Sponsored By Oxley Developments
26 Nov 20. Galvion enters ‘Low Rate Initial Production’ with unique Symbasys SWitchPack™ i6T Li-ion vehicle battery. Galvion, a world leader in the design and manufacture of military power management solutions has entered Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) with their unique Symbasys SWitchPack™ i6T Li-ion vehicle battery. LRIP has commenced following a series of successful tests to validate compliance with the international standards for military batteries and to prove the system fully safe and ready for installation and use in military vehicles.
Galvion has demonstrated prototype variants of their Li-ion battery over the last 2 years, with a considerable amount of product development and testing conducted to reach this important production milestone of what has become the SWitchPack i6T unit. What makes Galvion’s solution both unique and ground-breaking is the use of a blended lithium chemistry that has been tailored to match the specific needs of military vehicle power. Galvion is the only company in the world to use this chemistry blend for military applications. High purity materials combined with quality separators and laser welded electrodes minimize losses and unwanted chemical side-reactions which extends cycle life and environmental performance. The SWitchPack i6T uses a proprietary smart internal Battery Management System (BMS) that includes self-shutdown and self-balancing protocols in unsafe conditions. The BMS has been bespoke designed to effectively operate in the harsh conditions and environments experienced on military operations. It also has a battle-override facility for “beyond-the-specs” operation in unprecedented combat mission scenarios.
From a user perspective, Galvion’s Symbasys SWitchPack™ i6T battery offers considerable capability enhancements and through-life efficiencies. Maintenance free across a 10-year service lifespan, the battery will deliver as much as 8000 recharge cycles; over twice that offered by any alternative 6T Li-ion unit. Compared to a traditional lead-acid 6T battery, SWitchPack delivers 3 times the useable capacity and energy at 24Volts (78Ah) and is 38% lighter in weight. Through-life cost savings are 87% compared to lead-acid 6T alternatives and 43% compared to other 6T Li-ion brands.
Galvion’s Symbasys SWitchPack™ i6T Li-ion vehicle battery meets demanding military standards including MIL-STD-1275, MIL-STD-810 and MIL-PRF-32565B. Furthermore, the i6T has been demonstrated safe when subjected to extensive ballistic and non-ballistic penetration and meets stringent UN 38.3 commercial safety standards.
Peter Rafferty, Galvion’s V.P. of Platform Power said: “entering initial production with our i6T battery is a huge milestone for Galvion. We’ve developed a truly ground-breaking product that we know is well ahead of our competition, globally. Our ongoing work with a number of major defence vehicle primes positions us at the forefront of not only battery technology, but perhaps more importantly, as the leader in understanding the integration challenges involved in fitting these kinds of battery systems in modern military vehicles”. He added “vehicle power is an area where we forecast massive growth. The power demands on modern military vehicles are huge and continue to increase as more electronic sub-systems are integrated. With our SWitchPack i6T battery we’re bringing the military vehicle market up to date with the very best technology available that not only increases capability but also significantly reduces through-life costs”.
26 Nov 20. NGC Delivers 75,000th Tactical Gyroscope. Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) has produced its 75,000th G-2000 gyroscope, the smallest tactical-grade gyroscope for commercial and military customers. Well regarded for its performance and accuracy, the G-2000 senses orientation for numerous stabilization and targeting applications.
“This milestone is a confirmation of the consistently reliable performance that the G-2000 offers for customers seeking high accuracy for a variety of missions,” said Brandon White, vice president, navigation and positioning systems, Northrop Grumman. “With its small form factor, the G-2000 provides a truly versatile solution for guiding and stabilization at a low cost.”
About the width of a penny, the G-2000 is the smallest dynamically-tuned gyroscope produced, and offers high performance, small size and exceptional reliability. Known for its accuracy, it is enhanced by a servo-electronics card that maximizes its performance and has been in production since 1992.
The G-2000 two-axis gyroscope offers a mean time between failure (MTBF) of more than 100,000 hours, an equivalent of more than 4,000 days. It can withstand high vibration and high shock environments of up 750g, a key capability not available with fiber-optic or micro-electro-mechanical gyroscopes.
Domestic and international customers have used the G-2000 on missiles, including the Patriot Advanced Capability-3, Harpoon and AIM-120 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missiles as well as numerous others applications. For example, the G-2000 guided the drill that rescuers used to save the 33 Chilean miners trapped in an underground mine in 2010.
Northrop Grumman solves the toughest problems in space, aeronautics, defense and cyberspace to meet the ever evolving needs of our customers worldwide. Our 90,000 employees define possible every day using science, technology and engineering to create and deliver advanced systems, products and services. (Source: ASD Network)
25 Nov 20. Could soldiers silently communicate using brain signals in the future? A breakthrough in decoding brain signals could be the first step toward a future where soldiers silently communicate during operations.
New research funded by the U.S. Army Research Office successfully separated brain signals that influence action or behavior from signals that do not. Using an algorithm and complex mathematics, the team was able to identify which brain signals were directing motion, or behavior-relevant signals, and then remove those signals from the other brain signals — behavior-irrelevant ones.
“Here we’re not only measuring signals, but we’re interpreting them,” said Hamid Krim, a program manager for the Army Research Office.
The service wants to get to the point where the machine can provide feedback to soldier’s brains to allow them to take corrective action before something takes place, a capability that could protect the health of a war fighter.
Krim pointed to stress and fatigue signals that the brain gives out before someone actually realizes they are stressed or tired, thus letting troops know when they should take a break. The only limit to the possibilities is the imagination, he said.
Another potential future use is silent communication, Krim said. Researchers could build on the research to allow the brain and computers to communicate so soldiers can silently talk via a computer in the field.
“In a theater, you can have two people talking to each other without … even whispering a word,” Krim said. “So you and I are out there in the theater and we have to … talk about something that we’re confronting. I basically talked to my computer — your computer can be in your pocket, it can be your mobile phone or whatever — and that computer talks to … your teammate’s computer. And then his or her computer is going to talk to your teammate.”
In the experiment, the researchers monitored the brain signals from a monkey reaching for a ball over and over again in order to separate brain signals.
But more work is to be done, as any sort of battle-ready machine-human interface using brain signals is likely decades away, Krim said.
What’s next? Researchers will now try to identify other signals outside of motion signals.
“You can read anything you want; doesn’t mean that you understand it,” Krim said. “The next step after that is to be able to understand it. The next step after that is to break it down into into words so that … you can synthesize in a sense, like you learn your vocabulary and your alphabet, then you are able to compose.
“At the end of the day, that is the original intent mainly: to have the computer actually being in a full duplex communication mode with the brain.”
The Army Research Office-backed program was led by researchers at the University of Southern California, with additional U.S. partners at the University of California, Los Angeles; the University of California, Berkeley; Duke University; and New York University. The program also involved several universities in the United Kingdom, including Essex, Oxford and Imperial College. The Army is providing up to $6.25m in funding over five years. (Source: Defense News)
24 Nov 20. Turkish firm develops AI-powered software for drone swarms. A privately owned Turkish company says it has developed an artificial intelligence-based software for swarm drones. MilSOFT announced Nov. 19 it developed the software after four years of research, and the the technology could be used in both fixed- and rotary-wing drone platforms. A government aerospace official said swarm drones would be used in Turkey’s future unmanned aerial combat concept due to their low hardware costs and stealth technology.
“These drones could be ideal in asymmetrical warfare. They are quick, cost-effective and easy to operate,” the official said. “Most importantly, they are assets designed to minimize human loss in asymmetrical warfare.”
The Turkish military has been operating a big fleet of tactical and armed drones primarily in combat against Kurdish militants in Turkey’s southeast provinces but also in cross-border operations in northern Syria and Iraq. Turkish drones have also been used in Libya’s civil war and, most recently, in conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
Many countries have yet to try drone swarm technology in a simulated, controlled environment. Turkey is among those that have the technology and the ability to test it in the field during operations.
Turkey’s top procurement office, the Presidency for Defense Industries, launched its Swarm UAV Technology Development and Demonstration program with a view to develop algorithms and software for the use of unmanned platforms with a swarm capability. The program is also meant to involve micro-scale companies as well as small and medium-sized enterprises.
MilSOFT has specialized in software solutions since 1998, and it is one of the participants of the government-run program. It has been offering products to the Turkish military for tasks including identifying detection by automatic moving target technology using AI, and machine-learning techniques with image-processing algorithms.
The company said with the integration of intelligence and image evaluation products, drone swarms can be updated with additional capabilities such as reconnaissance, detection, recognition, search and rescue, and vehicle tracking.
MilSOFT’s software-based solution will allow drone swarms to be launched from aerial, land and naval platforms, and the images they obtain will enter a central command system. In the meantime, the drone flocks will transfer images between different military units with a relay function.
AI technology can help catch elements that cannot be caught by the human eye and enable multiple attack capabilities by arming vehicles in operation.
MilSOFT’s AI-based software is also expected to enable swarm drones to perform frontal attacks on command from helicopters and provide operational support to other friendly platforms. The drones can reportedly operate autonomously from the beginning to the end of a mission, and can be instantly monitored and controlled via intelligence applications.
The UAVs have a flight time of more than half an hour and a payload capacity of 1 kilogram (2.2 pounds). The vehicles work with landing gear that can land on rough terrain.
While five UAVs are currently used in a herd in the field, this number can reach up to 25 in a controlled environment. MilSOFT aims to make a drone swarm of 50 operational vehicles.
Communication between the drones is also provided by MilSOFT’s own technology. Vehicles can communicate with each other from up to 500 meters. There is also a 10-kilometer network solution for data transfers.
MilSOFT plans to integrate its technology for underwater and surface platforms as well as land vehicles. (Source: C4ISR & Networks)
24 Nov 20. New Russian Drone Control Station Spotted in Ukraine. The OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine has reported that it had spotted a modern Russian Navodchik-2 ground drone control station for unmanned aerial vehicles in Ukraine.
For the first time, Navodchik-2 ground control station and three boxes assessed as used for storing and transporting unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) were spotted at an airfield near non-government-controlled Luhansk city by SMM mini drone on 8 November.
Earlier, Ukrainian officials said that the continuing Russian aggression against Ukraine and support of terrorist groups in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions is a crude violation of the fundamentals of international peace and security. (Source: UAS VISION/Defence Blog)
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.