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TNO – Robin Radar Systems: Making Airspace Safer

EARTO Innovation Awards 2021 – Impact Delivered Category


As well as needing to mitigate the serious hazard of bird strikes, airports and airfields face another formidable safety and security threat: drones. Each year drone numbers almost triple worldwide, resulting in a growing concern around their potential misuse. Drones present an evolving risk, as they become more accessible and their technology more advanced.

Innovation: TNO helped to develop IRIS®, a 3D drone detection radar, including antenna design and partial electronics. Robin Radar Systems thus combine hardware with future-proof software algorithms, ensuring IRIS® can accurately detect and classify small targets. Full 3D classification, 360-degrees azimuth coverage and a huge elevation coverage of 60-degrees gives the radar critical performance capabilities. It can even detect hovering drones.

Impact Delivered: Robin has become a European technology leader in radar tracking and classification of small objects. With more than 100 radars installed across the world – mainly in Europe but also in more remote locations such as Tasmania and Taiwan – Robin even has the potential to become a European export product. In 2020, Robin achieved a revenue of over €10M, thanks to the creation of avian radar MAX® and drone radar ELVIRA®. Robin caters for four unique markets: wind farms, civil aviation, military aviation and security.

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TNO, an independent Dutch RTO, has some 3200 professionals who put their knowledge and experience to work in creating smart solutions to complex issues.