Sponsored By Oxley Developments
06 May 20. Artificial Intelligence Powers Novel ISR Capability for Operations in Denied Communications Environments. U.S. Air Force, Lockheed Martin Skunk Works Team to Advance Warfighter Effectiveness in Contested Battlespace. In partnership with the Air Force Test Pilot School, Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT) Skunk Works® successfully demonstrated an autonomous Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) system to enhance operational effectiveness for the warfighter in denied communications environments.
“As a remotely piloted aircraft pilot, having the opportunity to test an emerging technology and see it perform functions required for operations in denied communications environments sparks the imagination of what is possible in future ISR systems,” said Capt. Josh Rountree, Test Management Project Lead at the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School.
Leveraging the power of artificial intelligence, the autonomous ISR system, integrated into an F-16 through a Lockheed Martin-developed pod solution, was able to detect and identify the location of the target, automatically route to the target, and capture an image to confirm the target in a simulated, denied communications environment. Using an autonomous ISR system to penetrate contested environments and gather critical intelligence for effective decision making when standard communication between systems is not an option keeps the warfighter out of harm’s way while still achieving mission objectives.
“As the battlespace becomes increasingly contested, human-machine teams will enable operators to collect critical intelligence in denied communications environments, ensuring our warfighters get information they need when they need it,” said George Hellstern, Lockheed Martin Skunk Works® program manager for artificial intelligence solutions. “We are proud to partner to advance a novel capability, allowing the warfighter to adapt in a rapidly changing operational environment and still get critical data to perform the mission.”
Lockheed Martin Skunk Works has decades of experience developing trusted autonomous and artificial intelligence technologies to help humans maximize safety, performance and situational awareness across land, sea, air, space and cyber domains. As new threats emerge, autonomous and artificial intelligence technologies will enable collaborative operations between the human-machine team to project power in the face of an increasingly contested environment. (Source: ASD Network)
05 May 20. Auterion Launches Skynode to Accelerate the Development of Enterprise-Ready Products for Drone Manufacturers. Auterion, the leading open-source-based software platform provider for enterprise and government drones, today announced the release of Skynode, a first-of-its-kind reference design of a fully integrated and connected family of drone avionics modules. Offering benefits for manufacturers, Skynode streamlines the process of bringing enterprise-ready drones to market or retrofit existing products by helping to lower costs, save time, and reduce overall risk. Skynode breaks through the complexity of integrating drone hardware and software while leveraging the full capabilities and features of Auterion’s enterprise software platform.
Built by the creators of Pixhawk, the industry’s de-facto standard for drone hardware autopilots, Skynode leverages more than a decade of industry development and experience. It combines the latest Pixhawk flight controller (FMUv5x standard), mission computer, and wireless networking (LTE, WiFi). It also comes pre-installed with the Auterion Enterprise PX4 operating system, providing a comprehensive payload SDK, the communication interface for remote operations, and real-time video over LTE. Skynode also enables obstacle detection and avoidance, VIO positioning, Remote ID, and UTM. Skynode is directly integrated with the Auterion Cloud that enables predictive maintenance, aircraft and pilot management, compliance reports, and integrations into existing business workflows.
“Built on top of open standards like FMUv5x, PX4, and MAVLink, Skynode with Auterion PX4 enables drone manufacturers to rapidly enter new markets by making their products compatible with an ecosystem of payloads, components, services, and workflow integrations that give companies the tools they need to deploy large fleets of drones,“ said Lorenz Meier, co-founder of Auterion.
Skynode will launch in four configurations: an enterprise module, a module certified for U.S. government users, the core board for tighter airframe integration, and a version built by launch partner GE Aviation with Run-time Assurance (RTA) for drone operations that go beyond what Part 107 allows and require special waivers. The Skynode design can also be licensed to Auterion customers to build their own implementations for even deeper integration.
“GE Aviation’s new RTA product, combined with the Skynode reference design, is available to drone manufacturers and operators and will help them meet regulatory requirements for a multitude of BVLOS missions and flights over people including commercial and humanitarian deliveries, mapping and inspections,” said Larry Martin, vice president of Avionics Systems for GE Aviation.
Made in the U.S., Skynode is designed and built with the flexibility to meet ever-evolving standards in the U.S. drone regulatory landscape. Skynode engineering samples are available now upon request. Inquiries about the use of the design can be directed to www.auterion.com/skynode starting today. (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)
04 May 20. Maritime Display Framework. Cambridge Pixel has developed a Maritime Display Framework (MDF) application, providing developers with an extended source code example which may be customised and enhanced to meet project-specific requirements. The MDF is written in C# and is designed for development of a Windows WPF-based client application. The application demonstrates the use of Cambridge Pixel’s core SPx libraries for radar video and track data display on a moving platform, providing a solid foundation for customisation.
The MDF application includes the following features:
- Radar video and track receipt and display
- Navigation data receipt
- S57 chart display
- True/relative motion display modes
- North-up, heading-up and course-up display referencing
- Secondary PPI displays
- Camera video receipt and display
05 May 20. BAE Australia supports Boeing’s Loyal Wingman Australian industry team. BAE Systems has been selected to supply the unmanned flight vehicle management solution and simulation capability for the Loyal Wingman – Advanced Development Program led by Boeing Australia for the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF). The company is also delivering flight control computers and navigation equipment.
BAE Systems Australia Chief Executive Officer, Gabby Costigan, said:
“I am delighted to be working with Boeing Australia to bring a new defence capability to life that also offers enormous potential for the RAAF as well as future export markets.
“This project highlights our commitment to leading the development of new technologies and collaborating to advance autonomous capabilities. It is also an exciting opportunity to work together again, delivering a world-leading program using home-grown engineering expertise.”
BAE Systems Australia joins over 35 Australian companies in manufacturing the first military aircraft in Australia in more than 50 years. The aircraft rolled out today is the first of three prototypes for Australia’s Loyal Wingman program and serves as the foundation for the Boeing Airpower Teaming System product being developed for the global defence market.
BAE Systems Australia has worked with Boeing on a number of projects over the past 30 years. Both companies have a shared national heritage having partnered on a number of early unmanned flight vehicles. They include the Jindivik and Turana Target Drones, GTV Glide Bomb and the Ikara unmanned torpedo delivery system.
Boeing was also a valued contributor to the development of the BAE Systems’ Nulka and a supplier of leading edge composite technology and parts into BAE Systems for the Australian component of the NATO Evolved SeaSparrow Missile program.
The relationship with Boeing for this game changing project will help grow BAE Systems’ Autonomous Systems and Advanced Payload groups with the creation of more than 50 jobs across engineering and manufacturing in Victoria and South Australia with scope for further work generated by export opportunities.
Boeing Airpower Teaming System program director, Shane Arnott, said:
“The Loyal Wingman is a historic development program for the Australian aerospace industry, Boeing and our entire industry team, and we’ve worked together with speed and agility to deliver this smart unmanned aircraft.
“We’ve leveraged the skills of the local supply chain to build a Loyal Wingman that will work together with other airpower teaming assets to provide an unmatched capability for Australia and for our global customers.” (Source: ASD Network)
01 May 20. Commercial off-the-shelf software is becoming more common in the defence industry, with Armed Forces and Industry exploiting its potential to make better decisions. Harry Lye attended a Command PE training event to find out how the software is being used by the armed forces.
In January, at the BAE Systems headquarters in Farnborough, around a hundred people from across the world huddle around laptops, learning how they can use Command PE, a commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) defence simulator, to improve the way they model various elements of military operations.
Delegates from the US Marine Corp (USMC), US Air Force (USAF), the UK’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl), the German Luftwaffe and the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), to name a few, all participated to learn the ins and outs of the software during the week-long conference.
At the event, Iain McNeil of Slitherine Games, the company behind Command PE, spoke about the massive growth of interest from military and industry in COTS software for defence simulations. Three years ago, when Slitherine began running events to train users, the first conference had six attendees; in January there were over 100.
Unique applications and requirements
Representing industry at the event were BAE Systems, Improbable and Microsoft among others, all bringing different applications and requirements for the software to the table. As one member of the USAF told us, one application the air force was looking into was modelling aircraft loads and the effects on range.
Acting as a bridge between users and developers of Command PE is the University of Dayton Research Institute (UDRI), which is using COTS simulations to improve early science and technology research, so those in the defence industry can make better decisions faster.
At the core of this approach is how Command PE allows the engineer and the warfighter to sit next to each other when modelling concepts, rather than the warfighter making a request and the engineer delivering a model months later that may not work. The aim of using software such as Command is to facilitate collaboration and speed up decision-making processes.
“An engineering decision to carry a lighter load can be shown in a real-time model increasing the longevity of a mission from a fuel-use perspective.”
Another aspect of this, as UDRI division head for power and energy David B. Dunn explained, is that engineers can quickly translate decisions into something understandable to personnel. For example, an engineering decision to carry a lighter load can be shown in a real-time model increasing the longevity of a mission from a fuel-use perspective.
UDRI’s main focus when it comes to using the software is helping its clients make better decisions and improve efficiency in the areas of power and energy. The tool’s ease of use and near-instant simulation capability can help bridge the understanding gap between what programmers or engineers are doing and what users need to know.
Learning from users
Training events such as the seminar in January also offer users and developers an opportunity to share knowledge and collaborate to make improvements. As Slitherine Games CFO JD McNeil explained in prior conversations with Global Defence Technology, every time the company meets its users, they find uses for the tools that they never imagined. Modelling air defence, testing new configurations of ships, or predicting the damage that could be caused rocket attacks are just a few examples.
At the heart of Command lies a vast database of assets, which clients are often surprised to find is more than detailed enough to model real-life scenarios – whether it is for science and technology research or the tool’s logistics modelling function.
At the training event Slitherine staff created an up-armoured, modified F-16 and tested it inside the simulation within half an hour. The logistics potential and modelling capabilities include the ability to rapidly test different loadouts for an aircraft, which is a vital tool for militaries when planning missions.
This allows a force to design an ideal mission package and then figure out what elements they can afford to lose or modify in order to gain more range, or add armour, increasing survivability and manoeuvrability which can be vital in missions. (Source: army-technology.com)
01 May 20. DOD Invests $3.6m for the Defense Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research Competition Winners. The Department of Defense has selected six collaborative teams as winners of the Defense Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (DEPSCoR) competition. Each team will receive up to $600,000 over a three-year period of performance to pursue science and engineering research in areas relevant to DOD initiatives supporting the National Defense Strategy.
DEPSCoR is a congressionally-mandated, capacity-building program managed by the Directorate of Defense Research and Engineering for Research and Technology (DDRE(R&T)) within the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering. The program strengthens basic research infrastructure at institutions of higher education in under-utilized states and territories.
The competition was open to tenured and tenure-track faculty members with appointments in the 37 states and territories eligible to compete for DEPSCoR funds. It introduces potential researchers to the DOD’s unique research challenges and its supportive research ecosystem.
“Every State has a vital role to play in America’s research competitiveness, and every State has researchers capable of important contributions to the Department of Defense’s scientific and technological advancement,” said Dr. JihFen Lei, acting director of DDRE(R&T). “It is crucial that we build a Department of Defense research community that leaves no state behind and takes advantage of each state’s unique research strength.”
For the fiscal year 2019 competition, the DOD received more than 200 white papers, from which subject-matter experts in the military services selected the final six collaborative teams. Universities in Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Wisconsin lead the selected teams.
In addition to awards announced under this funding opportunity announcement, as part of the DEPSCoR initiative, the program also provided supplemental funds to increase the representation of DEPSCoR-eligible researchers within the DOD basic research enterprise. These funds were awarded to each military service’s Young Investigator Program and Defense University Research Instrumentation Program as well as the Vannevar Bush Faculty Fellowship program, DOD’s most prestigious single-investigator award.
The Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering (OUSD(R&E)) is responsible for the research, development, and prototyping activities across the Department of Defense. OUSD(R&E) fosters technological dominance across the DoD enterprise to ensure the advantage of the American warfighter. (Source: US DoD)
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.