Sponsored By Oxley Developments
12 Mar 20. US Army, L3Harris and Ansys Collaborate to Improve Aviation Performance and Affordability. Two-year initiative supports rapid integration of software aligned to the FACE Technical Standard. The United States Army, L3Harris Technologies and Ansys (NASDAQ: ANSS) are advancing the performance and affordability of next generation aviation and missile system applications. The U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command (CCDC) Aviation & Missile Center (AvMC) evaluated commercially available solutions to seamlessly support rapid integration of software aligned to the FACE Technical Standard through a joint Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA).
The FACE Technical Standard enables software on embedded military computing systems to be more interoperable, portable and secure. The CRADA utilized L3Harris and Ansys-developed software aligned to FACE Technical Standard hosted on the Crew Mission System (CMS) platform for the Cockpit Display Station (CDS). The CRADA represents significant progress in showcasing how model-based development tools like Ansys SCADE®, along with L3Harris’ FliteScene®, can support rapid standards-based integration in support of the FACE Technical Standard and ARINC 661 standards.
“Adding new capabilities into our enduring platforms has been costly in both time and money. With emerging threats and limited resources, we simply have to provide more capabilities to our warfighters faster with less funding,” said Joe Carter, U.S. Army Program Executive Office Aviation G10 Tactical Branch Chief and FACE Consortium Steering Committee chair. “Contributions from our industry partners, including Ansys and L3Harris, help exercise and mature the FACE Technical Standard allowing rapid integration of capabilities for our warfighters. This enables us to provide our warfighters a wide variety of new and improved capabilities from any number of technology suppliers.”
The Ansys SCADE software toolset efficiently enables a complete workflow ranging from FACE modeling through DO-178C (up to DAL-A) certifiable code-level generation. Ansys tools support software development aligned to the FACE Technical Standard at both the model and generated code levels, providing users with an easy workflow that passes the FACE Conformance Test Suite (CTS), a necessary test process included in the FACE Technical Standard. This effectively streamlines the development effort of embedded control/display/HMI applications aligned to the FACE Technical Standard and is compliant to the ARINC 661 standard.
“L3Harris is a leading supplier of current and emerging airborne software applications,” said Matt Collins, general manager, Mission Avionics, L3Harris Space and Airborne Systems. “Through the CRADA, L3Harris will further speed innovations in background digital moving map technology for CDS.”
Ansys SCADE Solutions for ARINC 661 compliant systems fully adhere to the ARINC 661 standard, including the ARINC 661 Server, the User Applications (UA), standard binary and XML Definition Files (DF), and the communication code between Ansys SCADE UA models and any ARINC 661 Server. This ultimately saves time and reduces effort and cost when developing cockpit display systems.
“The U.S. Army depends on the efficiency of safety-critical software development and integration efforts to advance emerging aviation and missile system capabilities while keeping program costs down,” said Eric Bantegnie, vice president and general manager at Ansys. “Ansys looks forward to providing next-generation solutions that are aligned with the Army’s model-based systems engineering initiatives and open system architecture standards.” (Source: PR Newswire)
12 Mar 20. DOD Should Focus on Short-Term Goals in Quantum Science. The Defense Department is focusing a lot of effort on an array of technologies involving quantum science, but the department’s chief technology officer says it’s important to be realistic about timelines for the most fantastic applications of that technology — and to focus on what’s plausible in the short term for best equipping the warfighter.
During testimony Wednesday before the House Armed Services Committee, Michael D. Griffin, undersecretary of defense for research and engineering, said quantum computing and quantum communication are not beyond the boundaries of physics, but are still long-term prospects for use in the department.
“We caution that the hyperbole surrounding these topics may be getting ahead of their military and economic utility,” Griffin wrote in testimony he submitted to Congress.
Instead, Griffin said, the department is focused on quantum technology that’s going to be of use to the force in the shorter term.
“First and foremost [are] quantum clocks to give us timekeeping, precision, synchronized timekeeping and precision [that are] two, or possibly even three, orders of magnitude better than we have today,” Griffin told lawmakers. “That’s critically important for maintaining communications in a GPS-denied environment where we might have to fight a war.”
Quantum sensors for inertial navigation or navigation by other means, as well as quantum magnetometers to improve navigation information, are also critical technologies, Griffin said.
“These are the things that we will see in the next few years and where we are focusing a substantial amount of our effort,” Griffin said.
In the department’s fiscal year 2021 budget request, Griffin said, DOD has asked for $23m to further the development of an enhanced-stability atomic clock that will provide a constant connection to sensor networks and encrypted communication channels that support DOD’s most critical missions.
Griffin also said the department is focusing on modernizing space architecture, both offensive and defensive hypersonics capabilities, and microelectronics as priorities.
“We rely on our commercial partners completely for everything we do in microelectronics, and none of our systems will work without it,” he said. “So, we are fully embracing the need to be able to produce trusted microelectronics on a risk-assessed basis all the way from initial design right through fabrication and assembly,” he said. “That’s a critical area, and our industrial base is under siege from abroad.”
The FY2021 budget request includes $597m to improve security related to the department’s use of microelectronics. (Source: US DoD)
10 Mar 20. Altitude Angel Offers ‘Space-Based UTM.’ Altitude Angel, a world-wide UTM (Unmanned Traffic Management) technology provider, has announced the general availability of its UTM platform via popular satellite constellations, bringing critical airspace situation awareness and conflict resolution to remote areas and those affected by natural disasters anywhere on the planet, at any time.
UTM services are typically dependent on the appropriate ground-based communications network infrastructure, such as cell towers, in order to send and receive instructions and tracking information from drones. In the event of a natural disaster, such as a flooding, wildfire, tsunami, earthquake or volcanic eruption, safe operation of multiple drone flights is compromised as this ground infrastructure isn’t resilient, or in the case of remote areas, not available.
However, the combination of Altitude Angel’s UTM technology platform, which now includes the world’s first tactical Conflict Resolution Service available via a UTM platform at scale, when used in conjunction with partner satellite networks, will allow any lead organisation or agency to deploy an instant UTM platform for the safe operation of drones in even the most challenging of environments. It will also provide the essential coordination of aerial unmanned and, if necessary, manned aviation assets.
Offering response agencies and drone manufacturers who specifically build drones for deployment in assisting emergency services the choice of multiple communications links, including satellite communications, is a major step in ensuring a UTM service can operate even in the toughest scenarios.
When ground-based communications have been damaged and roads are impassable, the need for numerous organisations to operate multiple drone flights safely over the affected area increases. Each need to perform different operations; for example, one agency using drones will need to find survivors, a second surveys roads ahead of relief supplies being delivered whilst a third searches for potential hazards. The Altitude Angel space-based solution will allow the safe management of these flights, right out-of-the-box at any point across the planet.
Richard Parker, Altitude Angel, CEO and founder said: “The opportunities for the instant space-based UTM service are wide-reaching and numerous, but this system will be invaluable to aid organisations and those co-ordinating the emergency services, and relieve operations following something like a natural disaster where first-responders are more often turning to unmanned aircraft to assist. We are proud to make our UTM services available for free to all first responders in times of need.”
Phil Binks, Altitude Angel, Head of Air Traffic Management, added: “The platform we’re offering to first responders will bring clarity to what previously could be a confusing air picture. As we have seen recently with both the flooding across the UK and wildfires in the United States and Australia, unidentified UAVs spotted in affected areas have caused the emergency services to ground rescue helicopters and airtankers, costing valuable time, whilst the operator is identified. However, many of these sightings are subsequently found to be of drones being operated by the emergency services. What we’re seeing here are different agencies with different primary objectives. Whereas one group may be focusing on putting a fire out, another may be looking for fires starting. This system will allow ‘blue light’ flights to continue in tandem with UAV operations, safely and securely.”
In order to provide emergency services and first responders with the ability to have a single source point-of-truth where UAVs and manned aviation can be co-ordinated on the same platform, engineers at Altitude Angel were able to adapt existing services to work on higher latency/lower bandwidth networks and to enable ‘mode switching’ to ensure a robust communications link with deployed vehicles is always maintained. (Source: UAS VISION)
09 Mar 20. DOD Awards Contracts for Development of a Mobile Microreactor. The Department of Defense has awarded three teams, BWX Technologies, Inc., Lynchburg, Virginia; Westinghouse Government Services, Washington, D.C.; and X-energy, LLC, Greenbelt, Maryland; contracts to each begin design work on a mobile nuclear reactor prototype under a Strategic Capabilities Office initiative called Project Pele.
Project Pele involves the development of a safe, mobile and advanced nuclear microreactor to support a variety of Department of Defense missions, such as generating power for remote operating bases. After a two-year design-maturation period, one of the three companies may be selected to build and demonstrate a prototype.
“The Pele Program’s uniqueness lies in the reactor’s mobility and safety,” said Dr. Jeff Waksman, Project Pele program manager. “We will leverage our industry partners to develop a system that can be safely and rapidly moved by road, rail, sea or air and for quick set up and shut down, with a design which is inherently safe.”
In January 2019, SCO issued a request for information to industry for the development of Project Pele technology. Three companies were chosen from the ensuing competition to develop engineering designs. Critical to the Pele program is coordination with the Department of Energy, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the National Nuclear Security Administration and industry partners that allows the rapid development of workable prototype designs that support evaluation, safety analysis, and, ultimately, construction and testing.
In order to technically assess the feasibility of a mobile reactor, it is necessary to complete a high-fidelity engineering design to confirm its safety, resiliency, and reliability, and to reduce technical, regulatory and manufacturing risks.
SCO, in partnership with the Department of Energy Office of Nuclear Energy, has reviewed modern design concepts and cutting-edge technology which it believes enable American industry to meet the challenges required.
DOD uses approximately 30 terrawatt hours of electricity per year and more than 10 million gallons of fuel per day—levels that are expected to increase. A safe, small, mobile nuclear reactor would enable units to carry a nearly endless clean power supply, enabling expansion and sustainment of operations for extended periods of time anywhere on the planet.
“The United States risks ceding nuclear energy technology leadership to Russia and China,” said Mr. Jay Dryer, SCO director. “By retaking technological leadership, the United States will be able to supply the most innovative advanced nuclear energy technologies.”
Microreactors would significantly reduce the need for investments in costly power infrastructure. In civilian applications, they could be easily relocated to support disaster response work and provide temporary or long-term support to critical infrastructure like hospitals, as well as remote civilian locations where delivery of electricity and power is difficult.
The engineering design phase of Project Pele will continue for up to two years, after which the DOD will make an assessment on whether a microreactor capable of meeting necessary safety requirements is feasible.
The Department of Defense has also published a Notice of Intent to conduct an Environmental Impact Statement associated with Project Pele in the Federal Register as required under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969. The NOI can be found by visiting https://www.federalregister.gov/.
As part of the NEPA process, the public will have the opportunity to review and comment on proposed actions, alternatives and the environmental analysis. The public, as well as federal, state and local agencies, are invited to participate in the scoping process for the preparation of this EIS by attending a scoping meeting or submitting written comments. DOD will host a meeting as part of the public scoping process to identify and determine potential environmental impacts as well as to document key issues of concern to be analyzed in the EIS. All meeting details and submitted comments can be found in the NOI listed on the Federal Register website.
BWX Technologies, Inc., was awarded $13,500,000, X-energy LLC $14,309,000 and Westinghouse Government Services was awarded funds in the amount of $11,953,036. (Source: US DoD)
05 Mar 20. DASA seeks system to mitigate wind farm effects on air defence. The UK Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) has launched a £2m competition to ‘reduce and remove’ the impact of wind farms on air defence systems. New technology developed as part of the competition will ensure the UK can expand green energy growth while ensuring future wind farms do not affect the UK’s air defence radar system. As part of the competition, DASA and the Ministry of Defence (MOD) will seek proposals for innovative solutions and advances in technology that alleviates the impact off-shore wind turbines have on both civilian and military radar.
The competition is being led by DASA with the support of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), the Royal Air Force (RAF), and the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl).
Defence Minister Jeremy Quin said: “Defence technologies have a huge amount to offer the demands of the 21st-century UK – including addressing the challenge of climate change.
“We have an incredible skills base in the UK and this initiative will harness the power of wind turbines whilst ensuring our air defence standards.”
RAF Air Command air capability development group engineer Wing Commander Helena Ramsden said: “We are investing in cutting-edge innovation and harnessing the best technology from the brightest minds in the country.”
Ramsden added that the technology would help the RAF keep the skies above the UK safe while accelerating crucial work in combatting climate change.
The competition is part of a wider cross-government push to generate 30GW – around 30% of the UK’s electricity requirements – from offshore wind by the year 2030
DASA delivery manager Adam Moore said: “Crucial innovation like this is vital if we are to meet our renewable energy targets.
“This competition will not only help us meet our green energy needs but it will help boost UK prosperity, entrepreneurs and innovators, by investing in their game-changing technology.”
Wind turbines affect radar systems through reflections from the static and moving components. Although filters can remove the static components, the spinning blades cause a Doppler shift on the radar making the reflections hard to remove. This Doppler shift on ground radar mimics the signal of fast-moving, low flying threats making it harder for the RAF to discern between possible threats.
The competition involved four challenges, one to look at alternatives to radar, two for technology that can be applied to the wind turbine itself, three for systems that are applied to the radar itself. The fourth challenge is for systems that achieve the same goals but do not fit the above requirements. Contracts resulting from the competition will be awarded in March 2021. (Source: airforce-technology.com)
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.