Advertorial: SDT’s Solutions and Capabilities – MSI Turkish Defence Review / MSI TDR Reference Magazine of Turkish Defence and Aviation Industry

Advertorial: SDT’s Solutions and Capabilities

28 Temmuz 2017
msi dergis SDT_410

We have published an advertorial about SDT’s solutions and capabilities, in the IDEF Special Issue of MSI Turkish Defence Review (TDR). To reach the original advertorial as it was published in our magazine:




SDT SAR Imagery and Exploitation Capabilities

SAR Systems are advanced imagery radar systems being widely used for reconnaissance and surveillance purposes on space-borne and manned and unmanned airborne platforms. SAR Systems have intrinsically superior features such as:

  • All weather, day and night operation,
  • Very high resolution imagery (in the cm range),
  • Extended stand-off ranges (> 100 km)i
  • Precise geo-location and
  • Change Detection (Coherent/Amplitude: CCD/ACD).

List of SDT SAR Capabilities and Image Samples

SDT has been developing and integrating SAR System Solutions to different platforms and ground exploitation stations for many years. With her solid background in the SAR and complementary advanced technologies, SDT offers distinguished end-to-end solutions and services in this field. The below list presents SDT SAR capabilities to emphasize a few:

  • End-to-end SAR System Solutions
  • Real-time SAR Signal Processing (Stripmap, Spotlight and ISAR)
  • SAR Image Exploitation Applications
    • On board or at Ground Station
    • Exploitation and Intelligence
      • Automatic Target Recognition
      • Change Detection (CCD/ACD)
      • SAR Viewer
    • STANAG-7023 Compliant SAR/ISAR Imagery
    • DEM Generation (in development phase)
    • Debriefing
  • Mission Reporting
  • Catalogue, Archive and Dissemination (CAD)
  • Modelling and Simulation
  • Real-time Recording of Raw and Processed SAR Data


Spotlight and ISAR sample images acquired during the flight tests are presented in Figure 1.  Ship detection example from satellite SAR image is shown in Figure 2.

ATR and Change Detection examples are presented at Figure 6  and Figure 7 respectively.

New Projects: Gokturk-3 Space-borne SAR and SAR/GMTI Pod

SDT is presenting her SAR signal processing, imagery and exploitation capabilities to meet the Turkish Armed Forces’ (TAF’s) reconnaissance and surveillance needs for different platforms varying from fighter aircrafts to the first national SAR Satellite Program: Gokturk-3.

Automatic target recognition, change detection and other SAR image analysis and exploitation services to maximize the system utility has been already planned for prospective SAR systems.

SDT is confident with her background and expertise in SAR technologies to undertake challenging tasks like development of Coherent Change Detection (CCD),  Interferometry and its very specialized application; Subsidence Mapping and Ground Deformation Analysis (GDA). While responding to TAF’s reconnaisance, surveillance and intelligence needs by developing and implementing such cutting edge technologies nationally for the first time, SDT is willing to assist and leverage SAR Systems usage in the field of civil applications as well.



Image Processing Capabilities of SDT

The range of products that SDT’s image processing group is developing for its national and international customers is expanding every day. Particularly, the contributions of the SDT’s experienced team in image enhancement, automatic target recognition, data fusion are remarkable. The team has developed innovative algorithms in these study areas and also published papers and released the results of these studies in national and international events as much as possible.

Automatic Target Detection and Recognition on Satellite SAR Images

Another image analysis product that SDT has recently finalized is a software system that has routines to recognize civil and military targets defined by NATO STANAGs. The implementation activities have been initiated by Undersecretariat for Defence Industries (SSM)  as an R&D project known as HASAT that is built for making value added intelligence analysis through processing of high resolution satellite images. SDT has developed the system with additional features (like parallel processing) to be able to support future requirements of the national satellite systems especially GÖKTÜRK 3. The project is currently at the verification test phase. In this phase, system’s utilization conditions and operating principles are being assessed and interactive studies with the users are being conducted for providing maximum utilization to the users.

Interface Plugin for QGIS

A QGIS plugin which is developed for visualization of SAR image processing algorithms by SDT.

Noise Reduction: Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) images contain high amount of speckle noise which causes edge detection, shape analysis, classification, segmentation, change detection and target recognition tasks become more difficult. To overcome such difficulties, smoothing of homogenous regions while preserving point scatters and edges during speckle reduction is quite important. In the employed despeckling algorithm is Feature Preserving DE speckling (FPD), which is an edge preserving total variation, based method. FPD is developed to reduce the speckle noise and smooth homogenous areas in a SAR image while preserving edges, boundaries of targets and objects, and bright point scatters.

Automatic Target Detection: The developed interface which is prepared for main 30 automatic target detection algorithms of HASAT SAR Project is provided for the user.

Change Detection: With the advent of improved sensing technologies in space borne and airborne systems, multi-temporal remote sensing images have been actively utilized to infer dynamics of regions being monitored. Change detection analysis has been one of the key concepts aiding several disciplines such as environmental monitoring and urban planning. The goal of change detection is to identify physical changes in the scene such as those due to natural disasters, land cover change, flood, etc., as well as changes in man-made structures and in locations of objects due to movement and appearance or disappearance between image acquisition times. An ideal change detection algorithm should be avoiding of false detections that can be induced by SAR artefacts such as side-lobes, moving reflectors and inherent sensor noise, speckle, radar illumination, incidence or aspect angle changes. In order to carry out meaningful data analysis and hence perform change detection, most often pre-processing steps are adopted including speckle reduction, sensor calibration, radiometric calibration and geometric registration of multi-temporal images to circumvent the effects of the abovementioned artefacts to some extent.

Curvilinear Feature Extraction: Extraction of curvilinear features from synthetic aperture radar (SAR) images is important for automatic recognition of various targets, such as fences, surrounding the buildings. Since linearity is a desired property of many target types, these applications are useful for the extraction of specific curvilinear features such as road networks. In SAR images, curvilinear features usually contain discontinuous edges and bright scattered points. The curvilinear features to be extracted are defined as an optimum path composed of a sequence of feasible bright points. The bright pixels which constitute curvilinear features in SAR images are usually disrupted and also degraded by high amount of speckle noise which makes extraction of such curvilinear features very difficult. Proposed approach provides accurate extraction of desired curvilinear features in SAR images with high amount of speckle noise.

Interactive Road Extraction: Unlike the automatic road network extraction algorithm, a road segment is identified with the help of the user in the interactive road extraction algorithm. The end user puts a point where he thinks that it belongs a road network. This is intended to complete the road network parts that are not identified with the automatic road network algorithm.

Target Detection: Automatic target detection in SAR images is very important because it is usually the first step in automatic object identification methods that follow. SAR images have considerable features in terms of detection of man-made objects. While man-made objects, such as buildings, have a higher brightness value than others, some man-made objects, such as roads, have a lower level of brightness than their surroundings. However, SAR images are distorted by speckle noise, and the speckle noise in the images causes artificially additional bright pixels on the ground. This degradation greatly reduces the speed and accuracy of target algorithms running on images. With the RB-CFAR method developed by SDT, a very fast man-made target detection algorithm has been realized.

Some of the SAR algorithms have been integrated into the Erdas Imagine software as a Radar plugin. In this context, noise reduction, automatic target detection, change analysis and user-interactive ship segmentation algorithms can be realized with Imagine.

Hyperspectral Data Analysis: Another research project that SDT has shown interest and put effort is on hyperspectral data processing. The studies have been started by the request for information of SSM four years ago. In those days, SDT has reported a detailed analysis of the literature on the subjects and has implemented some algorithms with open source data. Then, SDT has enrolled in an SSM R&D project called TUYGUN as algorithm developer partner for military target detection work package.

Lidar Data Analysis: SDT’s image processing team has recently started to work on Lidar data analysis. Lidar sensor has aroused interest in the world for its property of supplying 3D information of the scene. This property complements the other sensors and so increase performance of the recognition algorithms well. SDT would like to utilize its multi-sensor data fusion capabilities on a sensor set that includes Lidar sensor beside the electro optic, SAR, MMWR and hyperspectral.

Developing its applications in image processing, technological infrastructure and product range each day and carrying its capacities further, SDT actively continues its search for the areas of usage of its products and capabilities in aerospace and civil aviation, security and other application areas and its efforts for acquiring more business share from the international market.



Satellite Ground Segment Solutions and Capabilities of SDT

Airborne and space based surveillance and reconnaissance are essential for successful military missions. Such capabilities are critical for troop protection, situational awareness, mission planning, damage assessment, and others.

Space based platforms provide capability of periodic surveillance for large areas without any geographical limitations with different kind of information.

SDT has started her activities regarding the Satellite Ground Segment with GOKTURK-1 military surveillance project. SDT is responsible to develop User Services Subsystem of the GOKTURK Ground Segment in scope of the GOKTURK-1 Program as a sub-contractor of the ASELSAN since 2010. SDT has also involved the GOKTURK-3 (SAR Satellite) Program which has started at the end of 2013, as s sub-contractor of the ASELSAN. Consequently; SDT is responsible to develop User Services Subsystem of the GOKTURK Ground Station under Turkish Air Force Command. GOKTURK Ground Station will serve to all of the GOKTURK satellites (GOKTURK-1, GOKTURK-2 and GOKTURK-3). On 5th of December, 2016; GOKTURK-1 was lunched and SDT software solutions have since been used in real life applications with high success and availability.

SDT is improving her capabilities regarding Ground Station in order to support also airborne platforms after the experience on the GOKTURK-1 Project. With this target; SDT has started to develop multi-mission ground segment solution for both space and airborne platforms. SDT has been designing and developing SDT Enterprise Service Infrastructure (SenseI) as a core service framework technology. Receiving data from producers/sources of satellite/UAV payloads are processed with ingestion steps which are aligned with OGC and INSPIRE metadata standard. Moreover, image process adaptors are managed with ESA Generic IPF. SenseI is a middleware SDT solution, applicable in horizontal and vertical scalable, and also “Open Archival Information System (OAIS)” is used for archiving process. SenseI consists of pluggable workflows, business logic modules, and data process and data package elements. SenseI communicates with man machine interface (MMI), catalogue, archive and dissemination, and image exploitation services under single sign on, authentication and authorization policies.

SDT developed a modular, end-to-end, comprehensive solution for Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) requirements, from imagery and video acquisition to Geospatial Intelligence (GEOINT) dissemination. Within this scope; SDT has provided complete solution proposals to different countries according to their intelligence needs.

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) gather huge amount of video data, but it is extremely labour-intensive for operators to analyse the received data lasting many hours. Data collected from UAVs must be reviewed quickly to support real-time operations in the field, whereas it also needs to be analysed in more depth and over longer time frames to support mission planning and intelligence gathering.

SDT has also intensive experience regarding image formation; processing and exploitation capabilities have been gained by different projects. With these capabilities and experiences; SDT can integrate data and image processing tools in order to process data provided by Electro-Optical (E/O), Infra-Red (IR) and Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) sensors located on satellite, airborne or land platforms.

SDT has capability and products for:

  • Service request and task management,
  • Image and video ingestion,
  • Archive, manage and serve image and live video stream,
  • Real-time and/or offline image analysis and exploitation (The result of the offline image processing would enable the detection of more complex targets compared to that of real-time image processing),
  • Ability to create annotations on streaming video, and
  • Fusing image and video with other intelligence data from other sources.

SDT can provide end to end custom image processing and exploitation solutions tailored to the intelligence and command & control requirements of the user.

All these capabilities can be integrated in a system application and offered as a project that can be tailored to specific needs.




Electronic Warfare (EW) is one of the major concerns of the today’s armies and national security agencies. The countries which have indigenous systems and can produce their own solutions, will step forward in the intelligence and power war. Keeping this fact in mind, SDT has been developing and producing solutions on the EW field since its foundation. In the context of SDT’s activities, different projects are being carried out while several different products are being delivered both on RF and IR bands. In addition to developing EW mission systems, products for testing, measuring and evaluating current EW systems are presented by SDT as well.

RF EW Systems

SDT develops integrated EW systems covering different RF bands for various mission requirements. The system can be stationary or installed on a mobile platform.  SDT EW System enables to detect, record and analyse the parameters and effectiveness of the emissions.

Radar & Communication Simulator

Radar & Communication Simulator is a system that emits radar and communication signals after generating and amplifying them according to user defined parameters and scenarios. System composed of 2 subsystems which are Radar Signal Simulator (RSS) and Communication Signal Simulator (CSS). The system is installed and used on a 4×4 pick-up type vehicle.

IR Guided Missile Simulator

System allows developing, testing and improving of countermeasure techniques and tactics for IR guided anti-ship missiles. System can also be used on activities aiming to reduce the IR signature and Radar Cross Section (RCS) values.

Guided Missile simulations are made by using IR detector, special lenses, filters and mission software. By using the analysis software, performances of developed technique and tactics can be analysed and improved. IR Guided Missile Simulator is integrated into a shelter environment.

SDT EW Products Family Keeps Expanding

In the scope of previously developed projects, some SDT EW products have been developed, which are essential for rapidly meeting similar system requirements:


  • EW Recorder allows real-time and lossless recording of mission data obtained from different interfaces such as Serial FPDP, Ethernet and Analog IF. Data is recorded on solid state disks configured as RAID arrays with speeds more than 3 GByte/s. Compatible with MIL-STD-461 and MIL-STD-810 standards is an option.
  • Analog Wide Band Receiver is used for down converting the RF signal which is obtained from antennas to the IF band. The superhet type receiver is capable of producing one wide band IF, multiple narrow band IF signals and video detector signal outputs at the same time. Receiver is controlled over its Ethernet interface.
  • Digital Receiver (Pulse Analyser) is used for digitizing IF signals and producing Pulse Descriptor Words (PDW) of these signals. The system is capable of digitizing 1 channel wideband IF signal and 3 channel narrowband IF signals at the same time while producing regarding PDWs. Pulse Analyser works synchronously with the Analog Receiver.
  • Emitter Detection Software is used to produce emitter list which contains information about detected emitters present on the environment. Emitter list contains information about; frequency values, frequency types (constant, agile, hopping), Pulse Repetition Interval (PRI) values, PRI types (constant, jittered, staggered, dwell/switch), signal amplitude values, Pulse Width (PW) values, first/last seen time values of emitters and intra-pulse modulation characteristics. System is capable of processing pulses in dense environments.
  • Signal Analysis Software (SAY), is used for offline analysis of the radar data that has been recorded during missions. IF data and PDW analysis can be carried out using SAY. In the scope of SAY, different representations of the data (Tabular, Spectrum, Histogram, and Amplitude/Phase/Frequency vs. Time Graphs) can be displayed while sorting and filtering operations can be performed as well.
  • EW Environment Simulator allows production of simulated data which is needed during development and testing phases of any kind of EW systems. After defining radar signals of different types and specifications, relevant PWDs are produced. It is possible to model atmospheric environment, reflections and multipath effects.



SDT Mission Systems

SDT’s first indigenous avionics equipment design integrated to platforms is the Digital Data/Video Recording System (DDR) product family. Both the hardware and software of the DDR has been designed by SDT engineering team. The products have been manufactured by SDT’s Production, Testing and Integration Division and provided as off-the-shelf to local and foreign aviation programmes.

Basically, the DDR has the capability of recording digital control data, video and audio signals at various platforms. Among the digital control data types, data received through MIL-STD-1553B, ARINC429, CAN and Ethernet data buses can be given as examples. Video interfaces can be PAL, NTSC, RS170, RS343, DVI, SDI or Display Port. The digital control data can be accessed via direct communication with data buses or it could be by means of a central control computer. The video and audio data received by DDR is recorded through highly efficient compression algorithms. Removable memory modules used for records are connected to the post-flight ground support computer via standard industrial interfaces (USB, Ethernet, SATA etc.) in order to access the recorded data.

Similar products previously obtained from foreign sources can now be completely obtained from a local source. This has led to an increase in local contribution in the major aviation programmes and has contributed to local added value in the support of avionics logistics. Today, all mission data recording system requirements that are within the agenda of air platform projects is being fully met with indigenously designed SDT products in Turkish defence market. T-38 trainer aircraft, ASELPOD targeting pod, HÜRKUŞ, ANKA and ATAK are some of the current programmes that SDT provided DDR products. Today, SDT data recording systems are deployed in over 200 platforms, new ones are being added as time passes and with each new product, the success of SDT’s data recording systems are being matured.

The commercial success, accumulated technological know-how and obtained respect in the sector achieved via SDT’s DDR product family have opened the way to SDT for the development of many different avionics systems as derivatives of this hardware architecture.

Within the scope of the Turkish Gendarmerie Helicopter Modernisation Project, the Airborne  Computer System (ACS) Mission Support Computer has been developed by SDT and this equipment enables communications via the MIL-STD-1553 and ARINC 429 avionic data buses and possesses high performance computing power and has low power consumption.  The ACS Mission Support Computer, aside from the ability to run 3D video applications, such as the moving map software, at the same time has the features to record data, video and audio signals. The ACS Mission Support Computer can be used as a major mission avionics in various air, sea and land platform applications.

SDT has expanded his platform control systems family with the following product portfolio:

  • Video Multiplexer Unit for PARS,
  • Remote Control Unit of Battle Field IFF for ALTAY,
  • DO-254 Level B UAV Ground Station Flight Control Computer for ANKA,
  • Launcher Electronic Control Unit for ATAK,
  • Missile Data Acquisition and Storage Unit (MIDASU) for MIZRAK-U,
  • Missile Launcher Computer and Platform Simulator for KARAOK,
  • Missile Interface Unit (MIU) for HISAR-A and HISAR-O Systems,
  • Video Symbol Generator (R&D – In house development program), and
  • Precise Position Determination Computer (R&D – In house development program).

In order to offer cost effective electronics system solutions, SDT has also capability to re-design and transform Industrial Standard Electronic Units (Satellite Communications Equipment & Servo Drivers) for military land and sea platforms per military specifications (ruggedized solutions) based on military environmental conditions and electromagnetic compatibility standards.

SDT, within the framework of product development approach and vertical expertise focus, has put forth various sensor signals processing, image processing, missile launching, platform management and video and data recording avionics products. The product portfolio and expertise in these fields to develop such products are continuously growing within SDT. By means of SDT’s self R&D funding and the support of SSM and TUBITAK R&D programs, SDT has developed indigenous products and fielded them to make an important contribution in reducing the dependence on foreign sources in domestic market and also  enable SDT to be mature enough to go in export markets with its field proven products.



SDT Simulation and Training systems are Ready for the Most Effective ACT and ICT

Since its establishment in 2005, SDT has been providing combat training solutions to armed forces for more than a decade by now, among which are Air Combat Training (ACT) and Infantry Combat Training (ICT) solutions. For ACT, embedded and live training products for air forces have already been deployed successfully. SDT is now demonstrating its capabilities also in ICT area for effective training of combat personnel such as amphibious naval infantry.

SDT Air Combat Training (ACT) Solutions

Embedded Simulation System (ESS) was SDT’s first involvement in air combat training system development back in 2007, which was successfully deployed on fighter aircraft and delivered to Turkish Air Force (TuAF). SDT developed Computer Generated Forces (CGF) simulations as well as high fidelity models of aircraft systems such radar, RWR, CM/ECM and missiles for ESS. The system is fully integrated to aircraft OFP and went through several ground and flight tests before final deployment. ESS provides constructive elements into the live environment for enhanced air combat training capabilities. ESS is now being exported to South Korea for the use of Republic of Korea Air Force (RoKAF).

Air Combat Manoeuvring Instrumentation (ACMI) System

SDT has successfully completed the development of ACMI, and as of today, functional flight tests are being conducted together with TAI and Turkish Air Force on F-16 aircraft. First flight campaign including flight safety and airworthiness completed in last March, SDT’s ACMI system is ready for international market.

  • Key Features:
    • Diverse platform support
    • High number of participants
    • Encrypted communications and encrypted recording
    • High fidelity weapon and CM/ECM simulations
    • Long communication range and relay
    • High throughput data link
    • Multiple frequency band support
    • TSPI generation
    • Avionics bus integration
    • Notifications and Safety Warnings
    • Ad-hoc TDMA network
    • LVC provision
  • Ground System Features:
    • Exercise Planning, Live Monitoring and Debriefing
    • What-if analysis
    • Performance evaluations and reporting
    • Data upload and download
    • Ground recording
    • Multiple GIS data support with 2D Tactical Map
    • Several 3D camera view modes
    • Integration to external systems
    • Interoperability with other systems


SDT Infantry Combat Training (ICT)

SDT is demonstrating complete solutions for training military personnel in operations using small arms and light weapons against stationary and moving targets in shooting ranges and virtual combat environments. Solution includes laser training, Virtual Reality (VR), motion tracking, recoil simulation and game engine technologies. All essential components are ready-to-use for adaptation and custom integration of training centres such as for future amphibious naval infantry training centre.


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