Qioptiq logo Raytheon

Strong Technology Lineup At Owning The Night – Fighting the 24 Hour War By Julian Nettlefold

Owning The Night held at The Defence Academy of the UK, Shrivenham November 29 -30, discussed the major leaps in technology since our last event in 2009. The list of speakers from the MoD and industry was impressive, discussing a wide range of technologies and systems on the market today. The battle for Mosul currently being waged shows clearly the need for advanced night vision and infantry systems in a battle that can only be won with bots on the ground clearing streets house by house, street by street 24/7.

Qioptiq – Engage, Enable, Excel – Qioptiq Was the Headline Sponsor for Owning The Night

“Today’s peacekeepers face a multitude of threats whilst operating in a myriad of environments and conditions. Add to this the requirement to carry out missions in darkness and the difficulty increases exponentially. The development of new tactics and new equipment to help counter the adverse effects of weather, terrain and lighting are vital to assist the operator in completing mission critical assignments.  But how does the User know what products are available to them and the benefits to be derived from the latest state of the art equipment.

 One way is through such events as Owning the Night held in November 2016 at the Defence Academy at Shrivenham in the UK. Owning The Night gave Army Commanders, Police and Industry a taste of the future at the Conference and the ability to try the latest night vision devices from weapon sights through night driving aids to advanced target tracking and identification systems.

 At Qioptiq we take our responsibility to the End User very seriously which is why we gave this event our full support, taking the role of headline sponsor.  We know our equipment is vital to the men and women carrying out a difficult and dangerous missions all over the world and so it is important to be able to brief on the latest developments and gain insight from the people who depend on our products.” Craig Taylor, Marketing Communications Manager of Qioptiq said.

Qioptiq is part of Excelitas Technologies, an international provider to the defence and aerospace markets.

Qioptiq is  known for providing advanced optical modules for Airborne, Vehicle, Man Portable and Naval applications as well as military & civil Head-up Displays, Head level Displays and Helmet-Mounted Displays. But some of our greatest advancements have been made in the areas of vision solutions for image intensified, uncooled thermal and fused surveillance, target acquisition and engagement equipment – and it was these sighting systems we demonstrated at Owning the Night.

Kite In-Line (KiL) is a new compact Image Intensified Weapon Sight that is mounted on a weapon in front of a magnified day sight. The KiL has particular advantages compared to other similar equipment, in that it offers an excellent range performance-to-weight ratio, combined with superior product reliability that’s inherent to all Qioptiq weapon sight designs. This system has been selected for the Australian Defence Force Land 125 requirement.

Qioptiq is at the forefront of fused weapon sight development, which has recently culminated in the launch of the SAKER fused weapon sight for Assault Rifles and Sharpshooter weapon platforms. SAKER is a high performance in-line fused weapon sight combining image intensified and thermal imaging technologies to deliver enhanced 24 hr capability.

DRAGON-S (Sniper) is a Clip-On Thermal Weapon Sight providing snipers with 24-hour surveillance and target engagement capability for a range of optical dayscopes. It is factory set to eliminate the need for zeroing when the thermal sight is fitted and removed from the front of the dayscope.

Dragon Compact 640 is an ultra-lightweight, small, multipurpose thermal weapon sight. It uses the latest uncooled thermal cameras and optical technology to provide a compact sight capable of being used in a weapon mounted or hand held role.

We also showed a number of advanced products including the new range of Thermal continuous zoom cameras to service the ground vehicle, border surveillance and anti-aircraft markets. JaguIR is the latest ruggedised solution for challenging long range requirements with a rapid, continuous zoom function allowing surveillance of vast areas. PanthIR is a 10:1 continuous zoom camera for mast mounted surveillance and remote weapon station applications. CougIR is a 6:1 continuous zoom camera for targeting and short range surveillance. PumIR is the next generation of dual field of view zoom lens assemblies, compatible with the latest generation of 17μm and 12μm uncooled focal plane arrays.

Qioptiq provides solutions to meet the individual requirements of its customers. Outstanding expertise has earned the company a worldwide reputation for innovation and excellence.

We have been supplying weapon and surveillance sights for over 40 years to more than 56 countries worldwide, including UK MoD. With over 100000 sights in service our heritage speaks for itself. From boots on the ground to eyes in the sky Qioptiq capabilities are enabling mission critical systems and platforms in some of the harshest environments on the planet.

The papers discussed below demonstrated how technology has advanced over the past 7 years.

Tuesday Papers

Michael Hewetson OBE, Director Symposia at Shrivenham, Dr Matt Chinn, Head Technology School, Defence Academy of the United Kingdom along with Julian Nettlefold of BATTLESPACE set the scene for Owning The Night.

ISR Brigade Challenges

Major Paul Joyce, ISR Brigade

1st Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Brigade deploys Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) groups tailored to support decision making within the Land Environment. Its mission is to prepare, force generate and deliver ISR capability in order to deliver success on operations. The Brigade will be a critical enabler throughout the continuum of engagement.

1st ISR Brigade became operational on 1 September 2014 and has responsibility for all British Army ISR capabilities.

The Brigade is comprised of 19 units: 14th Signal Regiment (Electronic Warfare) delivers a persistent ground based Electronic Warfare and Signals Intelligence capability.

5th Regiment Royal Artillery (RA) provides the Army’s Weapon Locating Radar, Medium and Heavy Ground-Based Intelligence Surveillance Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance capabilities. It also provides a battery of Surveillance and Target Acquisition (STA) patrols trained in Static Covert Surveillance.

The Honourable Artillery Company also provides STA Patrols and Light Ground-Based Intelligence and is paired with 5th Regiment RA.

32nd and 47th Regiments RA provide the Army’s Integrated Unmanned Aerial Systems (IUAS). Both Regiments are supported by 104th Regiment RA, which will operate the Watchkeeper UAS.

The three Regular and four Reserve Military Intelligence (MI) Battalions provide the full spectrum of MI capabilities to Land Forces. They provide a conduit into the Single Intelligence Enterprise to ensure that information is shared with Joint, Interagency, Intergovernmental and Multi-National capabilities.

MI Battalions are supported by the Weapons, Material and Personnel Exploitation capability. In addition, the Defence Cultural Specialist Unit provides linguists and cultural specialists. The Land Intelligence Fusion Centre delivers tactical intelligence reach-back for deployed forces.

The Specialist Group Military Intelligence is a unique nationally recruited pool of professionally trained Reservists whose expertise augments the Brigade’s MI capabilities.

Finally, the Brigade will field a number of specialist Human, Environment, Reconnaissance and Analysis patrols drawn from Reservist Units.

Evolution to Revolution

Dismounted STA Technology To Enhance Small Arms Effectiveness

Steve Rickard, Qioptiq

This presentation provided an Industry update on a number of developments associated with designing, developing and delivering advanced Dismounted Surveillance and Target Acquisition (STA) technologies and products within the Dismounted Close Combat (DCC) Environment, including the use alongside legacy sensor systems.

With modern day Small Arms technology now able to provide high levels of accuracy, repeatability and reliability, the emphasis on the ability to quickly Detect, Recognise, Identify & engage to reduce the Detect to Defeat (D2D) loop 24hrs a day through all weathers is of vital importance whilst remaining mindful of the current physical and cognitive burden placed on today’s war fighters.

The challenge is to ensure that the overall combat effectiveness can be increased through a closer integration between the lethality and STA elements, making use of current and emerging systems; however there are a number of differing options as to how this can / could be achieved and where the cost / capability / complexity lines are to be drawn, not to mention the ever important Size, Weight and Power considerations.

The aim of the presentation is to inform the audience on current and emerging technologies, along with some development projects underway in order to stimulate further debate on the integration challenge between the Lethality and STA capability areas.

Harris Integrated Soldier System (ISS) – Enhancing situational awareness for the 24 hour battle.

Eric Garris, Harris Corporation

Intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) plays a prominent role with the ever-changing nature of warfare in today’s military operations.  Equally critical is the mission-specific situational awareness (SA) information that supports effective Command and Control (C2), improves tactical execution, and increases soldier safety and likelihood of mission success. The Harris Integrated Soldier System (ISS) delivers tactical SA to the warfighter in a heads-up display, for both day and night operations, allowing them to keep eyes on their mission. This is done through the TM-NVG in direct view and Fusion capable configurations for night operations, and through a daytime display to enable 24 hour operation.

The system provides access to photos for identifying targets of interest in the field and UAV camera feeds to see beyond/over geographic and man-made barriers, all while utilizing a secure radio network.  The soldier is able to record and store video from their point-of-view for active and future analysis.  C2 and deployed forces can simultaneously view the same full motion video feed as well as share or relay video/imagery for current location, geographical targets, rendezvous points, etc.

In combination with advanced capabilities of the ISS, enhancement of the current inventory of night vision devices must continue to be a priority to maintain a tactical advantage over the enemy.  Harris proposes image tube replacements within older HMNVS to achieve this advantage.

Harris gave live demonstrations of its ISS on the Tuesday night Range demonstration.

Back up information:

Harris’ Integrated Soldier System (ISS) provides the following core technologies required for operational capability and needed by the dismounted soldier to effectively operate.  A data enabled radio provides the backbone of communications between solider and C2.

* Harris 152A Radio – provides secure voice and data transmission

* Conformal Battery – ballistic-safe conformal-wearable battery for system power

* Harris picoHUB – data and power management/distribution

* End-user device (EUD) for the system interface

* Connect – bi-directional processor to support import / export of information to the day/night heads-up displays

* TM-NVG/ Daytime display – image intensified only or I2 with IR fused overlay (TM-NVG Fusion) night vision goggle with integrated light-secure overlay display and integrated “digital” camera Heads-up Display – provides interchangeable daytime display capability to provide 24-hour operational capability

* Augmented Reality (AR) Module – provides 3D situational overlay information to the soldier’s heads-up display for both day and night operations

Beyond the Barrel

BAE Systems Electronic Systems

Dennis Ginley

Since September 11, 2001, there has been an overwhelming emphasis on the use of thermal imaging equipment as Weapon sights. While the technology and the systems have improved in that vital role, the other uses of thermal imaging for both defense and public safety have largely been forgotten. This presentation will provide an overview of those other uses, with detailed description of the techniques used therein. Still image and video examples will be used throughout the presentation.

Direct View Optics on Crew Served Weapons

Magnus Andersson, Aimpoint

The Aimpoint Fire Control System FCS13 and FCS22 is Aimpoints Direct View Optics for Crew Served Weapons like 40 mm HV AGL (MK19 and H&K GMG), 84 mm CarlGustaf Recoiless Grenade Launcher and .50 HMG (M2).

Soldiers can have the same type of sighting system for all these different weapon platforms. This will reduce training time/cost initially dramatically for the soldiers. He changes from manning the MK19 to grabbing the 84 mm SAAB CarlGustaf and he knows how to operate the sight and this makes him a trained gunner on multiple weapon platforms. First-Round-Hit capability is proven by several countries during test firing with all mentioned weapon systems. Next generation of grenades can be fired and programmed by these sighting systems. Dynamic system for engaging moving target is available. Thermal Clip-on is available from Theon.

40 mm HV AGL

FCS22 is a sight that can program 40 mm airburst ammunition from several producer of ammunition. The FCS22 in combination with Nammo MPU (Manual Programming Unit) and soldiers can engage targets in defilade and other type of very difficult situations. String-of-pearls M4 (under development)) and84 mm SAAB CarlGustaf.in different modes can be used. Sigh can be used on all generations of weapons (M2, M3 and CarlGustaf.

Aimpoint gave demonstrations of  the fire control system on the Tuesday night Range demonstration.

Be the first to see

Gert Nutzel, PHOTONIS Netherlands B.V.

Modern armies must be prepared to be employed in many different theatres. Their equipment must be able to operate optimally in environments that can vary from maritime, desert, rain forest, mountain and urban. Commonly, the Figure of Merit (FOM) number for intensified Night Vision (NV) equipment is considered a very important performance factor. However, simply being equipped with optimized NV gear is not a guarantee for success in such a wide variety of terrain. For example, in urban environments halo and auto gating resolution are of primary importance. Photonis has developed the 4G night vision standard for such multi mission deployments, providing not only the highest FOM but also an extended spectral range, fastest and highest auto gating resolution and smallest halo. Of no less importance is the spectral range. The colour spectrum of the night can widely vary: it can be predominantly infra-red when there is “night glow” during a moonless night, but otherwise the sky is predominantly blue.  A wide spectral range that includes blue and UV sensitivity is therefore important, not just for better contrast of camouflage, but also to see in the many nights where blue dominates the night spectrum. The latest Photonis 4G image intensifiers are optimized for these modern-day multi-mission deployments.

Future Technologies

Colonel James York and Major Chris Jose, Dismounted Solider Systems (DSS), DE&S

 Colonel James York and Major Chris Jose, Dismounted Solider Systems (DSS), DE&S gave a detailed talk about the DSS 10 year plan to replace the current range of infantry equipment in the British Army. The DSS consists of 25 people and has an annual budget of £50 million.

Key Programmes coming under DSS include:

  1. The Vertis Infantry Systems programme and the accompanying new ballistic plate and Pelvic Protection (Tier1) requirement for which an ITT will be issued next year.
  2. Management and replacement of the complete range of infantry weapons including: SA80, SMG, GPMG, LMG, mortars and 40mm grenade launchers.
  3. Close Quarter target systems, 19 of which will be acquired at a cost of £50 million.
  4. The Sniper Concept Assessment being produced by Qioptiq and Leonardo.
  5. A new Day/Night scope and spotter.
  6. The FIST 2 Concept Phase.
  7. Augmented Reality NVGs and HUD as demonstrated by Harris at OTN.
  8. Individual Weapon Sights to be replaced by 2020.
  9. Target Locator to be procured by end of 2017.
  10. Dismounted Situational Awareness improvements including Google Maps under the Morpheus Project.
  11. The Future Individual Weapon Systems with apossible change of calibre form the current .556 round.
  12. New Acoustic Shot Detection systems.
  13. DSTC – Future Soldier Vision 2. Every soldier becomes a sensor.
  14. Develop a Common Battlefield Test Facility.

One of the key aims of DSS is to develop Integrated Soldier Systems which can defeat adversaries at 600 metres and surprise them at 1000 metres and for a Battlegroup Close Combat teams to defeat the enemy from 1800 to 4000 metres   using direct fire and indirect at 7000 metres on a 24/7 basis and sustainable for 48 hours. This will be achieved by maintain a technological advantage to maintain ownership of the night which is currently under threat due to the enemy obtaining a  number of Third Gen Night Vision devices. One system currently under consideration is a laser to blind the enemy’s NVGs whilst having a laser protective filter on the soldier’s NVG.

There are four major challenges here:

  1. Developing a complex User Requirement.
  2. Developing new Urban Operations techniques.
  3. Public Order Systems – non-lethal, less than lethal.
  4. New CBRN systems.

Tuesday Night Vision Demonstration

The Tuesday Night Vison demonstration on the range showed a number of key technologies from exhibitors.

GMK Ltd.  demonstrated a number of systems including:

AN/PVS-21 Low Profile NVG. The AN/PVS-21 Low Profile Night Vision Goggle has been designed for aggressive special operations capability in air, water, and land environments. The patented low profile design offers 3-4 inches less protrusion than conventional night vision goggles enabling a wide range of mission applications.

CEHUD: Conformal Enhanced Heads Up Display. The CEHUD – Conformal Enhanced Heads Up Display provides improved situational awareness, reduced sensor-to-shooter gap and enhanced capability to detect, recognize and identify targets. It is a lightweight, compact and ruggedized HUD that is day or night capable. Designed for use with the AN/PVS-21 LPNVG Goggle, Model 2740 Monocular and Model 2758 Dayviewer.

Nova Beacon. The Nova is a multi-spectral combat ID beacon for covertly marking blue force personnel and vehicles. It includes broadband thermal, NIR, SWIR, and/or white LED emitters. When operated in thermal or SWIR modes, it emits no visible signature and is undetectable by conventional night vision equipment. The Nova has an optical output of approximately 350 mW in the MWIR band (3 – 5 µm), 320 mW in the NIR band (880 nm), 150 mW in the SWIR band (1550 nm), and 70 lumens in the visible spectrum.

MCID Beacon. The Tri-Band MCID is a multi-spectral combat ID beacon for covertly marking blue force personnel and vehicles. With a low-profile design, it matches the shape of a helmet for secure attachment and can also be mounted to MOLLE vests, packs or vehicles. Versions are available with mid-wave infrared (MWIR), near infrared (NIR) and short wave infrared (SWIR) or MWIR, NIR and Visible (VIS).

Beechwood exhibited:

FLIR TK Handheld Thermal Camera

FLIR T90 –  Tactical Night Sight (TaNS) in-line Night Vision Device fitted in front of the

Trijicon TA02 Advanced Combat Optical Gunsight (ACOG) day sight.

FLIR T105 – Universal Night Sight (UNS) in-line Night Vision Device fitted in front of the

Trijicon Variable Combat Optical Gunsight (VCOG).

FLIR T70 – In-line Thermal Weaponsight fitted in front of the Trijicon TA11 ACOG

Instro exhibited a number of night vison devices including:

The XACT th64 – Ultra lightweight Uncooled Thermal Weapon Sight

The XACT th64 is a medium range thermal weapon sight.  The XACT th64 is an operational proven and full tested system.

The proposed sight is a heavy duty compact, thermal weapon sight comprising a single Field of View uncooled thermal imager and a high resolution throughout a colored OLED display, all housed in a metal and sealed housing. On top of the robustness the system is fully submersible up to 20m. this can serve especially for special operations capabilities.

The XACT th64 consist of a high performances and lightweight thermal engine (?XACT engine hereafter).

The XACT engine includes new and unique NUC less system. This is above the SHUTTER less capabilities. With the NUC less capability the user is not required to make any calibration or blocking scene activity along all operational uses.

A general view of the XACT th64 is shown in the figure below.

The XACT th64 include new features in Image Processing that enable the user to maximize target engagements under severe thermal imaging conditions. The system has ROI (Region Of Interest) algorithm battlefield picture enhancement.

The XACT th64 consist an advanced recording card that can be used in various operational purposes. From training and investigation of the warrior’s performances, continuing to common language with several users and ending with capabilities of reporting and analyzing targets in or after mission.

The XACT th64 include an integrated laser pointer for better night communication with warriors that use I2 systems

The XACT th64 can be used as a handheld system, and has an optional remote cable unit which enables to operate and control the system from distance

ELBIT SECURITY SYSTEMS – ELSEC Security & Tactical EO Solutions

XACT nv

Micro Compact Image Intensified Night Vision System

  • Maximized operator adaptability:

– Multiple mounting options compatible with standard

adapters

– Integrated IR laser illuminator

  • Robust aluminium body suitable for operation in

rough environment

  • Unique software controlled maintenance including

operation time counter

  • Low battery Indication
  • Adjustable head tilt – based shut – off mechanism
  • Complies with MIL – STD 810

System Components

  • Mechanical Adapters:

– Monocular/ Binonocular

– Helmet Mount

– Head Mount

– Weapon adapter (monocular)

  • Available Accessories:

– External power source connector

Thermoteknix demonstrated:

TiCAM 1000 (Laser range finder & Target Locator system, thermal and daylight channel) TiCAM 750 (thermal imager, Long range) TiCAM 600 (thermal imager, Long range) TiCAM 90 (Helmet mount thermal imager) ClipIR (Clip-on thermal fusion) FuseIR (fused night vision)

NiCAM-14 (helmet mount night vision monocular)

Owning The Night offered a unique opportunity for our users to compare our “FuseIR” fused night vision with the best that Europe and US has to offer.” Alistair Brown, Product Manager, Thermoteknix.

Raytheon Elcan demonstrated Raytheon ELCAN’s SpecterDR1-4x and SpecterOS4 sights were demonstrated in conjunction with Thomas Jack’s/ L3’s clip-on thermal sights on the Shrivenham range during OTN. ELCAN’s Specter sights are designed to be compatible with a range of clip-on/in-line TI and I2 sights.

American Panel Corporation exhibited the APC 1000 Main Battle Tank Display, offering bespoke engineering character toward extreme environment armoured vehicles.  They demonstrated both the day and NVG spectrum compatible modes.  They also had a flexible full HD 5.5” OLED display and a Ultra High Definition (4K) 5.5” LCD display.  Both of these latter units were engineering development units used to speak to the requirements of NVG, relative to technological advancements.

Leonardo showed its NERIO-ULR Ultra-Long Range Surveillance and Threat Acquisition system. The operator tracked an airliner traveling over the range at an approximate altitude of 20,000 feet. The clarity of the airliner was spectacular, showing all the outline of the hull, wings and engines.

NERIO-ULR

NERIO-ULR is a state of the art modular Electro-Optical (EO) Surveillance, Threat Acquisition (STA) and Reconnaissance system designed to satisfy a broad range of current and emerging customer requirements.

These include:

• Border security and Critical National Infra-Structure protection

•Mobile STA and Reconnaissance

• Coastal surveillance

• Shipborne STA and Situation Awareness

NERIO-ULR integrates world-class EO sensors as part of a fully flexible payload configuration together with a gyrostabilised director mechanism enabling capability, cost and performance to be optimised according to specific customer needs. Utilising the Horizon Thermal Imaging (TI) camera for provision of a 24hr operational capability, NERIO-ULR combines an 11° to 0.9° zoom field-of-view high definition (HD) TI with a 360° x ±50° system field of regard.

In additional to the Horizon camera, the standard NERIOULR sensor payload configuration includes a highdefinition colour day TV camera with a compatible zoom field of view and optional, eye-safe Laser Rangefinder (LRF) to supplement the surveillance capability and enable threat identification and geospatial location. The combination of high definition imaging performance, sightline stability and field coverage enables customers to conduct surveillance acquisition operations from short to very long-range with a single EO system asset.

The modular payload and communication architecture of NERIO-ULR enables the Day TV Camera and LRF solutions to tailored to meet specific customer performance, cost and capability needs. Additional special to role modules, e.g. illuminators, dazzle sources and GPS receiver, can also be offered to meet specific operational needs. Performance of the Horizon TI camera enables the identification of threats at ranges typically beyond the effective range of the threat, enabling early counteraction to be initiated. NERIO-ULR is designed to facilitate use in direct mounting to platforms, masts or static tower mounted applications. The Horizon TI incorporates a long-life cooling engine enabling extended maintenance free operation whilst the design of NERIO-ULR enables ready access to the cameras for ease of maintenance when required.

Key Features And Benefits

Gyro-stabilised EO payload

Enables operation on fixed installation and optimised

performance in mast/tower mounted applications.

Continuous 360° x ±50° coverage

Provides a solution for ultra-long-range surveillance and

threat identification and geolocation.

Horizon-HD thermal imager

World-Class true HDTI performance coupled with a full

range continuous 11° to 0.9° zoom lens enabling highperformance,

24hr operation.

Modular payload architecture

Enables the NERIO-ULR system level capability to

be optimised for customer specific cost, capability &

performance needs and accommodate special to role

payloads for specific operational applications.

Open-standards, IP based control interfaces

Enables NERIO-ULR to be easily interfaced with customer specific security or mission system solutions, including the network enabled operation.

Rugged design

Enables NERIO-ULR to be utilised against a broad range of operational requirements across a global environment, including static or mobile and land or coastal environment.

High availability

50,000 hour long life TI cooling engine enables extended maintenance free operation with high reliability.

Optional capabilities

  • • Gyro-stabilised or unstabilised NERIO-ULR variants
  • • Integrated GPS
  • • Automatic Threat Detection and Tracking
  • •Modular system control and display solutions
  • • Operational deployment solutions
  • • Special-to-role EO modules, e.g. illuminator and dazzle sources

Wednesday Papers

Warrior Systems: Fighting the 24 Hour War

Christian Hawthorne, Director European Business, L-3 Warrior Systems

Superior Visual Integration for Situational Awareness

As the battlefield environment changes, the importance of situational awareness has never been greater. L-3 understands this need and meets it head-on with a legacy of innovation and reliability. We are an industry leader in advanced laser designators, night vision equipment and EO/IR systems that ensure safe and successful operations for the dismounted soldier as well as on crewserved, airborne and marine-based platforms. For proven solutions that turn night into day and intelligence into action, depend on L-3.

Getting the Most out of your EO/Radar Sensors

Firefly, using a software defined thermal imager to adapt to evolving operational requirements

 By Luke Pillans, Leonardo

Firefly is a new concept in high performance thermal imaging, a software defined camera core with advanced features which can upgraded in the field in response new operational requirements.

At the heart of Firefly is a high resolution High Operating Temperature (HOT) Medium Wave infrared detector. HOT is a recent advance in cooled thermal imaging technology; existing cooled technologies chill the infrared sensor to 80K with a cryo-cooler, the UK made HOT technology increases the temperature to 160K, permitting a smaller cryo-cooler with much lower power consumption. This delivers the performance associated with cooled imagers in a system size comparable to lesser performing uncooled imagers.

Within the Firefly core this HOT detector is coupled to a powerful set of processing electronics derived from a mobile computing platform running the Android operating system. As well as performing advanced image processing these electronics can control additional sensors and systems such as laser rangefinders, radios, and pan and tilt mechanisms. Enough processing power exists on the core to run advanced machine vision algorithms at the same time as operating as a thermal imager. Furthermore, since Firefly is software upgradable over a USB cable, new algorithms can be developed in response to evolving operational requirements and rolled out to systems in the field without taking them out of service.

The Sniper STA Technology Demonstrator Programme (SSTDP) demonstrated the performance of Firefly and the ability to run an application specific machine vision algorithm to hand-off targets between the spotter and sniper. This presentation will talk about the additional capabilities of the Firefly platform and how they will deliver tactical advantages on the modern battlefield.

Night vision technology advances for Thermal Weapon Sights and NVGs improve war fighter capability

Mr Yoram Aron, Instro Precison Ltd.

 Our presentation and demonstrations introduce the latest in tactical night vision devices with:

  • XACT nv32, the world’s first micro-size compact, monocular and night vision system with the size and weight advantages of 16mm tubes, while delivering performance that matches 18mm devices.
  • XACT th64 mid-range uncooled thermal weapon sight, embodies new and unique NUC less and SHUTTER less technologies which eliminate the need for any calibration or scene blocking procedures, improving war fighter operational capability.   Capable of immersion to 20m, the th64 is suited equally to land and marine special forces and selected for use by a leading 5 Eyes partner.

See what You’ve been missing 

Alistair Brown, Product Manager, Thermoteknix Systems Ltd

For many years Image intensifier systems have been regarded as the standard solution to night vision for hand held and helmet mount devices.

More recently Thermal imaging devices have become available for both hand-held and weapon-mount applications. On-going reductions in Size Weight and Power (SWAP) have brought thermal imaging technology into increased usage in military, police and civilian applications.

Until fairly recently practical real-time fused systems that combine more than one imaging technology was restricted to the realms of specialist users.

Increased use of Fusion and feedback from the early adopters of this technology now gives a better insight on where fusion provides users with tactical advantage.

Fused systems that combine image intensification and thermal imaging

technologies are now readily available. This paper looks at the performance of Image intensifier, Thermal and finally fused systems in a number of lighting conditions.

The advantages and disadvantages of the three technologies are identified and compared in a number of different night vision conditions. Fusion can be shown to out-perform either of the conventional modalities when used in isolation. Real-world video and still images are used to illustrate the strengths and weaknesses of each technology and identify key areas where Fused systems offer real advantages in situational awareness.

Night vision devices continue to follow advances in technology.  Instro, through its participation in the UK’s latest vehicle programs is at the forefront of low light Situational Awareness camera vision systems.  Our parent, Elbit ISTAR is the largest non-US military EO developer and is at the leading edge of night vision technologies and applications including I2, uncooled and cooled TI’s for SWIR, MWIR and LWIR bands.

Getting the Most out of Your HMI.

Lt Col Julian Moir MBE, Business Development Consultant, Chess Dynamics Ltd

Everyone from the commander to the operator demands better quality information.  This is invariably about image quality and image manipulation.  At formation level, the staffs are reasonably well served with remote access to operational and at times strategic level assets (so long as the networks are robust).  Getting the most out of the 4th and 5th generation sensors isn’t about feeding formation staffs, it is about making the operators job easier.  The delta between the displays he operates during his day job and the GUI / HMI that he goes back to when he plays ‘Call of Duty’ is a quantum leap.

What this presentation seeks to show is that there has to be an equal improvement in the HMI to be able to show the improvement in image quality and fuse the visual displays from multiple sensors (radar and EO in particular).  This leads to faster, more accurate and better informed decisions.  If it doesn’t we should not be using it.  This presentation seeks to show what is available now and give those who are going to procurement jobs what they should be asking for.  Incidentally it is all designed and built in the UK.

Julian Moir was joined on the podium by Paul Taylor of Enterprise Control Systems a team member of the AULDS Counter-UAV system

AUDS (Anti-UAV Defence System) is a counter drone system that is designed to disrupt and neutralise unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) or unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) engaged in hostile airborne surveillance and potentially malicious activity. The AUDS system combines electronic-scanning radar target detection, electro-optical (EO) tracking/classification and directional RF inhibition capability.

AUDS is a smart-sensor and effector package capable of remotely detecting small UAVs and then tracking and classifying them before providing the option to disrupt their activity. The system may be used in remote or urban areas to prevent UAVs being used for terrorist attacks, espionage or other malicious activities against sites with critical infrastructure.

AUDS Team

The AUDS Team brings together three leading British companies, each with the unique capabilities required to create an effective counter UAV system. Blighter’s A400 series air security radars are able to DETECT small UAVs in all weather conditions, 24 hours a day flying in urban areas or near to the horizon. The Chess Dynamics Hawkeye Deployable System (DS) and EO Video Tracker, featuring both a long range colour camera and a high sensitivity Thermal Imager (TI), along with state-of-the-art video tracking technology, is able to TRACK the UAV and, combined with radar target information, classify the target. The operator is then able to make a timely and informed decision to use the Enterprise Control Systems (‘ECS’), smart RF inhibitor to selectively interfere with the C2 channels on the UAV allowing the system to DISRUPT the UAV’s mission. The smart RF inhibitor uses directional antennas to achieve maximum range of operation with minimum collateral effect.

On January18th the AUDS team announced that AUDS had achieved TRL-9 status. AUDS the first fully integrated system worldwide to achieve TRL-9 status. This follows the successful mission deployment of the AUDS system with United States Forces.

TRL-9 is the very highest technology readiness level or maturity that a technology system can attain. According to the United States Department of Defense (DoD) and NASA definitions, TRL-9 signifies that a technology system or product is in its final form and that the actual system is proven through successful mission operations.

Mark Radford, speaking for the AUDS team, said: “Achieving TRL-9 status is an important milestone for AUDS in the embryonic counter-drone market. The sale and deployment of multiple AUDS systems to the U.S. military to protect critical assets and personnel makes AUDS, we believe, the only TRL-9 rated fully integrated strategic counter-UAS system on the market.”

Over the last 18 months, the AUDS system has been heavily evaluated and tested by military and government organisations. Through this process, AUDS consistently exceeded the mission requirements, simultaneously providing ground and air surveillance against possible threats.

The AUDS system – developed by Blighter Surveillance Systems, Chess Dynamics and Enterprise Control Systems – can detect a drone six miles (10km) away using electronic scanning radar, track it using precision infrared and daylight cameras and advanced video tracking software before disrupting the flight using a non-kinetic inhibitor to block the radio signals that control it.

This detect, track, defeat process is very quick and typically takes 8-15 secs. Using AUDS, the operator can effectively take control of a drone and force a safe landing. The AUDS system works in all weather, day or night and the disruption is flexible, proportional and operator controlled.

AUDS is positioned at the strategic end of the UAS countermeasures market for use by government agencies, the police and military to protect high value critical national infrastructure or strategically important sites/events. These include nuclear power stations, borders, political, sporting or VIP events, airports and airbases.

AUDS is also currently being evaluated by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for use at major U.S. airports as part of its Pathfinder Programme. The FAA has signed a Co-operative Research and Development Agreement (CRDA) with Liteye Systems, the AUDS team’s manufacturing and integration partner in North America, to test AUDS at US airports selected by the FAA. (See FAA release – https://www.faa.gov/news/updates/?newsId=85532).

To further consolidate its market leading position, the AUDS team has developed a range of new platforms – fixed, semi-permanent and temporary – to better meet the needs of customers in different markets. These include a platform for the deployment of AUDS to the roof of a building; a field mast system for the protection of semi-permanent sites such as forward operating bases (FOB), air bases or army camps; and a system for rapid deployment purposes.

A SWAP Surveillance Solution for Special Operations Forces

George Bailey, on behalf of HGH INFRARED SYSTEMS

Spynel-M has been designed to meet the growing needs of providing perimeter protection as well as mobile surveillance for the world’s Special Operations Forces. This sensor is robust, lightweight, and rugged and can easily be carried in a backpack; small teams could carry this with a compact tripod and easily deploy it within a couple of minutes.

The Spynel will adapt to the diversity of SOF operations. The 360° continuous infrared detection and tracking will increase the situational awareness of the soldier on the ground to bring real-time security against conventional and asymmetrical threats. A single SPYNEL-M sensor can perform 24/7 early human intrusion alerts. Weighing 1.8kg and consuming only 8 watts of power, it can be operated with solar or alternate power supply systems to allow a remote, disconnected operation. Any threat will be detected and tracked at any time from any direction, including hardly detectable targets such as: crawling men, RHIBs, low altitude air targets and UAVs. Being a completely covert and passive system, the SPYNEL-M cannot be detected by intruders, requires no additional illumination and cannot be misled by camouflage or jamming.

Spynel-M was demonstrated on the range on Tuesday evening.

Peli Products UK Ltd

Peli Products UK Ltd are looking forward to exhibiting at Owning The Night 2016. Peli UK will be demonstrating the Peli Remote Area lighting (RALS) at this year’s show, with a range of models lighting up the access to the ERDA. Highly portable, the Peli Remote Area Lighting can be easily carried to wherever they are needed with each unit designed to be set up and running within seconds to meet urgent operational requirements. The units are

powered by rechargeable batteries, require no additional cabling and are silent running. Using the latest technology in LED lighting, the most powerful model in the range provides up to 12,000 lumens of light, while other models offer long battery run times of up to 40 hours. The latest model in the RALS range is the Peli 9490, a self-contained system which is fast and easy to set up. Building on 9430 model, a longer mast, intelligent control and swappable battery packs make this Peli’s most versatile area light to date. The 9490 features a 10 LED head that extends above 1.8 metres to light up a wide area. With a mast that can be rotated and a head angled to direct light to where it is required, the unit has 3 pre-set light levels;

high, medium and low. Preferred run time of up to 24 hours can be selected with the intelligent control mode.

Oxley

On the stand the team Oxley demonstrated its range of night vision lighting that is designed specifically to be used in conjunction with night vision goggles (NVG) for covert military operations. These solutions included NVG friendly, NVIS compatible and Dual Mode (Visible NVG Friendly and IR covert) lighting solutions, the vehicle lighting range we featured on the stand included cabin lighting, task lights and IR driving lights.

“OTN provided a useful platform for Oxley to gain an wider insight into the thinking of the Army in terms of understanding its response to the evolving challenges and a very useful opportunity to meet with Senior Army and networking with the wider industry. The location and the evening demonstration event were also well prepared and received.”

 

Back to article list