Sponsored By Oxley Developments
14 Aug 20. Silvus Technologies develops toughened waveform for US Army. Silvus Technologies developed a new radio waveform that will make it more difficult for adversaries to intercept and detect communications signals of the U.S. Army, the company announced Aug. 13.
Silvus has worked with the Army Combat Capabilities Development Command’s C5ISR Center — or the Command, Control, Communication, Computers, Cyber, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Center — since last August on developing a low-probability intercept/low-probability detect (LPI/LPD) waveform.
Silvus and the C5ISR Center are now exercising a six-month option period, bringing the total award to $2m.
The funding for research and development will specifically go toward work the C5ISR Center is performing on a project called “Protected Communications for Manned/Unmanned Teams.” During the option period, Silvus is integrating several new capabilities with the LPI/LPD waveform, including the ability to shift operating frequency when communications are degraded, a capability to filter out interference and a technology that allows radios to control transmission power “to enable more discreet communications.”
The secure communications for the manned-unmanned teaming project is focused on “high-throughput, secure, and low observable communications capabilities for manned/unmanned teaming operations,” the Silvus news release said.
The new capability “brings together a powerful suite of anti-jam and LPI/LPD functions to enable robust, secure communications for the warfighter in congested and contested environments,” said Babak Daneshrad, founder and CEO of Silvus Technologies.
The new waveforms will be tested in lab evaluations starting this winter into spring 2021, according to Edric Thompson, spokesperson for the C5ISR Center. He added that field demonstrations will take place during the center’s ongoing Network Modernization Experiment in 2021 and Project Convergence 2021. For fiscal 2021, it has planned soldier touchpoint events at NetModX-22 and PC22.
In May, Silvus was awarded nearly $4m to provide 1,000 of its tactical Mobile Ad Hoc radios for the Army’s Integrated Visual Augmentation System program. (Source: Defense News)
12 Aug 20. Northrop Grumman Awarded DARPA Gamebreaker Contract. Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) was recently awarded a contract from the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Strategic Technology Office (STO) for the Gamebreaker program. This innovative program seeks to develop and apply artificial intelligence (AI) to existing real-time strategy games to break a complex model or create an imbalance.
Northrop Grumman will use this opportunity to evaluate and develop technology to improve flexible planning, optimization and discovery in products that operate dynamic environments.
“Using AI to exploit engagement models can help to enable intelligent systems that could in turn enhance military strategy,” said Susan Wilson, director, intelligent mission capabilities and advanced technology laboratory, Northrop Grumman. “We are exploring how we may be able to use this methodology in the future.”
Northrop Grumman’s Gamebreaker team includes Hazardous Software and Slitherine Software’s Matrix Games. Working closely together, this partnership will use advanced AI techniques to model and break balance within a highly complex simulator environment called “Command: Modern Operations”.
“Hazardous Software Inc. (HSI) is excited to continue our partnership with Northrop Grumman,” said Christopher Hazard, CEO, Hazardous Software. “Building upon our 13 years of history modeling dynamic adversarial scenarios and leveraging the Diveplane machine learning platform, HSI’s approach to Gamebreaker complements Northrop Grumman’s longstanding experience and technology capabilities.”
“Command Professional Edition is the only wargame being analyzed by DARPA in the Gamebreaker program,” said Iain McNeil, CEO, Slitherine Software. “We are very interested to see how the AI behaves and if it manages to identify loopholes that need assessment, or it comes up with innovative strategies that are applicable to the real world.”
Hazardous Software Inc. (HSI) creates technology that enables and incentivizes people to operate strategically in uncertain environments, regardless of whether it is a game, a simulation, or a real-life event. HSI leverages its unique capabilities in counterfactual reasoning and through understandable artificial intelligence via its relationship with Diveplane Corporation, a company it spun out in 2017.
Matrix Games specializes in COTS physics-based simulations and strategy video games. Through careful research and development, commercial simulations are turned into modern and powerful programs that are able to replicate complex military operations, from tactical and operational to analytical. Matrix Games, utilizing the Flashpoint Campaigns Sim, has now been appointed to year 2 of the ATHENA Prototype Project by DEFENSE ENERGY CENTER OF EXCELLENCE (NSTXL) on behalf of the United States Army Future Studies Group. The company is also a “single source” contractor and research and development supplier of the UK Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl).
11 Aug 20. VectorNav Introduces New Miniature IMU and GNSS/INS Product Line. VectorNav Technologies, the world leader in embedded navigation solutions, introduced today a groundbreaking new line of inertial products: the VectorNav Tactical Embedded. Featuring a tactical-grade IMU and a multi-band GNSS receivers, the Tactical Embedded delivers milliradian attitude accuracy and centimeter-level positioning capability in a miniature 15 gram package.
VectorNav Tactical Embedded
VectorNav’s Tactical Embedded line delivers unprecedented size to performance and enables cost reductions for a wide range of autonomous pointing and geo-referencing applications, such as gimballed ISR, SATCOM systems, LiDAR mapping and photogrammetry, among many others. The Tactical Embedded also features support for external SAASM GPS for defense applications in ISR, electronic warfare, munitions and UAV navigation.
“The Tactical Embedded is the culmination of years of development to bring milliradian-level attitude performance and robust positioning into a form factor that represents a disruptive step in inertial navigation capability,” said VectorNav President, John Brashear. “Systems integrators worldwide can now embed tactical-grade inertial navigation capabilities into their electronics, unlocking a range of new applications and possibilities.”
Designed and engineered at VectorNav’s AS9100-certified facility in Dallas, TX, USA, the Tactical Embedded includes the VN-110E IMU/AHRS, the VN-210E GNSS-Aided INS, and the VN-310E Dual Antenna GNSS/INS. Highlights include:
- 0.05-0.1° heading; 0.015° pitch & roll
- 1 m horizontal and 1.5 m vertical position accuracy
- 1 cm RTK positioning accuracy
- < 1°/hr gyro in-run bias; < 10 μg accel in-run bias
- 184 channel, L1/L2/E1/E5b GNSS receiver
- Support for external RTK, PPK and SAASM GPS
- High update rates (800 Hz IMU; 400 Hz Nav)
- Miniature footprint: (< 15 grams; 31 x 31 x 11 mm)
- Low power: < 480 mA @ 3.3 V
The Tactical Embedded is available for purchase now and ships within 2 weeks. For additional information, contact VectorNav at: firstname.lastname@example.org; +1-512-772-3615; www.vectornav.com.(Source: PR Newswire)
11 Aug 20. AeroVironment Expands Capabilities of Its Puma UAS Product Line with New Smart 2500 Battery and Bungee Launch System.
- New Puma Smart 2500 Battery extends Puma LE’s flight time by nearly 20 percent with up to 6.5 hours of endurance, delivering longer time on station, greater range, and maximizing its multi-mission capabilities
- Now compatible with Puma 2 AE, Puma 3 AE and Puma LE, the Puma Bungee Launch System (BLS) expands aircraft launch options and operational capabilities
AeroVironment, Inc. (NASDAQ: AVAV), a global leader in unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), today announced the launch of two new Puma product line enhancement options that reinforce the company’s commitment to continuous improvement and expanding the operational capabilities of its family of tactical UAS. The newly announced product enhancement options are a result of AeroVironment’s collaboration with front-line users to develop innovative solutions that enable customers to proceed with certainty in ever-changing operational environments.
Puma Smart 2500 Battery – Puma LE
Available for Puma™ LE, the optional Puma Smart 2500 Battery allows operators to achieve an extended flight time of up to 6.5 hours. The increased endurance provides operators with greater time on station, maximizing Puma LE’s multi-mission capabilities across land and maritime environments. This high-energy-density, lithium-ion battery pack features an improved capacity of 24.5Ah (amp-hours) while retaining the size and form factor needed to be seamlessly integrated into Puma LE’s existing battery bay.
Puma Bungee Launch System (BLS)
AeroVironment’s Puma Bungee Launch System (BLS), a military-grade bungee launcher that is standard equipment with every Puma LE system, is now available as an enhancement option for Puma 2 AE and Puma 3 AE. The BLS allows for the assisted launch of Puma AE UAS in environmental conditions where hand launch is not practical or is limited. Designed with mission-flexibility in mind, the BLS can be securely installed in a variety of soil types or mounted to low, immovable objects. The lightweight and portable all-environment system can be set up and operational in less than 10 minutes.
“AeroVironment is committed to anticipating and delivering innovative solutions that are critical to tactical UAS operators downrange,” explains Rick Pedigo, vice president of sales and business development for AeroVironment. “These two new enhancement options will expand our customers’ operational capabilities, while maximizing operator safety and improving operational efficiency, allowing them to focus on the mission at hand.”
The Puma Bungee Launch System is currently available for order/delivery, and the Puma Smart 2500 Battery will be available for order/delivery before the end of the third quarter, calendar year 2020. For more information, visit www.avinc.com (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)
11 Aug 20. GeoSpectrum Unveils C-BASS Family. GeoSpectrum Technologies, an Elbit subsidiary, has unveiled the C-BASS family of compact Very Low Frequency (VLF) long-range acoustic underwater transducers. According to the company, the system generates high power at very low frequencies from a small source which the firm claims is a technological challenge, with current high power underwater VLF sources available on the market being extremely large, costly and requiring a crew of at least a dozen people to operate.
Addressing these deficiencies, GeoSpectrum introduces the patented, C-BASS family of underwater transducers, offering the market a deployable system that is small in size and weight but still maintains the high-power and frequency range (bandwidth) of legacy systems. The company says it is robust, affordable, easy to operate and has ranges exceeding 2500 km with the ability to effectively operate under ice. Applications include communication/transmission from shore or surface units to submarines, divers’ alert and communications and communication with Unmanned Underwater Vehicles (UUV) for control/positioning or mine sweeping, as well as augmentation of submarine signatures when transiting in or out of ports or narrow passages.
C-BASS transducers are available in a variety of sizes and configurations from the 20 cm diameter configuration that can even fit in a medium UUV up to the 1.1 m diameter unit used in a multi-source high-power configuration for seismic exploration. (Source: ESD Spotlight)
11 Aug 20. Lockheed Martin Ventures Scouts Next-Gen AI/ML Tech.
“There’s a massive scramble for autonomy engineers, software — you name it,” says Chris Moran, Lockheed Martin executive director.
As defense primes scramble to meet DoD’s insatiable demand for AI and machine learning (ML) tools, Lockheed Martin is investing in startups like Fiddler with next-generation tech to help operators understand how autonomous systems actually work (and don’t work) in the field.
“I think what everyone is seeing is that, as you go toward deploying an AI/ML system, people start questioning well, how does this thing work?,” Chris Moran, executive director and general manager of Lockheed Martin Ventures explained in an interview yesterday. “And how do you know, how are you sure, Is it making the right decisions? And how can you change those decisions if they’re the wrong ones?”
“You want to make sure that these things are behaving,” he added. “Fiddler provides some of that insight into how artificial intelligence is working. They’re in what’s called ‘explainable AI’ space, so they can reveal things about how the neural network was created, and how it’s made decisions, right, which gives people a level of comfort,” Moran said.
Lockheed Martin Ventures, the mega-prime’s venture capital arm, announced its investment yesterday in Fiddler, a two-year-old Palo Alto startup.
According to the joint press release, the two firms will work together “on the development, testing and scaling of Fiddler’s technology in applying explainable AI in the defense and aerospace industries. … At the heart of Fiddler’s Platform lies AI Explainability, which provides continuous insights understandable by humans to help build responsible, transparent, and fair AI systems.”
AI/ML and autonomy are two of the key focus areas for Lockheed Martin Ventures, which buys equity shares in infant companies interested in selling to both the defense commercial marketplace, Moran said.
As CMMC, the DoD cybersecurity compliance program, continues to evolve, will prime contractors and their subcontractors be ready for assessment and certification?
Not only is DoD racing to deploy AI/ML capabilities for everything from killer drone swarms to spare parts management, such systems are being integrated into almost every civil market sector aerospace to agriculture — meaning an almost guaranteed return on investment, Moran explained. That return is then re-channeled into future investments.
“AI is such a hot topic right now that every company, not just the Lockheeds and the Boeings and the Northrops, but every single Fortune 500 company, maybe even every Fortune 1000 company, has realized ‘wow, I can simplify my tasks and move some of these mundane things into autonomous system, and thereby have people work on more complicated things that maybe are not suited for autonomy’. So, everybody is trying to do this. Everybody!” Moran enthused. “There’s a massive scramble for autonomy engineers, software, you name it.”
Another next-generation autonomous technology development that has caught Moran’s eye for possible future investment is the advent of what he called “autonomy factories;” that is, the ability to automate the process of building neural networks that can then build autonomous systems, autonomously.
“What’s happened is that companies are starting to figure out how to automate autonomy — how do you autonomously create neural networks and machine learning systems?,” he said with a chuckle of amazement. “You know, necessity is the mother of invention.”
Moran and his team of some six scouts have an annual budget of about $200m to bet on newbie entrepreneurs and their technology. Currently, he said, Lockheed Martin Ventures has an investment in 40-odd companies, across 18 focus areas ranging from AI to rockets and propulsion systems to quantum science.
The focus areas are determined by a conclave, usually held in March, with Lockheed Martin’s business units, as well as via the Ventures team’s own knowledge of the startup ecosystem, he explained. In addition, Lockheed Martin Ventures haunts the increasing number of DoD, and especially Air Force, “pitch days” in hopes of finding matches for the aerospace prime contractor’s interests.
As Breaking D readers know, “pitch days” are one of the new methods being championed by acquisition czar Will Roper as a way for the service to harness commercial innovation. And the Air Force is one of Lockheed Martin’s biggest customers, if not the biggest if you count space acquisitions.
The Ventures team invested in 10 startups last yea,r including one discovered at an Air Force pitch day, and is on a path to adding another 10 to its portfolio this year, Moran said. Finding those winners is an intensive process that involves scouting 700 to 1,000 startups per year, he explained.
Once a startup is chosen, Lockheed Martin Ventures gives it an opportunity to pitch ideas/products/services across all interested Lockheed Martin business areas.
“We have an internal, if you will, we call it ‘demo day,’ that we’re holding this week, and right now I think there are well over 100 Lockheed Martin engineers and technologists set up to listen to 12 or 13 of the portfolio companies that we’ve invested in the last year,” he said. “That’s part of what we do as a service inside the company. And hopefully out of those discussions and presentations, there are further collaborations.”
Moran explained that those collaborations can include software licenses or contracts for services — and even, once a startup has established a larger market presence, traditional subcontractor ties.
And while investment allows Lockheed Martin Ventures to get in early on the startup’s expertise and tech concepts, the prime contractor is not seeking to tie the hands of the entrepreneurs regarding clientele. Instead, he said, the objective is to grow the startup into the overall defense and aerospace industrial base.
“We’re creating, eventually, a market for them,” Moran said. “And it’s kind of a weird dynamic, but we give them money, and then my group goes off and works for them inside the company — so we’re paying them for us to work. It’s weird, but … that money goes to supporting the small companies grow and scale so that they’ll be around for when a Lockheed Martin or any large company wants to use their tools and services. So we look at it as a win-win.” (Source: Defense News Early Bird/Breaking Defense)
11 Aug 20. Spirent Introduces SimIQ to Accelerate GNSS Product Evolution.
Enables greater collaboration and faster product development through I/Q data streaming.
Spirent Federal Systems, the nation’s leader in global navigation satellite systems (GNSS) testing solutions, today announced the release of SimIQ, a new software that will allow for earlier and more efficient GNSS testing during product development. From software-in-the-loop through to final form testing, SimIQ enables developers to collaborate across the full design lifecycle through the creation, sharing and replay of I/Q data files.
SimIQ has been developed to meet the growing need to test GNSS capabilities earlier to accelerate product development, while simultaneously reducing costs by identifying issues prior to the purchase of hardware components. For developers using Spirent’s market-leading GSS9000 and GSS7000 simulators, SimIQ extends multi-frequency, multi-constellation simulation capabilities to cover software-only testing needs through the capture and replay of high fidelity I/Q data files. Housed in a single system, SimIQ reads and generates I/Q data with two major components, SimIQ Capture and SimIQ Replay.
- SimIQ Capture – Allows Spirent GNSS simulators to generate I/Q files containing all the GNSS signal data required to test the algorithms, conformance, and performance of software receivers. It enables the recording of GNSS I/Q data into files hosted in the simulator, helping development and testing teams to validate positioning, navigation and timing (PNT) algorithms before expensive hardware designs.
- SimIQ Replay – Enables the simulator to read any I/Q file containing GNSS data. In addition, it facilitates the generation of RF from pre-recorded interference signals and custom waveforms. The flexibility and unrivalled signal generation architecture of Spirent’s hardware enables the generation of these signals from I/Q files, while maintaining fidelity and quality due to Spirent’s unrivalled signal generation architecture.
Test engineers can accelerate development, and thus save time and resources by using Spirent simulators during the entire design lifecycle. The new software will bring significant benefits to developers in the defense and aerospace sectors.
Jen Smith, Spirent Federal Director of Business Development said, “SimIQ Capture allows developers to test their receiver algorithms in the earliest stages of design, minimizing costs and giving designers confidence as they proceed to the hardware design phase.”
SimIQ will be available to new and existing customers beginning in Q4 2020. For more information about Spirent’s SimIQ test capability for Spirent GNSS simulators, visit the SimIQ product page. (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)
12 Aug 20. Victorian SME joins growing sovereign industrial capability cluster. Victoria-based Tectonica Australia is the latest addition to the growing sovereign defence industry conglomerate, C4 EDGE.
Headquartered in West Melbourne, Tectonica Australia specialises in developing integrated systems for armoured vehicles, ground stations and soldiers in the areas of protected navigation, portable power and local situational awareness.
The company provides cutting-edge technology to meet future capability challenges faced by the Australian Department of Defence, the defence industry and government clients.
David Levy, managing director of Tectonica Australia, said, “The C4 EDGE program highlights the breadth and depth of Australia’s sovereign defence industry. Tectonica looks forwards to contributing its knowledge and experience in soldier systems to deliver the Australian Army a best of breed C4 capability.”
C4 EDGE (Evolutionary Digital Ground Environment) is a defence industry cooperative of C4 subject matter experts leading a communications program scoping the demonstration of a sovereign land battlegroup and below communications environment for the Australian Army.
The C4 EDGE program will leverage internationally agreed open standards to grow and demonstrate Australian C4 (command control communications and computers) industry capacity and ability to deliver a battlegroup and below C4 capability demonstration.
Rachad Hussein, business development manager of Tectonica Australia, added, “The C4 EDGE program is a great initiative, which provides an opportunity to demonstrate the ability of the Australian defence industry to collaborate and deliver globally competitive products to the Australian Army.”
Ultimately, by the end of 2021 the program will have delivered a proof of concept demonstration that shows the capability of Australian industry to further develop a protected, integrated and supportable sovereign system: one that delivers agile and resilient C2 functionality to meet the flexible, scalable and interoperability needs of a battlegroup operating independently or with partners.
Tectonica Australia joins Queensland partner EM Solutions, NSW partners GME and 3ME Technology, and ACT partners 1LM, Insitec, Kord Defence, Outlander Solutions, Penten, Skykraft, and XTEK. (Source: Defence Connect)
11 Aug 20. All national universities in Japan now control exports of sensitive technology. By this spring, all national universities in the nation had created export control sections to prevent nuclear, radar and other high-level technologies with the potential for military use from being transferred abroad, and had set relevant rules, according to the education ministry.
Last year, five of the 86 state-run universities did not have such units and 17 had lacked rules on export controls. But as of April, all of the institutions had introduced both, a tally by the Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry showed.
Universities in Japan have faced growing calls to tighten their export controls and the United States, which has raised questions about China stealing technology, has called on its allies to take such steps.
There have been fears that any delay in boosting export control measures could result in Japanese universities being excluded from joint research opportunities with peers from the United States and other countries.
Guidelines drawn up by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, which oversees issues related to export controls, urge domestic universities to assign personnel to be responsible for determining whether each technology should be subject to export restrictions based on the nation’s foreign exchange and foreign trade law.
Universities are supposed to ensure their technologies are not transferred overseas by using checklists to decide whether to accept international students and researchers, as well as whether to allow them to transfer their research results and other materials, according to the guidelines.
The ministry also found in the survey that around 60 percent of 213 responding Japanese universities that have science courses and are run by local governments or private bodies, have taken export control measures.
But the Japanese institutions are facing a dilemma. Against a backdrop of a dwindling number of Japanese students in the fields of science and engineering, they have started to rely significantly on students and researchers from abroad, including many Chinese nationals, in the fields of artificial intelligence and other high-tech research.
At the University of Tokyo, Chinese accounted for about 60 percent of some 4,000 foreign students on its undergraduate and graduate courses as of May, according to the university.
A trade ministry report said a foreign student was caught attempting to transfer a technology that is subject to export controls without permission, while another student was found to have belonged to an organization suspected of having engaged in developing weapons of mass destruction back home.
Mikihito Kano, an associate professor versed in intellectual property at Mie University, hailed the moves by universities to establish export control units and set rules, as it is difficult for individual researchers to judge whether their studies and technologies are subject to export restrictions.
“But it is usually unclear at the research stage whether a certain technology could be used for military purposes,” Kano said, adding that excessive export controls would undermine active research.
11 Aug 20. Delivering at cyber speed with Lean-Agile and DevSecOps. Northrop Grumman is at the leading edge of a Lean-Agile and Development Security Operations (DevSecOps) revolution within the U.S. armed forces as the system coordinator for a U.S. Air Force program called Unified Platform (UP).
As a cloud-based, software-enabled and software-defined system, UP allows U.S. Cyber Command’s Cyber National Mission Force to conduct truly joint operations with mixed mission teams from across the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD).
That diverse force brings together cyber warriors from different military branches, all with disparate cultures, tactics, tools, applications and processes. Allowing them to operate jointly across the full spectrum of cyber warfare, from defensive measures to offensive operations, is the challenge UP solves.
Speed of relevance
The U.S. Air Force competitively selected Northrop Grumman as the UP system coordinator in 2018. Northrop Grumman’s system coordinator team is part of the larger UP industry consortium that is now co-located with the government at the service’s LevelUP Code Works Software Factory in downtown San Antonio, Texas, which officially opened in December 2019.
Emmet “Rusty” Eckman, Northrop Grumman UP system coordinator program director, described the LevelUP site as a Silicon Valley-style setup populated by some of the best minds in cyber warfare and DevSecOps. You will more often see people in jeans and a t-shirt than a military uniform or suit and tie.
In partnership with companies like Northrop Grumman, the industry/government team at LevelUP Code Works is working on the next generation of advanced cyber tools. They are at the forefront of implementing military compliant Lean-Agile and DevSecOps methodologies for secure product development, deployment and operations.
“We’re pushing the culture and the technology,” Eckman said. “The speed of change for the cyber adversary is so rapid that traditional ways of building and certifying systems does not work. But we can now support that cyber mission at great speed.”
U.S. Air Force and industry partners took part in a ribbon cutting ceremony in December 2019 to mark the official opening of the innovation hub-styled LevelUP Code Works facility in San Antonio, Texas. The region has a growing government and contractor cyber workforce. Credit: Courtesy of the U.S. Air Force
Culture, commonality and connectivity
The initial operational version of UP was rapidly developed and is a pathfinder program for the Air Force’s new software factory model called Platform One. UP and Platform One are the result of what the Air Force Program Executive Office for Command, Control, Communications, Intelligence and Networks has called a paradigm shift in “culture, commonality and connectivity.”
UP is now a deployed warfighting platform being used to conduct missions around the world. “Going forward, a warfighter supporting an ongoing mission should be able to pick up the phone, have a developer make any required changes, and roll it out in real time – not weeks or months,” Eckman said.
Neil Patel, director of DevSecOps for Northrop Grumman’s Cyber and Intelligence Mission Solutions Division, noted that Northrop Grumman is one of the early adopters and users of true DevSecOps – the way it is defined in the DOD handbook – and that moving to the agile software factory model with a continuous authority to operate is a big deal.
“DevSecOps is achieved by being closer to your customer and the end-user – the warfighter,” Patel said. “This colocation at LevelUP Code Works helps establish the culture and cross-collaboration needed to deliver capabilities to our warfighters at the speed of relevance.”
10 Aug 20. GeoSpectrum Technologies Unveils Powerful Compact Long-Range Underwater Acoustic Effector. GeoSpectrum Technologies (“GeoSpectrum”), an Elbit Systems’ subsidiary, announces the introduction of the ground-breaking C-Bass family of compact Very Low Frequency (VLF) long-range acoustic underwater transducers.
Generating high power at very low frequencies from a small source is considered a technological challenge, with current high power underwater VLF sources available on the market being extremely large, costly and requiring a crew of at least a dozen people to operate. Addressing these deficiencies, GeoSpectrum introduces the patented, C-BASS family of underwater transducers, offering the market a deployable system that is small in size and weight but still maintains the high-power and frequency range (bandwidth) of legacy systems.
Robust, affordable, easy to operate with, ranges exceeding 2500 km and capable to effectively operate under ice, the C-BASS family of transducers is suitable for a wide range of sub-sea applications including: communication/transmission from shore or surface units to submarines; divers’ alert and communications; communication with Unmanned Underwater Vehicle (UUV) for control/positioning; mine sweeping, as well as augmentation of submarine signatures when transiting in or out of ports or narrow passages. C-BASS transducers are available in a variety of sizes and configurations from the 20 cm diameter configuration that can even fit in a medium UUV up to the 1.1 m diameter unit used in a multi-source high-power configuration for seismic exploration.
10 Aug 20. Bell Unveils New Manufacturing Technology Center. New manufacturing facility signifies Bell’s dedication to development and rapid production of future vertical lift aircraft. Bell Textron Inc., a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company, unveiled today its new 140,000-square-foot Manufacturing Technology Center (MTC) in Fort Worth, Texas. The MTC is an innovative proving ground where Bell will test and refine technologies and processes—demonstrating manufacturing readiness and ability to successfully build and support Future Vertical Lift (FVL) aircraft. The facility provides capabilities that span all of Bell’s core manufacturing of rotor and drive systems, critical infrastructure and final assembly.
Since establishing a footprint in North Texas in 1951, Bell’s facilities have been a hub for new technology in aviation. Many milestones, including first flight of the XV-15, V-22, 609 and 407, took place in the DFW metroplex. Building FVL aircraft will require the right blend of investment in manufacturing technology and a quality workforce, as well as strong partnerships with the state and community, to deliver an affordable, capable and reliable aircraft for the warfighter.
“The MTC is the next step in successfully deploying new manufacturing technologies and processes into Bell’s future factories,” said Glenn Isbell, vice president, Rapid Prototyping & Manufacturing Innovation. “These future factories working together with our teammates and suppliers, will be designed to enable high-quality, high-rate production of the Bell V-280 Valor, Bell 360 Invictus and other future aircraft.”
Digital connectivity and integration form the backbone of the MTC. Every inch of the facility will be monitored and controlled by a network of IT, Internet of Things (IoT) and cybersecurity systems that manage the inflow and outflow of materials, as well as the movement of activity throughout the factory. By deploying a networked software infrastructure, the MTC will produce a digital twin of itself that gives everyone a common operating picture of the building, the equipment and the processes.
10 Aug 20. Indian Army to study technologies to enhance warfare capabilities. The Indian Army is conducting a study on advanced niche and disruptive warfare technologies to strengthen its soldiers’ war-fighting capabilities.
The holistic study is expected to prepare the country’s personnel for the non-kinetic and non-combat warfare threats of the future.
Headed by a senior Lt-General, the study will include drone swarms, robotics, lasers, loiter munitions, artificial intelligence (AI), big data analysis, and algorithmic warfare, as well as Internet of Things (IoT), virtual reality and augmented reality, according to the Times of India.
Other areas of the study include hypersonic-enabled long range precision firing systems, additive manufacturing, biomaterial infused invisibility cloaks, exoskeleton systems, liquid armour, quantum computing, robotics, directed-energy weapons, and loiter and smart munitions.
The Times of India quoted a source as saying: “Technology will also be the key driver in future wars.
“The new study, which is headed by one of the seven army commanders, will recommend the roadmap for inductions with timelines, along with an overall cost-benefit analysis being done for each disruptive technology.”
The Indian Army’s future military planning focuses on the integration of soldiers and the disruptive technologies into unified war-fighting machinery.
The move comes amidst border tensions with China in eastern Ladakh.
According to the TOI report, China has been working to develop futuristic warfare technologies that include AI-powered lethal autonomous weapon systems.
Under the Atmanirbhar Bharat initiative, the Indian Ministry of Defence (MoD) has listed 101 items that would be banned for import beyond the timeline indicated against them.
The MoD prepared a list after consultations with its stakeholders, including Army, Air Force, Navy, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs), Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) and private industry.
The list comprises simple parts and advanced technology weapon systems, including artillery guns, assault rifles, corvettes, sonar systems, transport aircrafts, light combat helicopters (LCHs), radars, and wheeled armoured fighting vehicles (AFVs).
The initiative provides an opportunity for the Indian defence industry to design, develop and manufacture the capabilities and technologies indigenously. (Source: army-technology.com)
07 Aug 20. A human F-16 pilot will fight against AI in an upcoming contest. An artificial intelligence algorithm will face off against a human F-16 fighter pilot in an aerial combat simulation in late August, the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency announced Aug. 7.
The simulation — the third and final competition in DARPA’s AlphaDogfight Trials — will take place Aug. 20. The event will be virtual due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The AlphaDogfight Trials was created to demonstrate advanced AI systems’ ability in air warfare. Eight teams were selected last year to participate in the final competition that runs from Aug. 18-20. The competition is also part of DARPA’s Air Combat Evolution, or ACE, program, which was started in 2019, and seeks to automate air-to-air combat as well as improve human trust in AI systems to bolster human-machine teaming.
“We weren’t able to host the finals at AFWERX in Las Vegas as we’d originally planned with fighter pilots from the Air Force Weapons School at nearby Nellis Air Force Base,” Col. Dan Javorsek, program manager in DARPA’s Strategic Technology Office, said in a statement. “We are still excited to see how the AI algorithms perform against each other as well as a Weapons School-trained human and hope that fighter pilots from across the Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps, as well as military leaders and members of the AI tech community will register and watch online. It’s been amazing to see how far the teams have advanced AI for autonomous dogfighting in less than a year.”
The eight teams are Aurora Flight Sciences, EpiSys Science, Georgia Tech Research Institute, Heron Systems, Lockheed Martin, Perspecta Labs, PhysicsAI and SoarTech.
On the first day of the competition, the teams will fly their respective algorithms against five AI systems developed by the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab. Teams will face off against each other in a round-robin tournament on the second day, with the third day featuring the top four teams competing in a single-elimination tournament for the championship. The winner will then fly against a human pilot.
“Regardless of whether the human or machine wins the final dogfight, the AlphaDogfight Trials is all about increasing trust in AI,” Javorsek said. “If the champion AI earns the respect of an F-16 pilot, we’ll have come one step closer to achieving effective human-machine teaming in air combat, which is the goal of the ACE program.” (Source: Defense News)
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