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03 Sep 19. Roke becomes a prime partner on the government’s SERAPIS framework. Roke, a world-class innovator in science and engineering, has been chosen as a prime industrial partner on the UK government’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory’s (Dstl) SERAPIS framework.
The six-year research framework – valued up to £300m, will focus on new and mission critical capabilities for C4ISR communication systems and networks, Space systems, synthetic environments, and simulation technology to support human capability development.
Roke will help deliver four Lots
Roke has been awarded Lot 1 ‘Collect’, one of six capability areas. To deliver Lot 1, Roke will leverage its expertise in conventional and novel sensing technologies, Position, Navigation and Timing (PNT), Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) and Human Intelligence (HUMINT) data and information collection capabilities. The team will manage the development and demonstration of new and emerging Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance (ISTAR) ‘Collect’ technology and techniques into the wider defence and cross-government ISTAR enterprise.
Roke will also collaborate with other industry partners to deliver Lot 3 ‘Decide’, Lot 4 ‘Assured Information Infrastructure’ and Lot 6 ‘Understand’ capability areas of the framework.
Paul MacGregor, Managing Director of Roke, commented: “Roke understands the value of reaching out to a skilled and vibrant science and technology community, and SERAPIS will encourage collaboration and increase commercial agility. We’ll draw upon our extensive experience of running large research programmes, involving complex supply chains, to attract and support more innovators in order to assess and accelerate new defence and security capabilities for the UK.”
Paul Kealey, CIS Division Head of Dstl, added: “SERAPIS provides a brilliant new way of working for Dstl that facilitates the delivery of innovative science and technology solutions for our customers. We’re looking forward to working with Roke on the framework. Our aims for SERAPIS include commercial agility, transparency and collaboration. By working together, we’ll be able to grow our supply chain, particularly with small and medium-sized enterprises, to draw on the most diverse talent available and develop battle winning capabilities.”
03 Sep 19. BIRD Aerosystems Introduces MSIS 2.0: A New and Improved Version of its Airborne Mission Management System. BIRD’s MSIS 2.0 includes modern, intuitive and user-friendly interface with advanced multi touch-screen technology, and a simplified visual design that further reduces the operator workload while enhancing the mission effectiveness.
BIRD Aerosystems, the leading developer of Airborne Missile Protection Systems (AMPS) and Special Mission Aircraft Solutions (ASIO), launches the new generation of its Mission Management system (MSIS) – MSIS 2.0. In its improved version, BIRD’s MSIS 2.0 includes modern, intuitive and user-friendly interface with advanced multi touch-screen technology, multi-language support, and an overall simplified visual design that reduces the operator workload to the minimum and enhances situational awareness. Fielded and operational, the improved MSIS is platform-independent, and requires only minimal training to reach expert level operation.
The new MSIS 2.0 is currently integrated on BIRD’s new ASIO Maritime program in Africa that includes special mission aircraft, patrol ships and ground C&C center.
BIRD’s MSIS is the heart of the ASIO special mission aircraft solution, as it collects and processes vast amounts of sensor information, integrating the intelligence process with aerial surveillance, ground and maritime surveillance, target acquisition, data distribution, and reconnaissance tasks. This information is then automatically classified and clearly displayed, using advance data fusion algorithms with an easy-to-use and intuitive human-machine interface.
BIRD’s MSIS 2.0 reduces mission crew workload by display and operation of important aspects of the mission at any given time, enabling the crew to efficiently perform detection and classification of only the relevant targets. MSIS 2.0 addresses all the different aspects of the mission and integrates with BIRD’s pre-mission analysis tools, e.g. OSCAR, that enables efficient mission planning and force allocation.
Ronen Factor, Co-Chief Executive Officer and Founder at BIRD Aerosystems:
“MSIS 2.0 was designed by the most experienced mission operators, and built upon vast operational know-how developed by the company over the years. With the new and improved user-interface, I am confident that MSIS 2.0 will further reduce the operator workload, and enhance the operational experience of our customers.”
02 Sep 19. Perspecta Labs to Develop Blended Radio Frequency System for UAVs. Perspecta Inc. has announced that its innovative applied research arm, Perspecta Labs, was awarded a prime contract from the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) for phases 2 and 3 of the agency’s Converged Collaborative Elements for radio frequency (RF) Task Operations (CONCERTO) program. The award builds upon successful phase 1 implementation and demonstration, has a maximum total ceiling value of $7.5m and has a three-year period of performance. The objective of CONCERTO is to develop, implement and demonstrate a converged RF system and sensor resource manager that controls components of radar, electronic warfare (EW) and communications functions on unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). On the program, Perspecta Labs will further develop its RF resource management solution and will demonstrate its scalability, agility, and applicability in a payload suitable for use on a UAV.
“Perspecta Labs is creating, maturing and demonstrating an innovative solution which will provide the critical RF dominance the U.S. military needs to ensure operational success,” said Petros Mouchtaris, Ph.D., president of Perspecta Labs. “We are excited to leverage our expertise to develop and flight test a solution that performs multi-function operations and increases the capability and agility for mission-essential small and medium-sized UAVs.”
Perspecta Labs’ intelligent RF resource management solution will provide a converged, scalable, wideband RF front end; an easily upgraded, heterogeneous RF processing engine; and will fit within a mature, integrated architecture to support flight testing. (Source: UAS VISION)
02 Sep 19. Volocopter Integrates into ATM System in Helsinki. On August 30, Volocopter performed a flight at the Helsinki International Airport successfully integrated into both the Air Traffic Management (ATM) and Unmanned Aircraft System Traffic Management (UTM) system. Within the Single European Sky ATM Research (SESAR) Programme this demonstration is the final leg of the Gulf of Finland (GOF) u-space project showing how ATM and UTM systems enable Urban Air Mobility (UAM). Urban environments require reliable solutions to enable safe airspace operations given the increasing number of drones and manned aircraft over cities. The GOF U-space flight trial demonstrated how ATM and UTM can act in combination to enable safe and efficient air taxi operation in urban environments, including airports.
Air Traffic Management is an essential part of aviation keeping all air traffic participants in controlled airspace safe and ensuring efficient operations. Today, the system is primarily used by commercial airliners. New aviation technologies such as drones or air taxis plan to fly in the Very Low-Level Airspace (VLL), which is not yet controlled. SESAR is the technological pillar of Europe’s ambitious Single European Sky (SES) initiative to create one coordinated and integrated airspace for commercial, general and drone aviation alike. It pools all EU research and development activities in ATM, with more than 3,000 experts from around the world to develop the new generation of ATM.
“As air traffic continues to rise in number and kinds – especially with the arrival of unmanned aircrafts and air taxis, the technology and rules for using VVL airspace needs updating,“ said project coordinator Maria Tamm from Estonian Air Navigation Services (EANS).
This is where SESAR comes into place and particularly the GOF U-space project for the integration of UTM into the ATM systems or connecting the uncontrolled and controlled airspace. The demonstration at Helsinki airport showed that various systems are ready to safely and efficiently manage air taxi operations, their related services and subsequent interaction within existing aviation and airspace activities.
Volocopter performed a series of tests with three different leading UTM service providers, namely AirMap, Altitude Angel and Unifly participating in the project for UTM systems and services for the VLL airspace. The providers were tested for compatibility, functionality and usability. For the tests, Volocopter integrated the necessary software and hardware (position report sensor) to perform different test scenarios including ground tests, unmanned and piloted flights. It shows that Volocopter can avail itself of a variety of existing UTM services once in operation.
“We are happy to say that all providers we tested were compatible with the Volocopter systems,” said Jan-Hendrik Boelens, CTO of Volocopter: “As a member of the SESAR consortium, we have the rare opportunity to work at the forefront of integrating ATM/UTM with all relevant stakeholders at the table: regulators, airports, air navigation service providers and UTM providers. This pan-European ATM initiative puts another indispensable part of Urban Air Mobility ecosystem into place. We know that air taxi technology is viable: certification has been defined by the EASA, we will build our first VoloPort infrastructure before the year is out and with the GOF U-Space demonstration we have now shown that the existing UTM technologies are viable for UAM. The indispensable aspects of the ecosystem exist, now it’s time to bring Urban Air Mobility to life.”
GOF U-Space will present the result of all trials over the past year in early October in Helsinki and Tallinn respectively. These events are open for the public. The Volocopter will next fly publicly in Stuttgart, Germany on 14 September and present its VoloPort structure later this year in Singapore. (Source: UAS VISION)
02 Sep 19. FAA Establishes Intermittent UAS Restrictions over Select Federal Facilities. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has published NOTAM FDC 9/7752 that will allow for intermittent airspace restrictions of drones at select federal facilities nationwide. The NOTAM is effective from September 1, 2019. Pointer NOTAMs will be issued in advance indicating the sites where intermittent airspace restrictions will apply. These sites can also be found via the FAA’s interactive UAS data visualization tool. Through this tool, operators can identify the status of the airspace:
- When the airspace restrictions are not in effect;
- 24 hours ahead of the airspace restriction going into effect; and
- When the airspace restriction is active.
The specific activation times can also be viewed by clicking on the individual airspace shapes in the interactive map tool. (Source: UAS VISION)
28 Aug 19. Researchers apply big data to managing drone swarms. An academic study examines two big data applications to manage multiple drones in swarms. The Drone Chasing Drones: Reinforcement learning and deep search area proposal published in July 2019 looks at two approaches which support cooperation and pursuit-evasion for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). The first uses vision-based deep learning object detection and reinforcement learning to detect and track a drone by another drone. It relies on a deep convolutional neural network to extract the target pose based on the previous pose and the current frame. The second approach uses a deep object detector and a search area proposal (SAP) to predict the position of the target UAV in the next frame for tracking purposes. This relies on historical detection data from a set of image sequences inputs this data to a SAP algorithm in order to locate the area with a high probability UAV presence. The aim is to develop architecture capable of tracking moving targets using predictions over time from a sequence of previously captured frames.
The study finds both approaches are promising and lead to a higher tracking accuracy overall. The study also finds that the deep SAP-based approach improves the detection of distant objects that cover small areas in the image. The researchers demonstrated their findings in outdoor tracking scenarios using real UAVs to test the proposed algorithms.
The study is published by MDPI, an open-access publisher for academic communities. It is compiled by Moulay A. Akhloufi, Sebastien Arola and Alexandre Bonnet, Perception, Robotics, and Intelligent Machines (PRIME), Department of Computer Science, Université de Moncton, Canada and UPSSITECH, Toulouse, France.
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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.