vehicles. Following the path of criminal activity, without interruption, is critical in evidence gathering for successful legal prosecution. It avoids doubt in the continuity of the activity and delivers solid evidence against criminals.

Of course, working with and directing other sensors such as cameras, with accurate coordinates, to enable fast and efficient target identification, builds more trust in the evidence of criminal activity.

“The real differentiator for the I-Master is its customer recognised high-accuracy geolocation capability. Movement detection all the way to apprehension by ground teams, without the operator ever losing sight of the target, is vital for mission success” says Mike Green, Product Manager at Thales. 

Unbelievable intelligence

Protecting long coastlines or fragmented island territories is challenging. Detecting illegal activity over vast areas of land and sea can easily feel like the search for a “needle in the haystack”. It is not just about being able to detect and track objects of interest; it is about being able to do so consistently and efficiently, in all weather conditions. 

Combining I-Master’s high quality Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) features with post-processing algorithms incorporating AI, analysts are delivering intelligence that impresses those with years of experience. “Strip-map” mode allows operators to efficiently search huge areas for large stationary objects, such as camps or vehicles finding targets unseen before. “Spotlight” mode provides higher resolution imagery for specific target classification and for detecting features such as “footprints in sand” and even small animal tracks, using unique Change Detection techniques.

“SAR can really enhance the border security mission by imaging large areas of the border, in all weather conditions, which can be inspected for targets of interest, efficiently and accurately” Mike Green concludes. 

Your choice of platform

We designed I-Master to be a fully integrated radar solution that’s really easy to install. It’s a single unit with no need for external radomes, that fits in a 15” gimbal mount, for application across a wide range of platforms – small or large, manned or unmanned. Where an aircraft can carry a camera, it can carry our radar too, increasing platform effectiveness and mission success.