Sponsored By Oxley Developments
06 Oct 22. Two companies win Land Forces 2022 Innovation Awards.
Two Australian innovators have been named winners of the Land Forces 2022 Innovation Awards. Their success was announced on Tuesday 4 October at the Land Forces 2022 International Land Defence Exposition in Brisbane by LTGEN (retired) Ken Gillespie, AO, AC, DSC, CSM, the former Chief of Army and a Director of the event organiser, AMDA Foundation Limited.
The winners were announced during the Innovation Awards presentation ceremony on the first day of Land Forces 2022.
The winners are:
- LANDFORCES 2022National Innovation Award: Pentarch Pty Limited (VIC) for developing the Damocles robotic handling, safety inspection and disarming system for live high explosive and illuminating artillery ammunition.
- LANDFORCES 2022SME Innovation Award: Pentarch Pty Limited (VIC) for developing the Damocles robotic handling, safety inspection and disarming system for live high explosive and illuminating artillery ammunition.
- LANDFORCES 2022Young Innovator Award: Mr James Tsarouhas, Anywise (VIC) for his work on designing and integrating the sensor array for the Fleet Agnostic Bridge Health and Usage Monitoring System, FABHUMS, making military bridges safer and more reliable.
In addition, three Award contenders were Highly Commended:
- LANDFORCES 2022National Innovation Award HIGH COMMENDATION: DMTC Pty Limited (VIC) for leading a team that has developed a rapid diagnostic system that enables diagnosis in minutes of COVID and other viruses and bacteria that can afflict deployed troops.
- LANDFORCES 2022Defence SME Innovation Award HIGH COMMENDATION: Tekuma (SA) for developing the Easy Manoeuvre Unit (EMU), incorporating a patented Tekuma control orb as a universal controller for robots.
- LANDFORCES 2022Young Innovator Award HIGH COMMENDATION: Mr Lachlan Clark, Anywise (VIC) for his work on the software, Graphical User Interface (GUI) and data management system of the Fleet Agnostic Bridge Health and Usage Monitoring System, FABHUMS.
Land Forces 2022 organiser AMDA Foundation launched the Innovation Awards ten years ago. They are driven by the Foundation’s altruistic purpose: to promote the development of Australia’s industrial, manufacturing and information/communications technology resources in the fields of aviation, aerospace, maritime, defence and security. The Aweards recognise and reward innovation by Australian individuals and organisations at the forefront of defence innovation in products, services and business processes in the land domain.
They were presented for the first time at Avalon 2013. Since then some $485,000-worth of SME Innovation Grants and Young Innovator Awards have been presented, including the Cheques presented at Land Forces 2022. (Source: Rumour Control)
06 Oct 22. GM Defense to Provide Battery Electric Technology to Defense Innovation Unit. GM Defense, a subsidiary of General Motors, was selected by the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) to develop a battery pack prototype for testing and analysis on Department of Defense platforms. GM Defense will leverage GM’s most advanced battery technology, the Ultium Platform, as it works to meet DIU’s requirement for a scalable design that can be used for tactical military vehicles. DIU is a Department of Defense organization that accelerates the adoption of commercial technology across the U.S. military, which aligns with GM Defense’s mission of leveraging GM’s advanced technologies for global defense and government customers.
“This award is a critical enabler for non-traditional defense businesses like GM Defense to deliver commercial technologies that support our customers’ transition to a more electric, autonomous and connected future,” said Steve duMont, president of GM Defense. “Commercial battery electric technologies continue to mature. GM Defense offers a unique advantage with our ability to leverage proven commercial capabilities and the billions in GM investments in electric vehicle and autonomous vehicle technologies in order to help provide our customers with the most advanced capabilities the commercial market can offer.”
GM’s Ultium Platform is a combined electric vehicle (EV) battery architecture and propulsion system that can deliver power, range, and scale beyond any previous GM hybrid or extended range EV technology. Modular and scalable, the Ultium Platform uses different chemistries and cell form factors, making it adaptable to changing needs and new technology insertions as they become available.
This award follows a similar announcement GM Defense made in July when the business was selected by the U.S. Army to provide a GMC HUMMER EV Pickup for analysis and demonstration. The award is intended to help meet the military’s requirement for a light- to heavy-duty battery EV that can support reduced reliance on fossil fuels in the operational and garrison environments. (Source: PR Newswire)
06 Oct 22. Kraken Technology Group (KTG) and Steller Systems, a world-renowned naval architecture and marine engineering consultancy, have entered into a formal collaboration.
Steller Systems are the naval architects and marine engineering partners on KTG’s K50 KRAKEN programme. The two organisations have identified a considerable opportunity to further enhance KTG’s ambitious and innovative product development and manufacturing capabilities, as well as to create rapid routes to production for Steller Systems’ maritime security concepts. This partnership is now extending beyond K50 into the development of both fast landing craft and autonomous platforms.
The signing of a formal Teaming Agreement will enable the combined team to accelerate disruptive maritime platforms from concept stage, through architecture and engineering process, to prototyping, production readiness and advanced manufacturing. Together they will create more innovative, customer-requirement focused, integrated and interoperable products with quicker concept-to-readiness timescales, meeting the increasingly diverse demands of the fast-evolving security market.
Mal Crease, Founder and CEO of Kraken Technology Group, commented:
“We were a formidable team in the development of the K50 KRAKEN, and formalising a deeper collaboration between Kraken and Steller Systems to further accelerate the delivery of a broader range of similarly game-changing products is a logical and exciting progression.”
Steller Systems’ Managing Director, Rob Skarda, added:
“This collaboration with Kraken Technology Group will act as a force-multiplier for Steller Systems’ expertise, providing an expert route to prototype and market for some of our future-facing innovations workstreams, as well as ensuring Kraken’s product integrity remains truly world class.”
05 Oct 22. Blended-wing tanker, nuke reactors, electric cars in USAF climate plan. The Department of the Air Force said it needs to adopt more fuel-efficient aircraft designs, reduce its carbon footprint and energy consumption, and modernize its infrastructure and facilities to withstand extreme weather under its new plan to address climate change.
The service’s Climate Action Plan, released to the public on Wednesday, outlines a series of goals to prepare for the challenges of extreme weather and shifting environments that climate change will bring. In addition, the service wants to reduce its own contributions to climate change.
The Air Force aims to cut emissions from its installations in half from 2008 levels by fiscal 2033, and wants to have net-zero emissions at installations by fiscal 2046.
With aviation fuel making up more than 80% of the Air Force’s energy consumption, aircraft efficiency is a central part of the service’s effort to become more climate-friendly, according to the report. Mobility aircraft consume the most fuel of the Air Force’s fleet.
“Our overall goal is to deliver more combat power to the warfighter using less fuel,” the report said.
And the goals could have a dramatic effect on what its fleet of aircraft looks like in decades to come.
The service wants to speed up the development of a blended-wing body for a future tanker or mobility aircraft as part of a plan to increase its aircraft’s fuel efficiency and dramatically cut its energy consumption. The report included a photograph of the X-48B blended-wing prototype developed by Boeing’s Phantom Works, NASA, and the Air Force Research Laboratory in the late 2000s.
A blended-wing design for a future tanker or cargo aircraft could increase aerodynamic efficiency by at least 30 percent over today’s planes, the report said. And by burning less fuel, it would make it easier for the Air Force to carry out missions in a contested environment, the report said.
The Air Force is now working with NASA, defense companies, and the Defense Innovation Unit to speed up the prototyping of these “ultra-efficient” future tanker and mobility aircraft designs. By fiscal 2027, the Air Force wants to have finished development and testing of a full-scale prototype blended-wing body.
Air Force officials such as former Air Mobility Command head Gen. Carlton Everhart have in the past floated the possibility of a blended-wing design for the next-generation KC-Z refueling tanker.
The report said the Air Force is also working with defense companies to update existing aircraft with drag reduction technologies, adopt better engine sustainment technologies, use more simulation and augmented reality systems for training, and modernize the software used to plan and allocate aircrews and aircraft.
The report included a photograph of Lockheed Martin’s Microvanes on the aft of a C-17 Globemaster as an example of drag reduction technologies. Microvanes are intended to reshape the air flow around the aft cargo door of an aircraft so that when that door is opened in-flight it doesn’t create as much fuel-guzzling drag.
The Air Force is also rolling out a new program called the Mission Execution Excellence Program, or MEEP, to gather ideas from airmen and adopt best practices from commercial aviation to find ways for mobility aircraft to use fuel more efficiently. The MEEP program will also give aircrew members more precise tools to plan their fuel usage, the report said.
The Air Force hopes MEEP will help cut total fuel consumption by 26 m gallons each year.
The Air Force said it needs to modernize its infrastructure and facilities, so they are resilient and able to withstand changing climates. It wants to spend $36 m on resilient bases in fiscal 2023 and increase that spending to $100 m annually by 2027.
As an example, the report highlighted the March 2019 flooding at Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska that left runways unusable for a period even after the floodwaters had receded. But the new U.S. Strategic Command headquarters at Offutt, which was finished earlier that year, wasn’t affected because it was built on higher ground and had barriers to prevent flooding.
The Air Force is also looking for ways to adopt alternative energy sources to power bases while emitting fewer greenhouse gases, such as by equipping bases with small nuclear reactors that are dubbed micro-reactors. Eielson Air Force Base in Alaska, for example, released a request for proposal last week for its micro-reactor pilot program.
By fiscal 2028, the Air Force wants to have finished that pilot test and shown it can work as an alternative energy source.
The Air Force also wants to increase its use of renewable energy sources such as solar power, which last year produced 6.9% of the department’s electricity. Solar arrays are now operating at Hill Air Force Base in Utah, Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada, Vandenberg Space Force Base in California, and Eglin Air Force Base in Florida.
By fiscal 2030, the Air Force wants to have half of its electricity be fully carbon pollution-free at all times. It also wants all of its electricity to be fully carbon pollution-free on a net annual basis, meaning it might sometimes rely on polluting energy sources, but offset that at other times with renewable energies.
The report also spells out goals for having all non-tactical support vehicles be zero-emission vehicles such as electric vehicles by fiscal 2035. These vehicles include commercial sedans, station wagons, vans and buses that carry passengers or cargo.
Steps to achieving that goal will be making all light-duty vehicle acquisitions be zero-emission by 2027, with all aircraft support equipment following by 2032. (Source: Defense News Early Bird/Defense News)
06 Oct 22. US Navy’s OPTEVFOR approves Northrop Grumman’s ECDIS capability. The Navy plans to equip ECDIS on a total of 115 warships, over a period of next three years. Northrop Grumman has received approval to deploy its new electronic chart display and information system (ECDIS) to the US Navy’s fleet.
A formal approval was also issued by the US Navy’s Operational Test and Evaluation Force (OPTEVFOR), saying that the system is ‘operationally suitable, effective and cyber survivable’.
This approval was received after a year-long process involving government assessments.
The tests began with sea trials aboard the US Navy’s Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3), followed by other evaluation activities at the NSWCPD.
As the next step after approval, the US Navy has decided to install the new system onto the first ship. The first ship to receive ECDIS will be Nimitz-class nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71). The installation work will be carried out by the NSWCPD this month. Apart from CVN 71, the US Navy intends to equip the system onto a total of 115 warships, over a period of next three years. (Source: naval-technology.com)
06 Oct 22. SitaWare Headquarters receives AI-powered boost.
New add-on launched for SitaWare Headquarters helps to bolster market-leading command-and-control suite with artificial intelligence (AI) technology to enhance the common operating picture (COP) with unparalleled accuracy and multi-source fusion.
Aarhus, 6 October 2022. As the number of sensors within the C4ISR space rapidly increases, the need to ensure that a precise COP is generated is essential. As a result, Systematic has developed and deployed a new AI-powered add-on, SitaWare Headquarters Fusion, to help the users of its SitaWare Headquarters software to ensure they can make rapid, critical decisions based on accurate intelligence.
“On the contemporary battlefield an ever-increasing number of sensors and tracking systems exist, such as radars, sonars, and ESM sensors, among others. Each detects and tracks objects within their range of operation. Many have over-lapping coverage areas, and the same track is detected multiple times. This causes a range of duplicated tracks to be reported to C4ISR systems, resulting in a cluttered and confused picture for commanders if presented in this ‘raw’ form. To avoid this situation, all duplicated tracks need to be identified and their information must be merged into a single track containing the most reliable and accurate information,” Henrik Sommer, Director, Defence at Systematic said.
“SitaWare Headquarters Fusion addresses this challenge by undertaking the automatic correlation and fusion of track information from multiple sources into a coherent operating picture– be it in the sea, air, or joint domains,” Morten Bødker, Lead Business Product Manager, Defence, said.
“SitaWare Headquarters Fusion will be a revolutionary game-changer for building recognised picture in the sea, air, and joint command-and-control environments. The role of AI in this application will enable significantly increased speed and accuracy for building a recognised picture, thereby allowing commanders to have a rapid decision-making capability reinforced by a comprehensive recognised domain picture,” Bødker added.
Data fusion and correlation
Drawing from a variety of sensor feed and communications standards, the Fusion add-on undertakes a rapid kinematic analysis of tracks to identify duplicates, before undertaking a correlation analysis of tracks to alert users to conflicting tracks. Combined with a manual override function, the software ensures that AI is working to augment human operators, thereby reducing workload and driving improvements in situational awareness and intelligence-led operations.
The technology has already been applied and proven in the Maritime domain in support of SitaWare Maritime. SitaWare Headquarters Fusion has worked with sensors and open-source data feeds to track civilian and military vessels as well as identify suspicious vessels or unusual behaviour.
Make your intelligence smarter
The integration of AI-supported sensor processing technology comes as Systematic continues to work on improving the flow of data provided to commanders to ensure that critical decisions are made with the highest level of confidence. This integration allows for improved planning, better analysis of the intent of targets, and the ability to strengthen interoperability across friendly forces.
Systematic’s SitaWare Insight platform also helps to integrate the intelligence cycle with the planning cycle, providing the complete management of the Intelligence Requirement Management & Collection Management (IRM & CM) processes. The platform’s utilisation of AI technology helps to reduce the workload on intelligence officers by performing a range of tasks that include machine translation, natural language analysis, document summarisation, and more.
With the improvement in track correlation through SitaWare Headquarters Fusion, the challenging and time-consuming task of identifying the correct potential targets for analysis and investigation is greatly reduced. The addition of this data to the recognised intelligence picture helps support other operations, with the overall data lake benefitting from the addition of processed, structured, intelligence being fed in. Intelligence artefacts can be quickly accessed and utilised to support the planning cycle.
05 Oct 22. The U.S. Navy has approved Northrop Grumman Corporation’s (NYSE: NOC) new Electronic Chart Display and Information System (Navy ECDIS) for deployment to its fleet.
The U.S. Navy’s Operational Test and Evaluation Force (OPTEVFOR) issued a formal determination that Navy ECDIS is “operationally suitable, operationally effective and cyber survivable.” This new capability will be a core element to all U.S. Navy bridge and navigation systems.
Navy ECDIS processes and displays multiple chart formats including digital nautical charts developed by the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. The system tracks targets from the vessel’s navigation radar, enabling creation of route plans, automation of plan execution and monitoring progress along the route. Safety checking functions analyze chart data and radar targets to warn of hazards to safe navigation while underway.
“Our agile approach to developing Navy ECDIS enabled software to be developed in sprints, with customer input at every step of the way,” said Todd Leavitt, vice president, naval and oceanic systems, Northrop Grumman. “This workflow allowed the Navy to see and evaluate results of their input as they came up and saved them both time and money.”
Navy ECDIS will provide the next generation of navigation capabilities to the fleet including compliance with the standard for mission interoperability with NATO allies, implementing cybersecurity requirements as well as enhancements to the human machine interface to simplify operation, improve situational awareness, and increase the safety of navigation.
OPTEVFOR’s approval of Navy ECDIS is the culmination of nearly a year of rigorous government testing. The test and approval process began with sea trials on the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3) and continued with evaluation activities at Naval Surface Warfare Center, Philadelphia Division (NSWCPD).
The Navy has directed the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) to be the first ship in the fleet to receive Navy ECDIS. NSWCPD will perform the installation this October. The Navy plans to install the system on 115 ships in the next three years, demonstrating the power of scalability of software defined systems such as Navy ECDIS.
Northrop Grumman developed and fielded the Navy’s current ECDIS software, Voyage Management System, which has since become a core element of the bridge and navigation system on every U.S. Navy ship and submarine. Northrop Grumman’s broad range of navigation systems provides precise, survivable, secure, resilient and agile solutions for sea, land, air and space.
04 Oct 22. Mitre expands R&D in Hawaii as US focus on Indo-Pacific intensifies. Mitre, which operates federally funded centers that assist the U.S. government with science research, development and systems engineering, said it will open a facility in in Hawaii to bolster security and national defense operations in the Indo-Pacific.
This site in Honolulu will support Hawaii and Indo-Pacific priorities of the U.S. Department of Defense, U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, the intelligence community and international allies, while fostering “whole-of-nation” technology collaborations in cybersecurity, transportation, healthcare, veterans services and law enforcement, the not-for-profit said.
The U.S. sees the Pacific as a key strategic region, as Washington works to counter China’s growing influence. The White House Indo-Pacific Strategy, published in February, pledges an extended role in the area, including establishing more resilient command and control and increasing the scope of joint exercises and operations.
“We’re immersed in nearly every aspect of global strategic competition—from countering aggressive military actions by adversary nations, to safeguarding supply chains, accelerating maritime research and innovation, and preparing for the next global health crisis,” said Keoki Jackson, senior vice president, general manager, Mitre National Security, in a statement.
Mitre, which works across six federal R&D centers and more than 200 individual labs, also said it entered into a partnership with UH to identify opportunities for collaborative analysis, engineering and research. The partnership will focus on advancing marine technology, enhancing cyber defense, strengthening climate resilience, addressing natural resource management and testing energy technologies.
The organization has been operating at Ford Island and Camp Smith in Hawaii for almost 50 years. Developing the site at the Kaka’ako Innovation District will double its local workforce, advance STEM education and bolster security in the region, it said.
Last month, Mitre named Cedric Sims to the new role of senior vice president, enterprise innovation and integration, and Austin Y. Wang as vice president, intelligence center, Mitre National Security.
Sims will develop strategies to foster enterprise-wide innovation, drive cross-cutting integration to benefit government sponsors, and oversee corporate strategy, Mitre said. He joined the organization from Booz Allen Hamilton, where he served as senior vice president leading the justice, homeland security and transportation business and has more than 25 years of experience in acquisition, risk management, cybersecurity, artificial intelligence/machine learning, program governance and systems engineering.
Sims also served in leadership roles at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Secret Service.
Wang will drive whole-of-nation, joint, and multi-agency services through integration across the intelligence community and Mitre’s national security enterprise. He worked for more than two decades at the CIA, most recently as a senior executive and clandestine technical operations lead, and served eight years in the U.S. Marine Corps working signals intelligence and ground electronic warfare. (Source: C4ISR & Networks)
03 Oct 22. LonQ to support US AFRL’s quantum computing research efforts. IonQ has been awarded a $13.4m contract to provide quantum computing-based solutions to the US Air Force Research Lab (AFRL).
Under this contract, the company will provide AFRL with access to its trapped ion systems to support the quantum computing hardware research and quantum algorithms and applications’ development.
Specifically, this firm-fixed-price contract will support the delivery and installation of a quantum computer.
According to US Department of Defense ’s (DoD) announcement, the computer will create quantum algorithms for Dod ’s applications.
Work will be carried out in College Park, Maryland, US. It is anticipated to complete by September 2025.
AFRL Information Directorate deputy director Michael Hayduk said: “Trapped ion systems and their performance demonstrated by high algorithmic qubits (AQ) have some very unique properties making them one of the leading technologies in development of quantum computing and networking capabilities.
“This contract solidifies AFRL’s long-term strategic focus in quantum information science.
“The partnership will accelerate critical quantum science and technology projects, benefiting USAF as we seek to maintain our competitive advantage and advance our national security interests.”
IonQ noted that the quantum computing systems and applications are capable of catering to the US Air Force’s (USAF) requirement to safeguard the country’s private and public infrastructure.
This contract also marks IonQ’s commercialisation milestone, which signifies key public-private partnership to invest in quantum computing.
Last year, a Quantum Cybersecurity Preparedness Act was introduced by the US House of Representatives, focusing on the need to invest in quantum capability to protect the country from potential future quantum-powered attacks.
IonQ CEO Peter Chapman said: “Quantum computing is the key that we believe will unlock unforeseen efficiencies and strength in development and deployment of US defence technologies.” (Source: airforce-technology.com)
03 Oct 22. Amphenol SOCAPEX’s MPO Field TV Connector Brings Robust & High Density Solution for Optical.
Links in Harsh Environment applications.
Amphenol SOCAPEX’s MPO Field solution enables users to transform a standard MPO patchcord into a
robust connector designed to resist the harshest environments.
The MPO patchcord is integrated into a metallic plug based on MIL-STD-38999 Series III, shell size 13
Military connector, to protect it from shocks, dust and fluids. There is no requirement for field termination.
MPO Field TV connector combines high speed and high density of well-known MPO/MTP Fiber Optic
connectors using MT ferules, with high resistance of MIL-DTL-38999 Series III Military shells for various
harsh environment applications such as high speed embedded network backbones for battleships, armored
vehicles or airplanes and trains, datacenters in harsh environments, trackside measuring & inspection
systems for trains, high resolution real time video, passenger entertainment…
MPO Field connectors feature:
High Density and Speed
– Take advantage of the High Data Rates and Optical density offered through the use standard Fiber Optic
High Density and Robustness
– The 12 or 24 fiber channels are integrated into 28 mm diameter 38999 metal shells, with tri thread coupling
– The solution is IP68 sealed when mated and shocks & vibration resistant
Easy to implement
– No tool or field cabling are required. The solution allows anyone to transform a standard MPO Patch cord or
more complex assembly into an harsh environment connector very easily.
30 Sep 22. COMSovereign Expands Robust 5G IP Portfolio with Additional Enabling Technologies as Part of Management’s Monetization Strategy. COMSovereign Holding Corp. (NASDAQ: COMS) (“COMSovereign” or the “Company”), a U.S.-based developer of 4G LTE Advanced and 5G Communication Systems and Solutions today outlined its going efforts to expand the value of its intellectual property (“IP”) portfolio as part of its ongoing business transition.
As an innovator in advanced wireless transmission technologies underlying both 4G and 5G wireless networks, the Company continues to pursue opportunities to monetize the value of its IP. To date, the Company holds approximately 130 patents granted in the United States and foreign jurisdictions and approximately 25 patent applications pending. These pending patents, several which have been formally accepted by the US Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”), cover an array of critical wireless networking technologies supporting the latest 5G Mobile Broadband Standard as defined by 3GPP in Release 18, the most current specification. This includes meeting future wireless network system requirements for increased bandwidth through the support for simultaneous radio transmission and reception utilizing approaches such as the Company’s Lextrum in-band full duplex (Zero division duplex) technology.
“As an early player in the 4G and 5G space, COMSovereign’s business was built on a solid IP foundation, one that powers the market-leading performance of our DragonWave and Fastback products. As part of our ongoing review of the business, we believe our IP portfolio represents an untapped opportunity to create value for our stakeholders. That is why our Board of Directors and our leadership team is actively exploring ways to monetize our IP through multiple paths,” said David Knight, interim CEO of COMSovereign Holding Corp. (Source: PR Newswire)
30 Sep 22. AI’s crucial role onboard drones for ISR Capability improvement. Mark Palmer, CTO of Sentient Vision Systems, makes the case for AI to bring real-time intelligence and operational decisions to military drone missions.
Keynote presentation at AAUS (Australian Association of Uncrewed Systems) conference at LAND FORCES 2022, Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre, Australia
Full conference programme details: Autonomy in the Joint Military Battlespace
Mission success for operational drones will increasingly depend upon onboard AI (Artificial Intelligence) to deliver ISR/ISTAR (intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition, and reconnaissance) solutions across a range of domains, including the increasingly complex land terrains and battlespace.
Lessons being learned in theatre in Ukraine demonstrate the need for real-time intelligence – and that demands AI-enabled surveillance technologies including moving image capture to identify threats, and provide target location and coordinates. “An absence of AI-enabled technologies will effectively spell the difference between success and failure of the ISR mission. Military commanders ignore at their peril deployment of data rich sensors that can deliver immediate intelligence,” is the stark warning from Mark Palmer, CTO of Melbourne-based global technology company Sentient Vision Systems, providing autonomous AI search and detection over land and sea.
Palmer will deliver a presentation entitled ‘Benefits of AI onboard UAS’s for ISR Capability improvement’ at 1.30pm on Day 2 of the AAUS (Australian Association of Uncrewed Systems) conference running alongside LAND FORCES 2022 defence exhibition in Brisbane, Australia.
In this presentation Palmer will discuss the benefits of having AI onboard to significantly increase the operational ISR capabilities of UAS platforms.
“With the reduction in size, weight and power of many ISR sensors, UAS’s platforms can capture far more data than can be transferred to the ground,” explains Palmer who leads the teams of [SD1]engineers and scientists at Sentient Vision Systems, pioneers of ViDAR (Visual Detection and Ranging) the world’s first optical radar.
Palmer cites a growing awareness with force commanders stating the crucial role of sensors, including US Air Force Central Command chief Lt. Gen. Alexus Grynkewich who is considering how to merge information from various airborne platforms to give troops a more complete understanding of what’s happening in the airspace around them. Grynkewich explained in a recent State Department briefing: “We’re looking at the potential for enhanced use of drones — not the kind of drones that we’ve used in the past, but smaller, less expensive, that we can network in some way,” he said. “We’re looking at the unique placement of sensors that we can put up at high altitudes in order to build a broad situational awareness.”
The Sentient sensor portfolio includes ViDAR™ Land, an Artificial Intelligence (AI) enabled next generation Wide Area Motion Imagery (WAMI) system providing day (EO) and night (IR) persistent surveillance. It can autonomously detect, filter, classify and track thousands of objects and assists the operator to focus solely on the targets of interest. It can detect both vehicles and moving individuals within a wide area.
With over 3,500 systems deployed, Sentient’s solutions enhance the performance of EO/IR operations for many agencies and forces worldwide with applications including:
– Search and Rescue operations at sea
– Military intelligence and surveillance operations
– Police detection and prevention of illegal activities including smuggling of contraband, narcotics interdiction, anti-piracy and illegal fishing
– Border protection and detection of migrant activity
The ViDAR software scans the 180-degree electro optic and/or infra-red sensor’s imagery feed to detect targets invisible to a human operator. It then places a thumbnail image on the operator’s screen showing the bearing and range of the target, allowing for an automated cross-cue by the inspection turret. When searching small objects including individual people, ViDAR has up to 300 times greater search coverage than an aircraft without ViDAR meaning more surveillance and lower mission costs.
Key ViDAR milestones include:
- Awarded a $2.1m Australian government grant to establish a sovereign in-house manufacturing facility for its world-leading ViDAR search and surveillance solutions. Sentient’s grant was awarded under the Australian government’s Department of Industry Science Energy and Resources’ (DISER) Modern Manufacturing Initiative (MMI) Translation Stream. Once implemented, it will enable volume manufacture in Australia of the company’s ViDAR solutions for Australian and export customers.
- Sentient is undertaking a Foreign Comparative Technology (FCT) test for the U.S. Department of Defense to provide ViDAR Maritime systems for integration and evaluation with the U.S. Marine Corps (USMC). The ViDAR systems will be used for Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) missions, integrated into a medium-altitude long range unmanned aerial system operated by the USMC.
- Helicopter prime contractor and mission system integrator Lockheed Martin has integrated ViDAR in an MH-60R as a prototype fit to demonstrate this cutting-edge Australian capability.
02 Oct 22. Australian Government to revitalise science priorities.
The Australian Government has announced plans to refresh Australia’s science and research priorities and its National Science Statement.
Australia’s Science and Research Priorities were last updated in 2015, while the National Science Statement was published in 2017. “Both these policy frameworks, which set the Government’s direction and vision for Australian science, are out-of-date and require renewal,” said Minister for Industry and Science Ed Husic in a statement.
Australia’s Chief Scientist, Dr Cathy Foley AO PSM, will lead a national conversation to develop the refreshed priorities and statement. Dr Foley will be supported by a taskforce established within the Department of Industry, Science and Resources. The work will include extensive consultation with science, research and industry stakeholders.
“The current priorities do not mention First Nations knowledge, do not properly acknowledge climate change and fail to adequately engage with emerging critical technologies, which are essential for national prosperity and our wellbeing,” said Minister Husic, who added that the Government recognises that a strong science system, with clear priorities, is critical to maintain high levels of sustainable economic and social prosperity.
“I highly value the science and research communities and will work closely with them on refreshing these priorities,” he said.
The Department will also run a public consultation process to ensure that all Australians have an opportunity to contribute.
Revitalising Australia’s science priorities and statement will help develop a national policy framework that embeds science into government decision making. It will better align efforts and investment in science to deliver social, economic and environmental benefits for all Australians.
The current set of National Science and Research Priorities outlined 9 broad areas of focus. As a starting point, the government has identified 3 priorities that could form part of a refreshed set of Australian science priorities, to prompt a national conversation within the Australian science community:
- Supporting stronger action on climate change, including investments in renewable energy, reducing emissions, and transitioning to a net zero world.
- Elevating and investing in First Nations perspectives on science, technology and innovation.
- Harnessing the potential of emerging technologies and scientific research in pursuit of not only economic growth, but improving Australian wellbeing
In finalising the priorities, consideration will be given to how the priorities can:
- reflect the key challenges and opportunities facing Australia
- align with Australian Government priorities, such as the National Reconstruction Fund
- reflect Australia’s competitive and comparative advantages
- inform and align government decision making and investment into the future
- provide greater certainty and focus for investment, including by industry
- be reviewed and updated to ensure they remain contemporary and responsive to Australia’s needs.
The framework incorporating the revitalised National Science and Research Priorities will be finalised within 12 months. (Source: Rumour Control)
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.