It is customary for Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA) to be fitted with a number of sensor systems used in multiple mission roles. Traditionally the sensors found onboard MPA are accompanied with a data recorder system that has been configured with a sensor unique analogue interface. In most cases the recorders themselves are of either a commercial or instrumentation standard. The interfaces to the sensor systems are what make the recorder unique and in many cases limited in use. It is not uncommon for a single aircraft to have up to a half-dozen different sensor types, along with a half-dozen of these unique recorder systems to support them. Each of these exclusive systems naturally has a corresponding ground replay system, as well as, distinctive media and the related support infrastructure to support them.
Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) systems for reconnaissance and flight instrumentation applications are being developed and deployed on a variety of airborne platforms. Multiple asynchronous radar data channels, data formatting, channel time-stamping, file management and control are but a few of the requirements that mandate a sophisticated data recording device suitable for an airborne environment.
This paper describes a solid-state recording architecture designed to meet these requirements. Discussions of the implementation of high-speed continuous multi-channel data recording, airborne and ground data interface technologies, data channel synchronization and general solid-state recorder device features are provided.