DIGINEXT’s Stradivarius over-the-horizon radar selected by the European Commission for the long-range surveillance of maritime borders

Aix-en-Provence, 18 May 2016 – DIGINEXT, a subsidiary of CS Group, has won the RANGER project for "securing maritime borders", a topic of the European Horizon 2020 programme. This project aims to implement new radar systems for the surveillance of coastal and pre-frontier areas and in support of search and rescue operations. DIGINEXT will supply for this project its disruptive radar system, STRADIVARIUS, for the surveillance of maritime traffic well beyond the range of existing systems.

The threats to security and the humanitarian risks posed by the traffic of drugs, arms, etc., the irregular transportation of migrants, maritime terrorism, and piracy are increasing: nations are constrained to reinforce surveillance and security measures in their maritime environments, particularly within their Exclusive Economic Zones. Controlling these risks has become a strategic issue for many countries and more broadly for the European Union, which is seeking to implement solutions that detect precursors of a threat or risk as early as possible.

DIGINEXT, in partnership with Antheop, has been carrying out research activities in this field for many years, creating and perfecting a new-generation radar system, Stradivarius, that uses high-frequency surface waves to monitor maritime traffic beyond the radio-electric horizon. Whereas current radar systems have a range of some tens of kilometres, Stradivarius can detect small boats (25 m) at up to 200 nautical miles (approximately 370 km) off the coast.

Complementing existing maritime surveillance methods (such as maritime patrols and satellite surveillance), STRADIVARIUS can provide continuous surveillance (24/7) in real time and in sea conditions up to sea state 5. The first Stradivarius operational radar system has been recently installed on the Mediterranean coast.
The technological objectives of the RANGER project, which brings together the French maritime affairs along with Greek and Italian navies, are to:
  • qualify and improve Stradivarius' performance in operational conditions for the detection and tracking of very small unseaworthy vessels, even behind islands. Three pilots will be implemented in France, Greece, and Italy to provide a system meeting surveillance requirements in conditions ranging from those of the Southern Atlantic to the Greek archipelago;
  • integrate and merge detection data in the CISE (Common Information Sharing Environment),
  • contribute to the development and enrichment of data in EUROSUR (the European Border Surveillance System).

Two features of Stradivarius particularly important to the European Commission, and which ultimately convinced it, were its unparalleled performance and small environmental footprint (allowing it to be installed very unobtrusively on the coast). The first live system is for instance located in a Natura 2000 area and uses a very low emission power of less than 1KW.
 "The STRADIVARIUS radar system is a genuine technological break-through. This European project will allow us to enhance this French technology still further, in an operational context involving several nations, and to continue to progress the state of the art. It will also enable us to demonstrate the performance and benefits of our technology in terms of its cost and efficiency in detecting any threats at long range and in supporting rescue operations" said Thomas Fourquet, CEO of Diginext.
What is RANGER?
RANGER (RAdars for loNG distance maritime surveillancE and Search and Rescue opeRations) is a project funded by the European Commission and carried out by an international consortium of end users, industrial partners and leading academics involved as members or associate partners in the RANGER consortium: EXUS (United Kingdom), ICCS (Greece), Technische Universitaet Dresden (Germany), Laurea University (Finland), Finmeccanica (Italy), TELESTO (Greece), NATO, the Greek Navy (Greece), the Direction des Affaires Maritimes (France), the Italian Navy (Italy).
DIGINEXT was founded in 1996 and has been a subsidiary of CS Group since 2005. It is a major player in operational systems, simulation systems for design and testing, and in solutions for learning and training. DIGINEXT supplies interoperable systems in areas where it has specific strategic expertise, such as tactical data links, navigation systems, HF surface-wave radar (HFSWR), simulation & virtual reality and passenger information systems for public transport.