Sponsored By Oxley Developments
30 Aug 19. ZALA Aero Presents AIVI – a New Technology Based on Artificial Intelligence. At MAKS 2019, ZALA Aero Group will present a new technology based on artificial intelligence system AIVI (Artificial Intelligent Visual Identification). The latest development is an intelligent objects detection and recognition system. AIVI enables aerial video to be analyzed in real-time on the board with description of the class and/or type objects with 360 degrees coverage around and under the UAV.
The newest technology is a system of intelligent detection and recognition of objects by class and type in real time on board the unmanned vehicle with full coverage of the lower hemisphere. The system is used in conjunction with the existing main target loads, while significantly reducing the burden on the operator when performing the task.
The new system uses modular cameras and artificial intelligence for analysis. This is significantly increase the monitoring area more than 60 times per flight and reduces of detection compared to existing methods.
The system is applied in conjunction with current main target payload and reduces the workload on operators during a mission.
- Aerial reconnaissance, marine and ground rescue operations with coordination of ground groups
- Search and rescue in dense vegetation or any populated areas
- Environmental monitoring, detection seats of fires, non-licensed dumpsites, deforestation, oil spills, etc.
- Detection the required object’s type or class in cities, towns or wooded areas.
- Reduces time of detection compared to existing methods
- Increasing the efficiency of monitoring area more than 60 times per flight
- Reduces the workload on operator
- Artificial intelligent processing in real-time onboard the aircraft
- The design of this system allows to receive an integrated 360 degrees complex image from multiple cameras
- Detection and recognition of hidden objects at 90 ° vertical camera angle
- Real-time video stream processing without transferring a large amount of data.
- Image recognition by artificial intelligence software platform
- Recognition and classification of up to 1000 static and moving objects
- 100 megapixels orthomosaics creation instantaneously
AIVI technology allows to produce a photo plan without participation of operator onboard the UAV with minimum time delay. (Source: UAS VISION)
30 Aug 19. HiDRON Stratospheric Glider UAS Reaches 30km. Stratodynamics and UAVOS have announced their pioneering flight of the HiDRON stratospheric glider. The HiDRON successfully reached a new altitude of 30 km (98,450 feet) breaking their previous 25km record. The flight demonstrated the team’s capability to perform beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) operations with a UAV at high altitudes.
The August 2nd night flight was the first of two flights commissioned to test a new AMON Airglow detector from Stratodynamics client, the Slovak Academy of Sciences Institute of Experimental Physics.
This international collaboration is the culmination of 7 months of planning between Stratodynamics and lead physicists, Pavol Bobik, Simon Mackovjak, and UAV pioneer, UAVOS. The Slovakian team was searching for a cost effective method to allow the AMON Airglow detector to have a clear view of the zenith and the nadir while unencumbered by a weather balloon. The AMON is planned to be an ancillary instrument for EUSO-SPB2 (Extreme Universe Space Observatory) mission that will fly on a long duration NASA balloon flight in 2022.
The HiDRON offered the perfect solution for the campaign as it’s programmable flight path back enabled an unobstructed view upwards from the stratosphere, and returned the valuable instrument back to the launch location.
All went according to plan with the UAVOS ground crew in the early hours of Thursday August 2nd as the HiDRON was lifted by balloon to the 30km target altitude and released in -60° C (-76° F) stratospheric winds. Despite the harsh environment, the HiDRON performed well with real time data transmitting to the ground station during the 4 hour controlled descent.
In addition to the AMON detector, Stratodynamics and UAVOS used the flight opportunity to test and advance aspects of the HiDRON design including stratospheric flight dynamics, data links, and UAVOS’ Micro Version AP10.3 auto-pilot.
STRATODYNAMICS acknowledges funding contributions from LookNORTH to demonstrate BVLOS technology for unmanned systems.
A second AMON flight is scheduled for August 31 from the Canadian Space Agency’s STRATOS Balloon Base in Timmins, Ontario. This time the glider will be released from the Canadian Space Agency’s (CSA) scientific gondola at an altitude of 35 km, a new milestone for the HiDRON. The data collected during Timmins flight in 2019 will be used for comparison with the results from EUSO-Balloon mission that operated in the same region in 2014. This campaign represents a first in North America for a stratospheric glider releasing from a scientific gondola.
Gary Pundsack, CEO Stratodynamics Aviation Inc.:
“We are extremely pleased with the performance and outcome of this recent 30 km milestone. Stratodynamics has proven to be a valuable partner with the Slovak Academy’s investigations into nighttime airglow. Our unique method of collecting high-quality large datasets from hard to reach locations offers clients new, cost effective access to stratospheric altitudes. We look forward to the follow up launch with our collaborators at the Canadian Space Agency.”
PI, Dr. Pavol Bobik, scientist at Slovak Academy of Science:
“We appreciate flexibility, excellent customer support, professionalism and willingness of Stratodynamics during our campaign”.
UAVOS Board Member and CEO Aliaksei Stratsilatau:
“HiDRON is a real solution to advance the important research around climate change and other atmospheric chemistry problems. The HiDRON provides solutions for tough problems that affect all of humankind, which is why it is such a necessary platform for researchers.” (Source: UAS VISION)
29 Aug 19. How one teenager took out a secure Pentagon file sharing site. By last October, the Pentagon’s Vulnerability Disclosure Program had processed thousands of loopholes in the Department of Defense’s websites. Then it received a report from Jack Cable.
On Oct. 25, Cable, who worked for the Defense Digital Service and was a freshman at Stanford University, reported a problem to the department through the Pentagon’s HackerOne vulnerability disclosure page.
Typically, vulnerabilities sent to the DoD through a disclosure program operated by HackerOne, an ethical hacking company that manages reporting programs for various organizations, require a simple reconfiguration or software patch. Of the 16 problems reported to the DoD on the average day, 11 tend to require action by the Pentagon, Kris Johnson, director of the Vulnerability Disclosure Program (VDP) at the DoD’s Cyber Crime Center (DC3), told Fifth Domain in an exclusive interview.
Cable has quite the list of accomplishments. In 2018, TIME Magazine ranked him as one of the Top 25 most influential teens. At age 17, he found 30 vulnerabilities in Air Force websites during the 2017 rendition of the “Hack the Air Force” competition. He ended up winning the contest.
For this contest, Cable was trying to hack the Army’s file-sharing system that was used to send files too large to send over email. The system was formally known as the Army Aviation and Missile Research Development and Engineering Center Safe Access File Exchange (AMRDEC SAFE) and had been used since “around 2001,” according to an Army spokesperson.
But what Cable found in the DoD’s secure filing system stood out. He discovered a vulnerability known as an “insecure direct object reference,” which involves brute forcing reference numbers in the URL to access different files without authentication.
For a secure file sharing system holding files up to 2 gigabytes, the implications would be severe if exploited. This is the story of SAFE’s mysterious disappearance and how defense organizations took down the system that was used to transfer approximately 11,000 packages a day, or 4.1 million files a year for 600,000 unique users.
“If properly exploited you could bypass two-factor authentication and you could jump from package to package within the ARMDEC website and then download,” Johnson said.
In other words, attackers could move through all the files loaded on the SAFE website unencumbered.
Action was swift. On Nov. 1, the site was disabled. SAFE’s construction had critical flaws. And as a result, the Pentagon took the file sharing site offline for four months.
“This is one of the rare examples of a website that had some architecture designs on the back end that really had to be brought down and have some core components rebuilt in order to mitigate the vulnerabilities,” Johnson said.
Johnson said that his team contacted Cable hours after he reported the vulnerability. Over the following days, Cable and Johnson’s team reviewed the vulnerability and confirmed it was real.
Together they created a step-by-step replication of the vulnerability, submitted it to the Joint Force Headquarters Department of Defense Information Network (JFHQ-DoDIN) and to Army Cyber Command.
How bad was the problem? To categorize vulnerabilities, the DC3 VDP uses the Common Vulnerability Scoring System to score the severity of the loophole. This system rates each vulnerability from “low” to “critical.” This vulnerability was scored as “critical.” DC3 VDP itself was created in 2016 and tasked with improving network defenses on public facing DoD websites using ethical hackers.
Attackers could’ve accessed “unclassified information, but it could be ‘for official use only.’ Some of the data could’ve contained [personally] identifiable information, and also your personal health information as well,” Johnson said. “It could have been a wide variety of data … if exploited, it could’ve been a bad day. But thankfully, we got to it before anyone else did.”
Johnson then went to JFHQ-DoDIN, which is responsible for the daily defense of DoD’s networks, and subsequently Army Cyber Command, both of which took the report from the vulnerability team seriously. The issue was also raised all the way up to U.S. Cyber Command.
“It was an immediate reaction,” Johnson said. “There was no hesitation or delay on this vulnerability, which is why it gained such quick traction [and] we were able to close it down before anything happened.”
The site returned online around Valentine’s Day.
“Because of the nature of it and how widely it was used, I believe there was a decision made to really to want to mitigate that risk of exposing any time of data on the backside of SAFE to any adversary or anybody who would want to take that information,” Johnson said.
In November, Fifth Domain reported that AMRDEC SAFE was “disabled as a preventative measure after outside agencies identified potential security risks.” The Army told Fifth Domain in February that the website was kept down “not due to the potential vulnerabilities, but due to issues with sustainment and maintenance capabilities.”
Johnson said that subsequent testing on the system found that the vulnerability Cable discovered had not been exploited.
Cable was not paid for his discovery.
“Our program is built upon reputation points,” Johnson said. “So when you submit vulnerabilities for us, if they’re of high quality and they’re valid, then we give reputation points.”
These reputation scores can then get hackers invited to participate in paid programs.
Johnson added the SAFE disclosure emphasized the importance of white hat hackers for DoD’s safety online, saying he doesn’t “believe that the DoD would ever truly be able to effectively employ enough people or to have enough systems on the line to cover every single aspect of it.”
Leaders at Army Cyber Command concurred.
“This was a good example of how across the public and private sector, ethical hacking and bug bounties can help to save time and resources to find technical vulnerabilities, quickly remediate, and persistently harden cybersecurity defenses,” Army Cyber Command said in a statement.
On Aug. 15, DISA launched its own secure file sharing system. That same day, AMRDEC SAFE was taken offline for good. (Source: C4ISR & Networks)
29 Aug 19. Collins Aerospace deepens engagement with C-130H programme. L3Harris Technologies has selected Collins Aerospace as a subcontractor for a programme to deliver an integrated avionic system for the modernisation of the US Air Force C-130H Hercules transports.
The Flight2 integrated avionics systems will be delivered for the Avionics Modernization Program Increment 2 (AMP INC 2), which will result in 176 Air National Guard (ANG) and Air Force Reserve C-130H aircraft being updated with the suite to replace a series of analogue instruments currently on board.
This is the most recent work awarded to Collins Aerospace for the C-130H programme, having already provided the Flight2 avionics suite for other examples of the type, as well as providing other subsystems such as propellers, wheels, brakes, secure communications, head-up displays/enhanced vision systems, and advanced cargo-loading systems. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
29 Aug 19. DARPA is seeking a giant tunnel for ‘underground experimentation.’ DARPA is seeking a giant tunnel for ‘underground experimentation.’ The US Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has filed a request for information on a large unused tunnel system it can use for underground experimentation.
In a series of tweets, the agency said: “Attention, city dwellers! We’re interested in identifying university-owned or commercially managed underground urban tunnels & facilities able to host research and experimentation.
“The ideal space would be a human-made underground environment spanning several city blocks with complex layout & multiple stories, including atriums, tunnels & stairwells. Spaces that are currently closed off from pedestrians or can be temporarily used for testing are of interest.”
DARPA tweeted the request on Wednesday with the deadline for suggestions being this Friday. The agency told Army Technology the information would be used for information and planning purposes.
According to documents DARPA is looking to research ‘state-of-the-art in innovative technologies’ that it can use to better leverage the underground domain.
The agency is looking to test systems that can ‘rapidly map, navigate, and search unknown complex subterranean environments to locate objects of interest’.
DARPA has not specifically said what experiments it will use the tunnels for, but they may be used to test innovations from its Subterranean (SubT) Challenge which has tasked industry with creating solutions to make entering tunnels safer for soldiers.
DARPA told Army Technology that the information would be used to help teams involved in the SubT challenge identify locations where they can test systems in advance of the ‘Urban Circuit’ event in February of 2020.
On its SubT Challenge site, DARPA says: “Complex underground settings present significant challenges for military and civilian first responders. The hazards vary drastically across domains that can degrade or change over time and are often too high-risk for personnel to enter.
“The DARPA Subterranean or SubT Challenge seeks novel approaches to rapidly map, navigate, and search underground environments during time-sensitive combat operations or disaster response scenarios.”
The requirements for the SubT Challenge are similar to the experiments described in DARPA’s request for information on potential underground testing areas.
The winner of the challenge will receive $2m in the final event, with additional prizes on offer. To win, the solution will have to traverse a circuit made up of man-made caves, mass-transit systems and naturally occurring cave networks.
The US military, throughout its history, has had trouble dealing with caves in conflicts from WWII and Vietnam to Afghanistan and Syria, with enemy combatants using them to hide troop movements and shelter from air raids.
Entering cave networks presents soldiers with a host of unknowns making missions more dangerous. New underground solutions developed as a result of DARPA’s research could help increase survivability by improving troops knowledge of the environment they are about to enter and what they can expect to come up against. (Source: army-technology.com)
27 Aug 19. Could chip-sized atomic clocks replace GPS? Extremely small atomic clocks could hold the key for alternative timing data in GPS denied environments, and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency said they’re making progress in creating highly accurate prototypes.
One way to make Department of Defense systems less reliant on satellite-based GPS is to include precise clocks within systems such as vehicles or precision guided munitions. Size, weight and power constraints mean the most accurate internal clocks are too large and unwieldy, but atomic clocks the size of computer chips have been developed that can be used int Department of Defense systems.
While chip-sized atomic clock technology is available commercially, the technology is far from perfect. In reducing their size, weight and power, the clocks become less accurate than their larger, traditional counterparts. Improving the accuracy of chip-scale atomic clocks is key to providing a reliable backup or replacement of GPS timing data for the Department of Defense.
Enter DARPA’s Atomic Clock with Enhanced Stability program, or ACES. With ACES, DARPA is developing next generation, battery-powered chip-scale atomic cocks with 1,000 times improved performance―no easy task.
“Shrinking atomic clocks from large cesium beam tubes to chip-scale devices without eroding performance requires a rethinking of a number of critical components, including vacuum pumps and optical isolators as well as new approaches to component integration,” said John Burke, the program manager leading ACES, in the announcement.
It’s an ambitious goal, but on Aug. 20 DARPA announced that three teams working on the problem were making progress.
One team headed up by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory has demonstrated an experimental chip-sized atomic clock that meets the target metrics set out in ACES. The new atomic clock is immune to temperature and environmental issues, DARPA officials said, making them 100 times better than what was previously available.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology has also succeeded in developing a miniature atomic clock―this one the size of three small chips and some supporting equipment. The experimental clock uses far less power than current chip-sized atomic clocks and provides 50 times better accuracy. A third team led by Honeywell has shown success in developing precision atomic sensors which can support atomic clock miniaturization.
“The target metrics we outlined for the ACES program are lofty, but as we enter the third phase of the program, researchers are already demonstrating engineering successes including reduced SWaP, lab-proven atomic clock technologies, as well as early prototypes of future clock architectures,” said Burke.
Work on those efforts continues, and DARPA claims that advancements in fabrication has reduced some of the high costs associated with building chip-sized atomic computers.
Developing alternative PNT systems for when GPS is denied has long been a priority for the military,
The main source of PNT data is the GPS satellite constellation, which supplies that information globally via satellite signal. Specifically, the highly accurate timing data provided through GPS is vital for many DoD platforms, from communications to navigation to platform coordination. It also has many civilian applications, such as commerce and banking.
GPS remains the gold standard for PNT data, but it’s vulnerable. Adversaries have developed jamming technologies that can block GPS signals, and the satellites themselves could, theoretically, be attacked or disabled. While the Air Force is working to make the GPS signal more robust with the launch of a new generation of GPS satellites and the development of M-Code. But full M-Code is still years away, and even then the satellites remain vulnerable to attack.
ACES is just one part of that effort to find alternative sources of PNT. Other agencies and services are developing their own ways to provide or verify alternative PNT, such as the Space Development Agency’s desire to build an alternative PNT layer in their proposed proliferated constellation of small satellites. ACES and these other efforts are essential for reducing reliance on GPS and diversifying the military’s PNT data. (Source: C4ISR & Networks)
28 Aug 19. Innovate UK, as part of the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF), has up to £12m to invest in innovative projects exploiting new quantum technologies and is seeking private investment partners to join it. New quantum technologies could transform products and services in many business sectors including automotive, healthcare, infrastructure, telecommunications, cyber security and defence.
Quantum physics is at the heart of the electronics, media, computing and infrastructure systems we use in everyday life.
A second generation of quantum technologies based on new quantum effects could lead to more secure digital communication, improved construction and radical increases in computing power.
The UK government’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF) Commercialising Quantum Technologies Challenge is a £153m investment in projects that will help the UK to lead the world in development of these new technologies.
Innovate UK, as part of UK Research and Innovation, has up to £12m from the fund to invest in innovative research and development projects in the field. It is seeking investors willing to partner it by helping to find suitable businesses, managing the grant allocation and investing their own private equity capital.
The aim is to improve access to financial and commercial support for SMEs developing innovative quantum technologies.
Aim is to invest in quantum technologies with clear potential
The aim of the partnership is to invest in quantum technologies that would not otherwise be supported within an investor’s risk strategy and to support innovations that have clear potential to be adopted at scale. Innovate UK is seeking investors that:
- demonstrate the interest, capability and capacity needed to invest in early-stage companies, including university spin-outs and businesses looking for their first investment opportunities
- demonstrate the ability to add value beyond their investment
- commit to helping the company grow and scale
- have access to relevant sector and technology-specific expertise
Phase 2 of the competition will see successful investors work with Innovate UK the ISCF to fund a broad range of SMEs working on promising projects that exploit the new generation of quantum technologies including:
- connectivity: techniques for securing data in storage and in flight
- situational awareness: this includes autonomous systems, sensors and detectors for the built environment, transport and infrastructure, and imaging and sensing to “see things currently invisible”
- computing: transformational computers for solving currently intractable problems
Funded business projects are expected to range in size between £250,000 and £2m.
- the competition opens on 19 August 2019, and the deadline for registration is at midday on 25 September 2019
- it is open to equity providers holding a full UK registration at Companies House including charities and trusts with the power to make investments
- investors can apply for a grant allocation of between £2m and £12m and must demonstrate they can invest at least an equal sum into companies
- a briefing event takes place on 27 August 2019
Find out more about this competition and apply. (Source: Defence Online)
28 Aug 19. Skyborg: the US Air Force’s future AI fleet. The US Air Force is flying at supersonic speeds towards an AI-enabled fleet. Under project Skyborg’s direction, future fighter jets won’t be supported by a wingman, but by an unmanned combat aerial vehicle. Harry Lye finds out more about the unmanned wingman of the future. Finger four has been the dominant fighter aircraft formation since the 1930s. The world’s most advanced fighter jet, the Lockheed Martin F-35, costs around $100m per jet. Four of these in formation means almost half a billion dollars of hardware in the air (not including the per hour cost of flying them). Losing just one fighter would be catastrophic for the US Air Force’s budget.
The US Air Force’s (USAF) project Skyborg aims to address this cost risk by replacing some of these expensive fighter jets with more affordable unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAVs) acting as unmanned wingmen.
Teaming up with drones
Under the project, the Kratos-built XQ-58 Valkyrie drone will team up with the F-35 and F-15EX, cutting the number of highly valuable fighters in the air, as well as cutting costs and risk to human life. At a cost of a few million dollars per unit, the autonomous Valkyrie drones are more easily replaceable, and could form a central role in the USAF’s air power. The F-35 is billed as a force-multiplier; when partnered with a Valkyrie it could get a new capability boost.
Skyborg program manager Ben Tran explained the significance of the program: “There is heavy investment by our near-peer adversaries in artificial intelligence (AI) and autonomy in general. We know that when you couple autonomy and AI with systems like low-cost attritables, that can increase capability significantly and be a force multiplier for our air force. The 2023 goal line is our attempt at bringing something to bear in a relatively quick time frame to show that we can bring that kind of capability to the fight.”
With Skyborg the manned aircraft is the centre of the network, with the drones augmenting around it. Think of the fighter as Skynet and the Valkyrie UCAV as the T-100, only with added wings and less Arnold Schwarzenegger. AI will govern the autonomous wingman, reading telemetry, flight plans and weather, all the while acquiring targets and supporting the manned aircraft.
Cultural questions facing the air force
If an autonomous combat drone is to act as a wingman who pulls the trigger? The US, UK, and Russia have pushed against the UN trying to ban autonomous killing machines, which gives a clue to where the Pentagon is currently leaning.
With the adoption of autonomous systems becoming imminent, armed forces will need to confront serious ethical issues. On the one hand, it makes sense to give the drone trigger control. A pilot in an F-35 performing counter-manoeuvres to avoid an enemy fighter may not have time to pull the trigger. On the other, if an AI system accidentally fires at a civilian site who is held accountable?
The pilot, of the networked fighter, or someone higher up the staffing chain. The US Air Force has not said it plans to give the Skyborg drones control of any weapons systems, but this could be regarded as the natural evolution of the system in the future.
Human pilots know how to fly with other humans, operating with fundamentally similar instincts. An autonomous vehicle does not have these same instincts. This means the US Air Force will need to figure out how to train pilots to work with AI.
As Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics, Dr Will Roper, told Defense News: “We need to understand when the machine will be at its best and when the human will be at its best. We will need to get the person trained to have an instinct for AI just like they have an instinct for stealth”.
Automation tends to shake up every industry it touches, and the military is no different. To deal with this inevitable disruption, the air force will need to assess how far autonomous capabilities can go in complementing the existing and proven use of manned fighters. As the technology evolves the question may evolve from how autonomy can complement fighter jets to whether it should replace them.
Breaking through technological barriers
The F-35 is still in production but due for upgrades in 2020, which could open doors for the integration of AI integrating systems such as those developed under Skyborg. Both Lockheed Martin and Boeing are already working with the military to bring AI into their fighter platforms.
Air Force Research Lab aerospace systems directorate engineer Matt Duquette explained the scope of the system: “Skyborg is a vessel for AI technologies that could range from rather simple algorithms to fly the aircraft and control them in airspace to the introduction of more complicated levels of AI to accomplish certain tasks or subtasks of the mission.”
A major issue to solve is getting the AI up to speed. Skyborg requires more advanced systems than are currently available on the market. The system not only has to be more sophisticated than any AI available now, but also has be developed for a world that understands how it works. If the AI is too predictable, it is easily to beat, rendering it useless in a combat setting.
Other investments in AI and unmanned aerial systems may help pave the way for this technology. Recently, the US Air Force tested a drone swarm system called PERDIX, which involves fighter aircraft dropping arm-length drones that then network together and form patterns using AI to disrupt enemy systems. The UK’s Dstl has also begun development of an unmanned system designed to complement its airpower in a similar style to how Skyborg will work. Dstl’s plans call for a lightweight affordable novel combat aircraft to be paired with the F-35.
While current AI cannot match the instincts of seasoned pilots, current research and investment trends across the military sector show a clear trend towards automation. With projects such as Skyborg pushing the limits of capability, it won’t be long before we see autonomous aircraft take to the skies, be it in a defensive or offensive capacity. (Source: airforce-technology.com)
27 Aug 19. Sonardyne demonstrates Sentinel diver and UUV tracking at ANTX. Underwater maritime security specialist Sonardyne Inc. will present its advanced unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV) tracking results at the Advanced Naval Technology Exercise (ANTX) this week in Newport, Rhode Island. The event’s attendees will be shown the results of recent trials which tested Sonardyne’s Sentinel Intruder Detection Sonar (IDS) against elite US Navy divers and small UUVs. Specifically, the strength of Sentinel IDS’ combined active and passive intruder detection sonar for ship and harbour security, against even the smallest UUVs, will be demonstrated.
Sentinel is the undisputed leader in the IDS field. Since its introduction, it has been used in critical national infrastructure (CNI), vessel and VIP protection duties around the world. Sentinel IDS detects, tracks and classifies a wide range of threats including divers, swimmer delivery vehicles (SDVs) and UUVs, when approaching a protected asset from any direction. It then alerts security personnel to the threat.
ANTX has become a key naval technology collaboration, development and demonstration event in the US calendar, bringing together more than 1,000 naval, academic and industry attendees at the US Naval Undersea Warfare Center’s (NUWC) Narragansett Bay Test Facility (NBTF) in Newport. The NBTF is a test and evaluation facility designed to support research and development work in advanced underwater weapons and weapons systems, weapon launchers, UUVs and oceanographic equipment.
Ahead of the event, Sonardyne collaborated with the BAE Systems’ UUV team and navy divers to test its Sentinel IDS system.
Dan Zatezalo, Technical Sales Manager, manager – US Maritime and Defense – Sonardyne, says, “ANTX is a great event for collaboration. Not only have we had US Navy divers swimming against our Sentinel IDS system, but also BAE Systems put its Riptide vehicle in the water. This let us collect some really good data which we have already used to further improve our Sentinel algorithms for detecting UUVs.
“This year’s theme at ANTX is ‘Prepare for Battle: Undersea Security’ and that’s exactly what we offer. We have the tools for navies, defence and security organisations to do just that. With the ability to detect targets at ranges of up to 1,500 m, Sentinel takes reliable, long-range underwater intruder detection to a new level.”
The ANTX opening ceremony is Wednesday, August 28 with the ANTX Exercises run throughout Thursday August 29.
27 Aug 19. Fortem Technologies Teams with Hewlett Packard for Airspace Security Solution. Fortem Technologies, Inc. has signed an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) agreement with Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) to deliver an industry-first custom package of drone solutions to integrate with any drone platform for public infrastructure, venues and cities requiring advanced security and data processing to protect against ground and airborne threats. New solutions combine Fortem’s industry-leading SkyDome software and TrueView radar to detect, track, categorize and assess threats, with the HPE ProLiant DL20 Gen10 servers which deliver security, high performance and versatility. The solution works in private secured networks or in protected cloud settings.
“The need for safety and security in an autonomous world has never been greater. We are proud to collaborate with HPE on creating a solution that provides total environmental awareness through airspace digitization, along with a powerful data solution that gives customers an unprecedented ability to understand what is in their environment and whether it poses a threat,” said Timothy Bean, CEO of Fortem Technologies. “This joint effort will provide peace of mind for vulnerable locations that need to protect themselves from the potential of ground and airborne threats, whether intended or accidental.”
“We are committed to improving the way we live and work, and a great example of that is our collaboration with innovative partner Fortem Technologies. Together, we are empowering a safer world with Fortem’s significant solution to detect and control airborne threats and transform airspace security,” said Phillip Cutrone, vice president and general manager, Worldwide OEM at HPE. “Through our collaboration with Fortem, combining its targeted security and drone tracking solutions for airborne activity, with HPE ProLiant Gen10 servers, the world’s most secure industry standard servers, the industry is gaining advanced airspace security solution to track and protect against emerging threats.”(Source: UAS VISION)
26 Aug 19. The semantics of disinformation. The modern media landscape is awash in false, misleading or tampered information designed to look real, from networks of bots amplifying false content on social media to the looming threat posed by altered video and audio. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is looking for technology to detect evidence of manipulation in text, audio, image and video, releasing a broad agency announcement Aug. 23 for a project called SemaFor.
The program, short for Semantic Forensics, is designed to focus on the small but common errors produced by automated systems that manipulate media content. One such example provided by the agency is a generative adversarial network, which uses a database of real headshot photographs to create a synthetic person with mismatched earrings.
Methods for detecting fake media that rely on purely statistical detection do exist, but are quickly becoming insufficient as manipulation technologies continue to advance and develop new ways to fool such models. Instead, DARPA believes that because current media manipulation tools rely heavily on ingesting and processing large amounts of data, they are more prone to making semantic errors that can be spotted with the right algorithm.
“These semantic failures provide an opportunity for defenders to gain an asymmetric advantage,” DARPA writes. “A comprehensive suite of semantic inconsistency detectors would dramatically increase the burden on media falsifiers, requiring the creators of falsified media to get every semantic detail correct, while defenders only need to find one, or a very few, inconsistencies.”
The project is split up into four technical areas: detection; attribution and characterization; explanation and integration; and evaluation and challenge curation. DARPA wants to make sure any algorithm developed from the project will outperform comparable manual processes and also be able to demonstrate how it reached its conclusions.
The agency also wants to keep a tight lid on some of the technical details of the project, saying it will treat program activities as controlled technical information (CTI). That means that even though such details are not classified, contractors would be barred from sharing or releasing it to other parties since it could “reveal sensitive or even classified capabilities and/or vulnerabilities of operating systems.”
The base algorithm itself will not be categorized as CTI, as DARPA says it will “constitute advances to the state of the art” and would only potentially fall under the definition after it had been trained for a specific DOD or governmental purpose.
“A key goal of the program is to establish an open, standards-based, multisource, plug-and-play architecture that allows for interoperability and integration,” the announcement states. “This goal includes the ability to easily add, remove, substitute, and modify software and hardware components in order to facilitate rapid innovation by future developers and users.” (Source: Defense Systems)
Oxley Group Ltd
Oxley specialises in the design and manufacture of advanced electronic and electro-optic components and systems for air, land and sea applications within the military sector. Established in 1942, Oxley has manufacturing facilities in the UK and USA and enjoys representation worldwide. The company’s products include night vision and LED lighting, data capture systems and electronic components. Oxley has pioneered the development of night vision compatible lighting. It offers a total package incorporating optical filters, equipment modification, cockpit and external lighting along with fleet wide upgrade services including engineering, installation, support, maintenance and training. The company’s long experience of manufacturing night vision lighting and LED indicators, coupled with advances in LED technology, has enabled it to develop LED solutions to replace incandescent and fluorescent lighting in existing applications as well as becoming the lighting option of choice in new applications such as portable military hospitals, UAV control stations and communication shelters.