In 2004 Thales introduced a new SAR system
named I-Master, designed specifically for UAV platforms. I-Master
provides cover of a wide area (2000 km2/hr) and is able to support
intelligence gathering and targeting of time sensitive targets under
adverse weather conditions including dense clouds, smoke and sand
storms. The radar supports target classification and accurate
location. I-Master supports STRIP and SPOT and MTI modes. All signal
processing is performed on-board, while the resulting images are
transmitted to the ground station for further exploitation and
analysis. The payload is designed as a single LRU unit, compatible
with physical and electronic attachments of common EO payloads, thus
having minimum impact on UAV logistics and operation. When used
together with EO sensors, SAR can fill the "shadows" and "dead zones"
in terrain normally experienced with high value standoff systems.