Sponsored By Oxley Developments
13 May 21. On April 23, 2021, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. (GA-ASI) demonstrated enhanced situational awareness and targeting capability for ground forces during a company-funded technology demonstration at Yuma Proving Grounds, Ariz. The demonstration focused on enabling a Joint Terminal Attack Controller (JTAC) to control the Electro-optical/Infrared (EO/IR) sensor on a Gray Eagle Extended Range (GE-ER) Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) and rapidly call for direct and indirect fire on an array of targets. The JTAC was able to see GE-ER video, aircraft location, and sensor field of regard utilizing an Android Team Awareness Kit (ATAK) and a TrellisWare TW-950 TSM Shadow® Radio. Utilizing the GE-ER’s open-architecture, the JTAC was able to send digital ‘Call for Fires’ to request artillery support, and a digital 9-line for Close Air Support with the push of a few buttons. The GE-ER, configured for Multi-Domain Operations, autonomously re-routed its flight path to provide the sensor data that the JTAC requested without commands from the GE-ER operator. This demonstration is another step in a series of demonstrations that began in November 2019.“GA-ASI remains committed to advancing technology that provides maximum situational awareness and lethality to the warfighter,” said GA-ASI President David R. Alexander. “The JTAC’s use of the ATAK tablet, while teamed with the Gray Eagle ER, enables rapid situational awareness and engagements, which addresses one of the Army’s top priorities.” The use of this newly developed technology marks a significant improvement in situational awareness compared to the use of voice communications. The technology improved efficiency, reduced latency, and reduced risk of collateral damage. In addition, the JTAC’s ability to orient GE-ER sensors on targets from an ATAK tablet reduces man-in-the-loop errors and increases targeting speed. These advancements are critical elements to current and future armed conflicts that reduce the risk to Soldiers forward on the battlefield.
12 May 21. Klas Government Launches Market’s First Tactical GPU That Extends AI/ML To Network Edge. VoyagerGPU, which leverages NVIDIA’s latest GPU technology, meets tactical edge processing demands at low-SWaP for military vehicle integration without modifications.
Embedded graphics-processing units (GPUs) are critical for military systems with heavy processing demands — such as those required for AI and analyzing moving images in real time. To date, GPUs with this kind of power simply haven’t been able to operate at the tactical edge due to Size, Weight and Power (SWaP) and environmental limitations.
Klas’ VoyagerGPU, the first tactical unit to deploy NVIDIA’s latest GPU technology (Pascal and Turing-based GPU), addresses these tactical edge challenges while meeting Standardized A-Kit / Vehicle Envelope (SAVE) specifications for tactical comms’ SWaP in military vehicles. As a result, Klas unlocks AI/ML breakthroughs in edge environments in ways not previously possible.
VoyagerGPU options include:
* NVIDIA Pascal-based GPU; Tesla P6 (VMware certified)
* NVIDIA Turing-based GPU; Quadro T1000, Quadro RTX 3000, Quadro RTX 5000
* CPU options include: Xeon D 8, 12, 16 cores and Atom Denverton 8-core
* Storage provided by dual SATA 2.5″ bay plus VIK+ for operating system
* Two 10 Gb Ethernet SFP+ interfaces
* Two 1 Gb Ethernet copper interfaces
VoyagerGPU is a core component of Klas’ Voyager Tactical Cloud Platform (TCP), which brings the immense analytical power of the cloud to the forward edge and battlefield vehicles operating in tactical edge environments – and at a small form factor. VoyagerGPU also easily configures into the Voyager 6 power chassis, so that AI capabilities can be readily available in military ground vehicles without requiring modifications to the vehicle.
“We believe future proofing tactical networks requires a modular and scalable range of network, compute and radio systems modules designed with a common form factor and able to seamlessly integrate with market leading technologies,” said Chris Ericksen, Chief Revenue Officer, Klas Government. “VoyagerGPU is a core component of Klas’ modular system that allows our DoD customers to incorporate new, innovative capabilities as the mission dictates.”
To learn more about how Klas Government’s tactical communications solutions enabled the connected battlefield, visit http://www.klasgov.com.
About Klas Government
Klas Government makes the world’s most powerful deployable communications solutions to meet the needs of government and military communicators in any operational environment. The company enables customers to communicate in extreme environments, where nobody else in the market can, by delivering tactical and executive communications systems specifically designed to move faster, travel lighter and work better under worse conditions than anything else available. (Source: PR Newswire)
13 May 21. a4ESSOR S.A.S (Alliance for ESSOR), a multi-national joint venture to develop European Secure Software-Defined Radio (ESSOR) technology, has achieved formal acceptance for its High Data Rate (HDR) Base Waveform which has been developed under the ESSOR OC1 (European Secure SOftware defined Radio – Operational Capability 1) contract signed with OCCAR (Organisation Conjointe de Coopération en matière d’ARmement). Formal acceptance of the ESSOR High Data Rate Base Waveform is further to successful acceptance tests at Leonardo’s laboratories in Pisa, Italy last November and formal quality acceptance. It rewards two and a half years of development work, involving all ESSOR industry partners. a4ESSOR’s partners will be porting the ESSOR HDR Base Waveform to their respective software defined radios (SDR) as part of the next phase of the project. Final interoperability tests between the partners’ radios will complete the ESSOR OC1 project, with the release of improved and up-to-date ESSOR Target Waveforms, ready to deploy in the operational field. The achieved milestone not only confirms the maturity of the ESSOR technology, but it also demonstrates that cooperation, among different countries and among different companies, is a key element in the enhancement of European products and the competitiveness of European industries in the global communication market. a4ESSOR is a joint venture between Bittium (Finland), Indra (Spain), Leonardo (Italy), Radmor (Poland), Rohde & Schwarz (Germany) and Thales (France). The joint venture is responsible for managing industrial activities under the ESSOR programme and coordinating the partners’ work. The ESSOR programme was launched in 2009 under the umbrella of the European Defence Agency (EDA). The goal of the programme is to develop software-defined radio architecture and the new coalition ESSOR HDR WF in order to facilitate interoperability between European armed forces.
12 May 21. New M599 Rugged XMC from Aitech Offers Double the Performance of Previous ModeAMD GPGPU-based graphics board handles multiple high-def video and data streams simultaneously
M599 Technical Specifications
* High-performance 5-head multiple output graphics XMC
* AMD Radeon™ E9171 embedded GPU for 3D and 4K graphics processing
* 4K HEVC/H.265 and AVC/H.264 decode and encode
* GPGPU Parallel Processing by OpenCL
* DAL-A certifiable for mission-critical avionics applications
Chatsworth, Calif. May 2021 – Aitech, a leading provider of rugged board and system level solutions for military, aerospace and space applications, now offers the M599, a multiple output graphics XMC that provides double the performance of its predecessor, with the same low power consumption.
Designed for mission-critical platforms requiring real-time operating systems (RTOS), the rugged M599 uses the AMD next generation E9171 1.2 TFLOPS GPU to drive multi-displays, enable 3D and 4K content as well as handle high GPGPU to compute needs. The new XMC can be certified to DAL-A, if required for avionics applications, and meets VITA 47 requirements for shock and vibration.
Dan Mor, Director, Video and GPGPU Product Line for Aitech, commented, “The number of high-resolution video and data input sources for rugged embedded systems keeps increasing. GPGPU computing allows the CPU and OS to remain responsive even when the system is under a heavy load, by offloading the intensive operations to the GPU. The M599, our latest graphics XMC, can now deliver 3D and 4K graphics to mission-critical embedded systems and keep pace with market evolutions.”
Aitech’s rugged XMC is a safety-certifiable graphics card, handling up to five simultaneous displays, and offering an optimal balance of performance and power efficiency. Ideal applications include heads-up displays and moving maps as well as navigation and many unmanned vehicles for land, air and sea.
Available in conduction- and air-cooled versions, the M599 operates as a peripheral XMC board with a compatible x86 or NXP host SBC, which interconnects to the XMC via a high-speed PCIe Gen3 link of up to eight lanes. The rugged graphics card supports a number of APIs including Vulkan, OpenCL, OpenGL and DirectX as well as interfaces with Windows and Linux operating systems and RT OSes like VxWorks and INTEGRITY.
11 May 21. Two Hanscom AFB teams support Q-UGV prototypes testing at Tyndall. Two teams at US Hanscom Air Force Base (AFB) are supporting the testing of quad-legged unmanned ground vehicles (Q-UGV) prototypes. The testing is being carried out at Tyndall AFB in Florida, US. The Q-UGVs are also referred to as ‘robotic dogs’.
In March, Hanscom AFB’s Force Protection and Special Programs teams delivered and integrated four Q-UGV prototypes at the 325th Security Forces Squadron.
These prototypes are fitted with advanced multi-directional, thermal, and infrared (IR) video capabilities that provide artificial intelligence (AI)-based threat detection.
Designed by Ghost Robotics, the Vision 60 model robots are fitted with 14 sensors. They are designed to operate in all kinds of terrains.
Currently, the Hanscom AFB teams are offering programme management, engineering support, contracting, and test and evaluation support to help determine the full range of capabilities of the robots.
The teams are also in the process of determining training requirements.
Special Programs Division programme manager Johanna Lewis noted that testing of the prototypes will continue through the fall at Tyndall AFB.
Lewis said: “It’s our responsibility to find out where the boundaries of these units are and if we can push those boundaries
“We need to determine the full scope of how well they work, and how easy they are to maintain. These units at Tyndall are the first to be deployed and installed, so we have to do our due diligence and thoroughly test them.”
The Q-UGV can capture a high-definition (HD) video stream and thermal imaging. It also comes with an IR configuration.
In January, the Ghost Robotics Vision 60 semi-autonomous robot dog demonstrated its capabilities to airmen at the USAF’s Scott AFB in Illinois. (Source: airforce-technology.com)
11 May 21. South Korea’s ADD announces development of autonomous navigation technology for UAVs. South Korea’s Agency for Defense Development (ADD) announced on 11 May that it has completed development of a new ‘sense-and-avoid’ navigation technology aimed at enabling unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to autonomously elude threats and obstacles.
The agency said in a statement that the technology allows UAVs to autonomously set the optimal flight path to respond to potential threats at close range, and safely reach their destination. To this end, the new navigation system uses a sensor mounted on the UAV to collect external information and automatically generate an algorithm for operating the platform.
Development of the new navigation and mission management technology started in 2017, with the ADD saying that it now plans to include it in the development of cluster-type UAVs and complex unmanned aerial systems. In the future, we plan to conduct research on artificial intelligence-based technologies that can recognise tactical situations, and on a technology that optimises the simultaneous operation of multiple UAVs, as part of efforts to continuously improve the performance of UAV autonomy, said the agency.
The new autonomous navigation technology can effectively improve the survivability of military UAVs in future battlefields. It can also be used in the civil sector as the basis for developing a safe operating system for artificial intelligence-based autonomous robots and unmanned air transportation such as urban air mobility (UAM) services. (Source: Jane’s)
11 May 21. Prize catch: Gremlins testing puts air-recoverable UAVs within reach. In late 2020, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) revealed that an industry team led by Dynetics (a subsidiary of Leidos) had come just short of recovering small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to a C-130 Hercules aircraft while in flight. During a third series of flight testing in airspace above the Dugway Proving Ground in Utah, the three X-61A Gremlins Air Vehicles (GAVs) made a series of attempts to engage with a docking mechanism extending from the rear ramp of the C-130.
The Gremlins came within inches of connection on each attempt, according to Scott Wierzbanowski, programme manager for Gremlins in DARPA’s Tactical Technology Office, but, ultimately, “it just wasn’t close enough to engage the recovery system”. Wierzbanowski has previously likened the concept to “aircraft carriers in the sky”, a comparison that goes some way to explaining the challenges inherent to the mid-air recovery of an unmanned vehicle.
Tim Keeter, programme manager for Dynetics’ Gremlins team, told Janes that the November test “demonstrates that airborne recovery is a realisable technology”, adding, “It’s no longer a matter of ‘if we recover’, but rather ‘when we recover’”.
Informed by data gathered in these latest flight tests, DARPA and Dynetics are now planning to run a new series of airborne trials in the first half of 2021. Notwithstanding the real-world uncertainties associated with flight testing – the aerodynamic interactions between the docking bullet and the GAV have proved to be complex – there is a high degree of confidence that this next set of tests will achieve a successful docking. (Source: Jane’s)
11 May 21. Northrop Grumman to develop sense-and-avoid solution for Triton. The US Navy (USN) has issued Northrop Grumman with a prototype and risk reduction contract for the development of a sense-and-avoid (SAA) capability for the MQ-4C Triton high-altitude, long-endurance (HALE) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).
With the USN having previously sought SAA solutions that ultimately failed to meet its requirements, Northrop Grumman announced this latest contract on 10 May. No timelines or contract values were disclosed.
“Sense and avoid will help ensure our customers can safely operate Triton out of almost any airfield or airport in the world, in full compliance with current and emerging aviation regulations around the globe,” Doug Shaffer, vice-president and programme manager of Triton programmes at Northrop Grumman, said. “Incorporating SAA capability will add tremendous flexibility to the Triton system and how the US Navy, Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), and potential future customers seamlessly integrate Triton into their concepts of operation.”
SAA is geared at enabling the Triton to operate in controlled airspace and is a focus of the next developmental increment of the co-operative development programme for the USN and RAAF.
Aviation Communications and Surveillance Systems (ACSS), a joint venture of L3Harris and Thales, will partner with Northrop Grumman on the project. “As a leader in integrated Traffic Collision Avoidance Systems [TCAS] and Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast [ADS-B] systems, we are actively driving innovation in operational efficiency and airspace safety for the emerging unmanned aircraft platforms,” said Steve Alwin, ACSS president and vice-president of engineering. “Our sense and avoid solutions enable active collision avoidance, empowering them to operate safely in commercial airspace.” (Source: Jane’s)
10 May 21. UAV Factory Upgrades Portable Pneumatic Catapult. UAV Factory has announced the release of its upgraded Unmanned Aircraft System Portable Pneumatic Catapult system. As before, the catapults are available in different sizes of 4 or 6 meters, but compared to the previous versions have significantly increased available launch energies – up to 11 kJ for the 4m and 16 kJ for the 6m version.
The new 4 meter catapult is now 60% more powerful than the previous version and the 6 meter catapult has gained additional 35% energy increase. The major energy increase became possible thanks to complete redesign of pneumatic system, which now permits a pneumatic pressure of up to 16 bars. The new Catapult system enables the user to launch aircraft with weights of up to 60 kg to a maximum launch speed of 26 m/s. (Source: UAS VISION)
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.