Civil security: Wide-ranging support from radar

9/11 struck fear into the world as the first terrorist-motivated attack of this dimension on a civilian target. It was followed by attacks in Madrid in 2004 and London in 2005.

In response to the attacks, research programs were launched to address the protection of the civilian population in times of peace. One such program is the German federal government’s security research program »Research for Civil Security.« Radar offers numerous opportunities to enhance civil security.

Protection and rescue of people: Unmanned systems with radar sensors

In the event of a disaster, it is often difficult for emergency forces to obtain an accurate picture of the situation in the shortest possible time. It is extremely dangerous to enter burning buildings in search of people. Drones combined with radar technology can be a great help here: Drones could, in principle, fly into smoke-filled buildings and locate signs of life via radar sensors attached to them. At the same time, radar sensors can ensure that drones navigate safely through buildings. This would allow rescue missions to be carried out much more quickly, efficiently and safely. Radar sensors can also locate signs of life under rubble. In the future, it would be conceivable to allow drones to operate autonomously – this would provide further relief to for human rescue workers. The Business Unit Security is already researching radar technologies for this purpose.

Cognitive radar goes one step further, with the radar system independently setting the optimum parameters for the current situation.
Critical infrastructure protection: Inspection robots equipped with radar sensors.

Civil security also includes detecting the smallest cracks in cooling towers of power plants, tunnel systems, bridges or similar infrastructure. Drones and robots can also take on these sometimes dangerous and time-consuming tasks. There are two starting points for radar technology here: First, it can prevent collisions via sense and avoid. If the radar sensor registers a wall or other obstacle, the data can be sent to the controller of the drone or robot so that they avoid the obstacle. The Business Unit Security has already successfully completed initial tests on this. Secondly, radar sensors offer advantages in analyzing infrastructures - for example, they can map structures with millimeter precision even in dark, smoky and inaccessible environments and detect the finest cracks and damage.

Protection against crime

Radar systems can also be of great help in protecting against crime. They enable security forces to detect without contact whether people are carrying knives or other dangerous objects hidden under their clothing.

Technical contributions from the business unit

Drone in flight?

Dipl.-Ing. Andries Küter

Coastlines: Well protected

Dr.-Ing. Diego Cristallini

Monitoring the surroundings on the ground and in the air

M. Sc. Winfried Johannes

Political demonstrations? Sports events? Detecting drones...

Dipl.-Ing. Andries Küter


Facing floods and other disasters

Dr.-Ing. Dirk Nüßler