from the 1960s up to 1994
Five generations of TDOA based passive radar are considered in the Czech industry: KOPÁČ, RAMONA, TAMARA, VERA S/E and VERA-NG. The name KOPÁČ is the abbreviation for the Czech wording of Correlation Intelligence (korelační pátrač). The mockup was built in the 1960s and used in the Berlin Crisis in 1961.
The second generation of TDOA based passive radars was called RAMONA as the abbreviation of the Russian wording for the Fast Tunable Radio Apparatus (Радиотехническая Апаратура Ϻгновенной Настройки). The RAMONA was exported throughout the Warsaw Pact countries and to Syria between 1980 and 1986. RAMONA was developed in Military Research Institute VU 060 and manufactured at TESLA Pardubice. It was called “Soft Ball” in NATO terminology.
The third generation of the TDOA based passive radar was called TAMARA as the abbreviation of the Russian wording for the Fast Tunable Automatic Intelligence Apparatus (Техническая Апаратура Ϻгновенной Автоматической Разведки). TAMARA was exported throughout the Warsaw Pact countries and to Oman between 1986 and 1991. TAMARA was developed and manufactured at TESLA Pardubice. It was called “Trash Bin” in NATO terminology. The abbreviations RAMONA and TAMARA sound like a woman's name, perhaps this is not a coincidence.
founded in 1994
ERA Company created the world of multilateration. The ERA civil multilateration system was based on its military version developed in the early 1960s. It was designed for round-the-clock operations based on the Time Difference of Arrival (TDOA) multilateration principle and is proven to provide accurate and reliable real-time location and identification of all aircraft and other objects equipped with a Mode A/C/S transponder.
The name of the fourth generation VERA S/M (E) originated with a real woman's name - Ret. Col. Věra Perlingerová. Doctor Perlingerová, former ATC controller of the Czech Army, together with a handful of colleagues helped restart the use of passive radars by introducing the advantages of multilateration technology to the Czech Armed Forces and by lobbying among Czech politicians and other decision-makers.
ERA deployed the world's first operational MLAT surface system at Prague Ruzyně Airport now "Václav Havel Airport Prague". Multilateration technology (MLAT) is able to provide continual and automatic surface surveillance by using small, unmanned ground stations placed strategically around the airport. The system is ideally suited to complex airport layouts. This essential part of Advanced Surface Movement Guidance and Control System addresses the serious risk of runway incursions by aircraft and airport vehicles.
The Wide Area Multilateration system deployed around Ostrava Mošnov airport in 2003 was the first WAM in the world to be operationally certified and fully integrated into the Air Traffic Control structure. The ERA system was type certified in 2003 against ICAO ANNEX 10 for interrogation and against Eurocontrol radar standards for surveillance performance. The system has celebrated its 12th anniversary of flawless operations, having functioned non-stop without any critical errors occurring for over 100 thousand hours.
ERA's squitter beacon SQUID helps airports address safety issues by providing an easily installed and standards compliant vehicle-mounted ADS-B transponder. SQUID broadcasts the exact position of each vehicle and can be permanently or magnetically mounted on tugs, fire appliances, de-icing equipment and all airside vehicles. This ensures that the complete picture is available to the control tower, with each vehicle clearly and uniquely identified.
Multi-sensor Surveillance System MSS (Multilateration and ADS-B cooperative system) consists of highly robust ground stations which minimize maintenance activity and are suitable even for territories with a lack of an adequate modern infrastructure such as snow-capped mountains, damp rain forests and desert areas. The modules of each station are designed to survive extreme outdoor climate conditions. They are completely dust-proof, can withstand a wide temperature range (minus 40 to plus 60 Celsius), no fans or air-conditioning are necessary and they survive immersion in 1 metre deep water for 30 minutes.
from 2011 to the present
The last, fifth generation of PET system is called VERA-NG. The abbreviation “NG” means the Next Generation. Compared to its predecessors, the VERA-NG system has numerous new features, it is lighter and much more efficient. It has been used by the Czech Armed Forces and exported throughout the world.
ERA presented the demonstrator of passive Multistatic Primary Surveillance Radar (MSPSR) called Silent Guard as the next significant milestone in the MSPSR technology development project. In contrast to a ESM system such as VERA-NG, which exploits a different kind of signal emissions generated by a target, the MSPSR utilises a reflected signal and is therefore able to detect non-cooperative and quiet targets in the same way as primary radars do. The MSPSR passive system utilises signals scattered by targets and commercial transmitters as illuminators of opportunity in order to detect and track airborne targets.
ERA new product NEO is the newly enhanced next-gen multi-sensor surveillance system - a proven technology combining MLAT and ADS-B sensors. The system also decodes ADS-B messages (1090 ES) and can be configured as a stand-alone network of ADS-B ground stations, capable of independent ASTERIX output.
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