Drone Radar Gets FCC Thumbs Up

Echodyne, a Bellevue-based company, has developed a radar for drones that the Federal Communications Commission recently gave its blessing to. The approval was a long, drawn-out process — it took more than a year — for one very big reason: the radar was the first of its kind. The FCC had virtually nothing to compare it to.

The gold standard in radar is called phased array radar. This is the kind of radar that is mounted on the front of fighter jets. It works by creating a very small spot beam and then sending radio energy down that beam that bounces off objects and comes back, showing what’s out in the surrounding airspace. Phased array radar steers the spot beam around, virtually instantly.

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