The FOPEN [Foliage Penetration] ATR Research is focused on Wideband VHF/UHF SAR [Synthetic Aperture Radar] Imagery for Automatic Target Recognition. The Foliage Penetration Program will assess and quantify the ability of HF/UHF ultra-wide band synthetic aperture radar techniques to locate targets hidden by foliage or other camouflage, concealment, or deception methods by exploiting radar clutter. For instance, bandwidths of 200 to 900 MHz potentially can provide synthetic aperture, high resolution (down to half-meter sized objects) radar images for signal processing that can, in turn, identify targets hidden in clutter. This capability provides surveillance day and night, in adverse weather, and in a broad range of environments, from desert to jungle.
On February 24, 1997 the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command (CECOM), Night Vision and Electronic Sensors Directorate (NVESD), Fort Monmouth, NJ, issued a Market Survey to solicit potential offerors interested in providing engineering design, development, integration and test services in support of a joint Army-Air Force program to develop a Foliage Penetration (FOPEN) Radar to ultimately be deployed on a High Altitude Endurance (HAE) Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV). The FOPEN Advance Technology Demonstration (ATD) program is managed by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in cooperation with the Army and Air Force. The FOPEN ATD program will develop a fully functional ultra wide-band Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) to detect, discern and cue tactical users to the presence of man-made metallic objects hidden beneath foliage. The proposed acquisition will be a three to four year contract to develop and integrate the FOPEN sensor into a manned platform for testing. Because of the complexity of the program and to avoid additional risk from a performance, cost and schedule perspective, and unnecessary work effort on the part of potential offerors and the Government, potential offerors should possess resident or demonstrated capabilities in the following areas: SAR systems with near real time image formation, aircraft system integration, and development of automatic target detection and cueing algorithms.