Raytheon’s Matthew Gilligan Talks Benefits of ‘Skyler’ Drone Detection Radar

Matthew Gilligan, vice president of navigation and modernization solutions at Raytheon, has said that the company’s Skyler surveillance radar will help address challenges in air traffic management, which now include emerging urban air mobility platforms.

Gilligan said in an interview with Aviation Week published Wednesday that Skyler’s software-defined framework is meant to enable integration with virtual air traffic control tower operations and other networks for low-altitude surveillance.

He noted that Skyler is also designed to identify drones and small aerial vehicles within the vicinity of airports and conduct microweather monitoring, which involves surveilling a specific area below 30K feet.

In the company’s official website, Raytheon states that Skyler leverages active electronically scanned array and 3D scanning features to support activities like drone identification, weather monitoring and wildfire surveillance.

According to Gilligan, the radar technology can help fill the gap from legacy air traffic control systems that require intensive maintenance while keeping up with the operations of new entrants that have the capacity for nontraditional takeoff and landing.

“There are both aviation and non-aviation radar systems in the market, and all have their funding challenges,” he said. “It is not just the case of replacing or supplementing existing radars. What is required is a solution across the entire domain.”

Raytheon began initial production of the latest Skyler hardware last year.

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