Sponsored By Oxley Developments
07 Oct 21. General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI) is working with the U.S. Army to develop a Modular Open Systems Approach (MOSA) for the Multi-Domain Operations (MDO)-capable Gray Eagle Extended Range (GE-ER) Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS). Incorporating MOSA on GE-ER Increment 2 spans the entire system, including the aircraft and the Command and Control (C2) software suite. The implementation of MOSA will provide multiple new standards for C2, Future Airborne Capability Environment (FACE), Open Mission Systems (OMS), Universal Armament Interface (UAI), as well as further segregating the Flight/Mission systems’ hardware and software.
“MOSA implementation on GE-ER Increment 2 supports rapid integration of best of breed capabilities,” said GA-ASI Vice President of Army Programs Don Cattell. “We share the Army’s vision for MOSA and want to help them create a system that makes interfacing from all platforms and users as easy as possible.”
MOSA for GE-ER Inc. 2 has an exceptional return on investment for the Army. On the aircraft, MOSA will enable rapid integration of advanced payloads, communication equipment, along with Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning (AI/ML) capabilities. This will reduce the sensor to shooter timelines, while simultaneously reducing the datalink bandwidth requirements in a contested environment, thus increasing range and resiliency.
The ‘edge processing’ capability will maximize the utility of the Medium Altitude aircraft providing, in near real time, threat Detection, Identification, Location and Reporting (DILR) to the U.S. Army and Joint Force. Furthermore, the software components are being designed to be portable to other manned and unmanned aircraft systems the Army is developing, enhancing capability while reducing cost.
For the C2 suite on the ground, MOSA implementation will separate the Human Machine Interface (HMI) from the software business logic and will decrease the time associated with interfacing with evolving communication capability in the Joint and multi-national environment. This will allow the Army to tailor the HMI for each platform and minimize regression testing, a capability the Army has never had before.
GA-ASI is currently testing the MOSA components on a simulator with plans to begin flight testing early next year, along with other industry and government partners selected by the U.S. Army.
06 Oct 21. Honeywell Unveils Cloud-Connected Cockpit System. Honeywell has unveiled an all-new aircraft cockpit system, the first in the industry built with an always-on, cloud-connected experience that improves flight efficiency, operations, safety and comfort. aThe Honeywell Anthem flight deck offers unprecedented levels of connectivity, an exciting and intuitive interface modeled after everyday smart devices, and a highly scalable and customizable design. Honeywell Anthem is powered by a flexible software platform that can be customized for virtually every type of aircraft and flying vehicle, including large passenger and cargo planes, business jets, helicopters, general aviation aircraft, and the rapidly emerging class of advanced air-mobility (AAM) vehicles.
“Honeywell is not just launching a new flight deck today — we are changing the way pilots operate aircraft and creating a more intuitive experience than ever,” said Mike Madsen, president and CEO, Honeywell Aerospace. “In the same way we moved from flip phones to smartphones, Honeywell Anthem will transform the pilot experience with customizable controls operated quickly and easily with a few swipes of the finger.”
How connectivity changes the game
Honeywell Anthem is designed to solve two problems facing the aviation industry. First, it creates ways for increasingly complex aircraft to function with more autonomy, relieving stress on pilots and promoting safety and efficiency. Second, it enables the disjointed systems that support an aircraft to work together more seamlessly to deliver critical information to pilots.
Honeywell Anthem supports growing levels of aircraft autonomy, leading to complete autonomous capabilities in the future as regulations allow. Enabling increasing levels of autonomy — whether it’s automating manual tasks for single-pilot operation or automating more complex processes to reduce workload across all pilots, maintainers and other service providers in a large fleet — depends heavily on improving connectivity across aircraft systems.
Historically, mechanics and pilots had to be on board aircraft with wired connections to transfer critical data like maintenance status and flight plans. Honeywell Anthem allows for this data transfer without needing to be physically near the aircraft. Additionally, individual support systems (fuel, maintenance, catering, etc.) have also been disjointed, forcing pilots to interface with multiple third-party apps, websites and businesses both pre-flight and post-flight. The pilot used to be required to integrate all this critical incoming information and then provide notifications to numerous support personnel prior to, during and after completing a flight.
As the world’s first always-on, cloud-connected avionics, Honeywell Anthem generates and transfers data from ground-based servers so those involved in a flight’s operations have the information they always need. An aircraft doesn’t even need to be powered on for pilots and maintainers to see the information they might need prior to launching a flight.
“Everyone who touches a flight is able to get information that matters to them when they need it,” said Vipul Gupta, vice president and general manager, Avionics, Honeywell Aerospace. “The aircraft becomes accessible via the cloud computing infrastructure, and things like maintenance data, flight plans and overall aircraft status are stored automatically by the avionics or via ground-based applications used by support personnel. This means data is accessible by any authorized user from anywhere.”
Honeywell Anthem’s connectivity capabilities dramatically reduce pilots’ preflight preparation time, including wasted time in the cockpit, by up to 45-minutes per flight. Honeywell Anthem seamlessly integrates with popular electronic flight bag planning applications to let pilots create, store and retrieve flight plans from anywhere. After pilots load the flight plan remotely, it will be ready and waiting when they arrive at the aircraft. This remote flight plan loading is an industry first, enabled by the connectivity built into Honeywell Anthem. Prior to engine start, flight deck setups are also faster because many routine tasks can be accomplished off board before getting to the aircraft.
Beyond the benefits experienced by pilots and operators, service providers from maintenance personnel to caterers will benefit from Honeywell Anthem. They will have a higher level of visibility into real-time flight details than before. For example, prior to traveling to the airport, pilots can set up automatic notifications managed via the new Mission Manager function so that fueling teams, ground transportation and caterers are aware of the mission plan, even if the plan has to change due to unexpected weather. If the pilots are connected to Honeywell Anthem, they’re connected to everything they need.
As intuitive as a smartphone, and packed with apps
In addition to its cloud-connected avionics, Honeywell Anthem’s smartphone-like, easy-to-use interface is more intuitive than any other flight deck. It provides pilots and operations personnel with several capabilities that dramatically improve access to data, improving operational efficiency and safety. For example, pilots or operators — whether in the cockpit or on their device at home — can customize the layout of digital displays within the cockpit to their preference. With a few finger swipes, pilots can reconfigure a screen or cluster of information just like they would on their personal smart device. Additionally, unlike traditional interfaces based on limited text-entry or basic graphical menus, Honeywell Anthem uses visualization and modern graphical and gesture-based methods, making the flight deck much easier to use and more fun to fly.
Honeywell Anthem’s display design allows aircraft manufacturers to achieve new, modern aesthetics comparable to those in the high-end automotive market. Its crystal-clear 2K resolution displays showcase the most advanced safety features available today. Additionally, Honeywell Anthem can significantly reduce the potential for ground collisions, runway incursions and runway excursions by 50% with several new features that provide pilots with unprecedented situational awareness. Those features include the 3D Runway Overrun Alerting and Awareness System (ROASS) and 3D Airport Moving Maps. Honeywell Anthem also provides the cleanest, most functional symbology available today, a track-based Synthetic Vision System, plus the industry’s best Integrated Navigation Map and Vertical Situation Display. Honeywell Anthem is designed to fit a wide variety of aircraft both now and in the future, making advanced features that traditionally require a large amount of computing power accessible to smaller business and general aviation aircraft for the first time.
Another of Honeywell Anthem’s unique features is a web browser that allows third-party applications and websites to run in the Honeywell Anthem cockpit. For example, pilots, via a third-party app, can display live weather cameras from the airport they are currently traveling to. Right next to that, they could display live radar imagery above the airport. Having more of this type of information at pilots’ fingertips helps them make better decisions more often.
Honeywell Anthem also integrates with Honeywell Forge, a software platform that includes in-air and on-ground solutions for flight operations, flight efficiency, and connected maintenance in a single user interface. This integration enables operators to make proactive decisions about in-flight routing that save fuel and help avoid flight interruptions because of maintenance. For example, thanks to the always-on cloud connectivity Honeywell Anthem provides throughout flight, maintenance crews can be alerted hours ahead of landing and have necessary parts and personnel on hand to quickly perform any work on the aircraft and keep it in service for the next flight. As a result, Honeywell Forge can help operators and OEMs reduce labor costs associated with managing their fleets by 10% to 15%.
“When you combine unprecedented connectivity and new features with our brand new, intuitive user interface that can be tailored to look and feel exactly how a pilot wants, you’ve got a truly game-changing system,” Gupta said. “Honeywell Anthem is going to bring us closer to our shared industry goals of better pilot experiences and more autonomous flight.”
Powering the emerging urban air mobility market segment
In addition to use on general aviation aircraft, rotorcraft and business jets, Honeywell Anthem will be available to future aircraft platforms in the emerging AAM market segment. Honeywell Anthem has already been selected by Vertical Aerospace and Lilium for their vertical takeoff and landing, all-electric aircraft, the VA-X4 and 7-Seater Lilium Jet, respectively.
Vertical’s VA-X4 is a piloted, zero emissions electric battery-powered aircraft. The aircraft takes off vertically, travels at a top speed of 200 miles per hour while carrying up to four passengers and is 100 times quieter than a helicopter.
The Lilium Jet is the world’s first electric jet that takes off and lands vertically. It seats six passengers and has one operator, with a cruise speed of 175 miles per hour and a nonstop range of approximately 155 miles. Both innovative aircraft will take flight in the coming years with Honeywell Anthem onboard.
“One of the many great things about Honeywell Anthem is its ability to fit any aircraft — both literally and figuratively. It’s scalable and customizable, meaning we can bring this into almost anything that’s currently flying or will fly in the future. That’s great news particularly for our UAM customers,” said Stephane Fymat, vice president and general manager, Urban Air Mobility and Unmanned Aerial Systems, Honeywell Aerospace. “The VA-X4 and 7-Seater Lilium Jet will revolutionize urban and regional air travel, and those will be some of the first platforms in the world to use Honeywell Anthem, which will, in turn, completely change how we pilot aircraft.” (Source: UAS VISION)
28 Sep 21. Aegis Software, a global provider of Manufacturing Execution Software (MES), has signed an enterprise agreement with L3Harris Technologies (NYSE:LHX) to support 20 manufacturing sites and more than 5,500 end users with the Aegis’ FactoryLogix® platform. The platform will consolidate IT systems by digitizing and optimizing manufacturing data to help streamline operational processes. A key advantage of the suite of manufacturing software is the enhanced visibility into productivity and quality metrics.
“Our priority is to provide solutions that meet the critical needs of our customers and Aegis will help us do this across the selected sites,” said Byron Green, Vice President, Global Operations, L3Harris. “We are always looking to invest in technology that supports continuous improvement and innovation, while helping us remain agile and deliver more quickly in a safe and secure manner.”
“We are honored that our twelve-year relationship serving L3Harris has now moved to an enterprise-level agreement. Aegis is excited to work with L3Harris at this level and see the efficiencies, cost savings, and operational excellence the FactoryLogix platform will bring to their enterprise,” stated Jason Spera, CEO and Co-Founder of Aegis Software. “Our modern IIoT-based MES platform, proven experience in the defense and aerospace industry, and rich domain expertise are why leading companies, like L3Harris, consistently turn to Aegis.
FactoryLogix is a holistic and modular IIoT-based MES platform that delivers leading-edge technology with easily configurable modules to support and execute a discrete manufacturer’s strategy towards Industry 4.0. FactoryLogix manages the entire manufacturing lifecycle: from product launch to material logistics, through manufacturing execution and quality management, to powerful analytics and real-time dashboards. This end-to-end platform is helping companies accelerate product introductions, streamline processes, improve quality and traceability, reduce costs, and gain greater visibility for competitive advantage and profitability.
06 Oct 21. Thales and Google Cloud Announce Strategic Partnership to Jointly Develop a Trusted Cloud Offering in France.
- The jointly developed sovereign cloud offering will meet the French “Trusted Cloud” requirements and enable French organizations to innovate and fully benefit from hyperscale1 cloud technology, while keeping their data confidential, secure and fully sovereign
- This solution will live on dedicated infrastructure that will be managed and operated by a new company, of which Thales will be the majority shareholder
Thales and Google Cloud today announced a strategic agreement to co-develop a sovereign hyperscale cloud offering for France. Operated by a joint company with Thales as the majority shareholder, it will meet the criteria of the French ‘Trusted Cloud’2. With this new offering, French companies and public sector organizations will benefit from all the power, security, flexibility, agility and sovereignty offered by the respective technologies of the two organizations.
By addressing the highest legal and technical requirements for ‘Trusted Cloud’, the Thales and Google Cloud offering will enable private and public sector organisations who need to meet the criteria – defined by France’s Information Systems Security Agency (ANSSI)1 – to benefit from cloud computing services, in accordance with the country’s sovereign cloud strategy.
The joint offer of Thales and Google Cloud is based on the most advanced technologies and services of each partner. Google Cloud’s services, which will be enhanced and complemented with new innovations regularly, will bring elasticity, agility and technological openness, enabling companies to innovate transparently and autonomously, without vendor lock-in.
Thales, a leader in cybersecurity for more than 40 years, will bring the necessary guarantees of France’s sovereignty requirements by ensuring the management of encryption keys, access, identities, and cyber threat monitoring with its Cybersecurity Operations Center. Thales thus provides the levels of trust and of security required from French customers so that they can migrate their most sensitive applications to the cloud while maintaining control.
French companies and public sector institutions will be able to benefit from a set of hyperscale cloud services that are:
- operated by a dedicated, newly formed company under French law, held in majority by Thales;
- hosted in France, within infrastructure that is separate from Google Cloud, with a separate network and servers controlled and operated by the new company;
- supported locally by the new company, ensuring customer service is handled in France;
- locally secured with identity management, data encryption, administration and supervision being provided by the new company;
- regularly enhanced via rolling software updates that are evaluated and validated within a security sandbox managed by Thales; and
- managed on a sustainably developed infrastructure.
“To adapt to the diversity of our customers’ cloud needs, Thales offers a wide range of options with partners in its ecosystem. Thanks to this unique collaboration with Google Cloud, we will be able to help power the digital transformation for organizations of all sizes and industries that want to keep control and sovereignty over their data and that of their customers. Together, we will address the criteria defined by the government for a trusted cloud, as well as environmental goals with a sustainable approach for the infrastructure we will build,” said Marc Darmon, Executive Vice President, Secure Communications and Information Systems at Thales.
“Thales and Google Cloud have a joint vision to deliver the most innovative and trusted solutions to companies and public sector organizations in France. Our unique approach to addressing the concerns of French citizens and government bodies, including the development of a new company, ensures organizations can benefit from the innovation and agility of the cloud, without compromising on the security, privacy and sovereignty required by the French government,” said Thomas Kurian, CEO at Google Cloud.
“The government’s national cloud strategy clearly specifies the state’s willingness to use and promote high-performance and trusted cloud offerings. The challenge is to have the widest possible range of solutions compliant with the SecNumCloud repository which details the technical, operational and legal security rules capable of effectively protecting data and processes hosted in a cloud service. ANSSI therefore enthusiastically welcomes this ambitious project that meets these criteria,” said Guillaume Poupard, Director General of the National Information Systems Security Agency (ANSSI.)
1 “Hyperscale” refers to cloud computing based on an optimized computing architecture in terms of storage, power, energy consumption and scalability.
2 The Trusted Cloud label will offer a double level of security – both legal and technical – and will allow French companies and administrations to benefit from the best cloud services. Some of the world’s most efficient cloud services are published by non-European companies: these services will also be eligible for the label under certain conditions, notably concerning the entity operating these services and the location of the data. (source: https://www.numerique.gouv.fr/uploads/Strategie-nationale-pour-le-cloud.pdf)
04 Oct 21. UK reveals Pyramid programme to rapidly reconfigure software across multiple aircraft types. The United Kingdom has revealed a new programme, dubbed Pyramid, to rapidly reconfigure the avionics of current and future air platforms. Disclosed by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) on 1 October, Pyramid is billed as a reusable open-system mission architecture designed to make avionic upgrades to aircraft simpler, cheaper, and quicker.
“The Pyramid programme introduces a paradigm shift to the current method of avionic systems design and procurement,” the MoD said. “Pyramid aims to make legacy and future air mission systems affordable, capable and adaptable by adoption of an open systems architecture approach and systematic software reuse.”
Currently, each aircraft type is fitted with its own bespoke software system, meaning there can be no compatibility or crossover between them. Pyramid aims to change this by allowing each software component to be compatible with other platforms that have adopted the Pyramid Reference Architecture (PRA).
Pyramid is part of the GBP2 bn (USD2.73 bn) currently earmarked for the Future Combat Air System Technology Initiative (FCAS TI), of which the Tempest future fighter is a core component. (Source: Jane’s)
30 Sep 21. New Partnership Between QEP and Thales to Spur Innovation in Quantum Security and Quantum Sensors. The National University of Singapore (NUS) and Thales have inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to mark the start of a two-year partnership to jointly develop and test quantum technologies for commercial applications. Under the MoU, Singapore’s Quantum Engineering Programme (QEP) and Thales aims to advance quantum technologies and prepare industry players for their arrival. The partnership will see industry and academic experts from Thales and QEP develop capabilities to test and evaluate interdisciplinary quantum security technologies. They will also explore potential research collaboration opportunities in the fields of new materials and design for quantum sensing. In addition, they will organise joint activities such as seminars and conferences to share their expertise and showcase their research outcomes.
QEP is an initiative launched in 2018 by the National Research Foundation, Singapore (NRF) and hosted at NUS. The projects under the collaboration span technologies for security and sensing, and involve QEP researchers across Singapore’s institutes of higher learning and research centres.
“Singapore’s drive in quantum technologies is creating exciting opportunities for the nation’s digital economy. Building on this momentum, QEP’s partnership with Thales, a forerunner in the quantum revolution, will accelerate innovation and development of quantum solutions that are commercially attractive locally and globally. The success of this collaboration will also bolster Singapore’s attractiveness as a testbed and springboard for deploying new quantum technologies.”
With its track record in developing security and cybersecurity equipments, Thales will make available its SafeNet Luna Hardware Security Modules (HSMs) and high-speed network encryptors that support interfaces to quantum devices for research use. The algorithms and quantum random number generation technology in these equipment provide the crypto-agility to easily implement quantum-safe crypto and combat the threats of quantum computing. This equipment would be deployed for proof-of-concept trials and test beds in Singapore. In May 2021, Thales launched a network encryption solution capable of protecting enterprise data from future quantum cyber-attacks. It supplements standard encryption with a scheme resistant to quantum computing that is under consideration for international standards.
“Quantum technologies open almost infinite possibilities for the future and our researchers see real potential in three types of quantum applications, namely in sensors, communications and post-quantum cryptology. Thales has a rich heritage in research and technology in Singapore and being part of the QEP is a strong testament to our collaborative approach towards using quantum technologies to solve real world, end-user challenges. While this initial partnership involves our network encryption technology to provide crypto-agility and cybersecurity, we continue to work with the R&T ecosystem in Singapore to explore new topics, including using novel materials for quantum sensing or in secured communications in quantum technologies.”
The joint team of scientists and engineers will also develop devices that tap on quantum physics for higher performance. This is an area of focus under Singapore’s Research, Innovation and Enterprise 2025 Plan (RIE2025).
“Quantum communications and security, as well as quantum devices and instrumentation are two significant focus areas under the QEP. This MOU will enable like-minded organisations like Thales to collaborate with our public sector research performers to translate their capabilities into impactful next-generation quantum technologies for application in the industry.”
Thales, which has 33,000 engineers across the world, also aims to be a key player in what is often called the second quantum revolution, which exploits subtle properties of quantum physics and requires mastery of the associated technologies.
Quantum communication, for example, relies on quantum physics to make secure encryption keys that can protect confidential messages sent over public networks, while quantum sensors can use quantum physics to make precise measurements. In the future, quantum sensors may help vehicles navigate without global-positioning systems, power new medical imaging technologies and contribute to many other fields.
A third family of quantum technologies, quantum computing, harnesses quantum physics to process information in new ways. It brings the promise of surpassing supercomputers for some data problems but also carries the threat of being able to break some of today’s standard encryption.
Thales has its global headquarters in France, which has a strong partnership with Singapore in science and innovation. A meeting of the France-Singapore Joint Science and Innovation Committee (COSIMIX) in June 2021 included exchanges on potential cooperation in quantum technologies.
There is intense global interest in quantum technologies for both countries. In France, a Quantum Plan announced by French President Emmanuel Macron in January 2021 dedicates 1.8 bn euros (S$2.8 bn) towards developing quantum technologies in the country. In Singapore, the Centre for Quantum Technologies (CQT) at NUS has been building up a pool of quantum expertise since its establishment in 2007. QEP is investing S$121.6 m to advance Singapore’s quantum ecosystem, supporting research that applies quantum technologies for solving user-defined problems and activities that engage industry. Quantum communication and security, as well as quantum sensing are two pillars of the programme.
Associate Professor Alexander Ling, Director of the QEP, said, “The QEP looks for strong technology partners from industry to help meet its goal of deploying Singapore’s quantum know-how to benefit our economy and society. We are delighted that Thales has joined us in studying how quantum techniques can improve communications and sensing.” Assoc Prof Ling is also from the NUS Department of Physics and is a Principal Investigator at CQT.
The National University of Singapore (NUS) is Singapore’s flagship university, which offers a global approach to education, research and entrepreneurship, with a focus on Asian perspectives and expertise. We have 17 faculties across three campuses in Singapore, with more than 40,000 students from 100 countries enriching our vibrant and diverse campus community. We have also established our NUS Overseas Colleges programme in more than 15 cities around the world.
Our multidisciplinary and real-world approach to education, research and entrepreneurship enables us to work closely with industry, governments and academia to address crucial and complex issues relevant to Asia and the world. Researchers in our faculties, 30 university-level research institutes, research centres of excellence and corporate labs focus on themes that include energy; environmental and urban sustainability; treatment and prevention of diseases; active ageing; advanced materials; risk management and resilience of financial systems; Asian studies; and Smart Nation capabilities such as artificial intelligence, data science, operations research and cybersecurity.
For more information on NUS, please visit www.nus.edu.sg .
The Quantum Engineering Programme (QEP) in Singapore will apply quantum technologies for solving user-defined problems, by funding research and supporting ecosystem building. Its work is focused over four pillars: quantum sensing, quantum communication and security, quantum computing and the establishment of a National Quantum Fabless Foundry. The programme was launched in 2018 by the National Research Foundation, Singapore, and is hosted by the National University of Singapore (NUS). The QEP Director is Alexander Ling, Principal Investigator at the Centre for Quantum Technologies and Associate Professor in the Department of Physics at NUS.
Thales (Euronext Paris: HO) is a global leader in advanced technologies, investing in digital and “deep tech” innovations – connectivity, big data, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity and quantum computing – to build a confident future crucial for the development of our societies. The Group provides its customers – businesses, organisations and governments – in the defence, aeronautics, space, transport, and digital identity and security domains with solutions, services and products that help them fulfil their critical role, consideration for the individual being the driving force behind all decisions. Thales has 81,000 employees in 68 countries. In 2020 the Group generated sales of €17bn.
Learn more about the world’s first quantum resistant network encryption solution here, and on how three quantum technologies look set to revolutionise the world of tomorrow. (Source: ASD Network)
04 Oct 21. Swarm grammar: DARPA to test whether single user can control 200 drones. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is gearing up for a major exercise in which it plans to demonstrate a single user controlling a swarm of about 200 unmanned systems in an urban environment.
The November capstone event at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, is part of DARPA’s OFFensive Swarm-Enabled Tactics (OFFSET) program, which envisions smaller units able to mass up to 250 small aerial and ground unmanned systems in urban areas.
One of the major integrators on the effort, Northrop Grumman, will seek to test its technology that allows a single user via a tablet to control 200 vehicles. Raytheon Technologies is another key player in the exercise.
During previous events, the companies successfully demonstrated an operator could control more than 100 vehicles, Erin Cherry, senior technical program manager of emerging capabilities development at Northrop, told C4ISRNET in an interview.
Northrop’s open-architecture system, dubbed Rapid Integration Swarm Ecosystem, allows an operator to draw a sketch on a tablet, which tells the unmanned systems to perform a specific task. Cherry described this as the “swarm grammar.” There could be preplanned or user-defined swarming grammar, and each activity might mean something different based on that swarm grammar.
For example, she said, the user could circle a building on the tablet, telling the unmanned systems to converge on the structure. Or the user could draw a question mark over a target, which denotes a specific task based on predetermined swarm grammar, she added.
Right now, the program is primarily focused on assigning intelligence-gathering tasks to the swarm, but Cherry also described using the unmanned systems to overwhelm an adversary. “Honestly, the sky is the limit here. On OFFSET, we’ve really tried to be as broad as we can,” she said.
Those systems can then pass data back through the tablet to the operator. Cherry also noted there have been cases where engineers demonstrated a secondary operator in the field controlling a smaller swarm subset.
To date, the program has only featured smaller types of unmanned systems with potential hopes of pulling in larger vehicles later.
Northrop is eyeing the Army as a transition partner once the DARPA contract expires in March. The service has shown interest, and Cherry said the company believes its technology could easily integrate with other Army efforts, such as the Integrated Visual Augmentation System, which would provide soldiers with augmented reality and situational awareness data in a heads-up display — with the next notional step being passing swarm data down to soldiers through that system. In the interim, the company wants to mature its technology by getting it in the hands of soldiers at a real-life exercise and receiving important feedback. There are plans for Northrop to test its technology at the Army Expeditionary Warrior Experiment early next year, and the company has asked to participate in Project Convergence 2022, the service’s annual campaign of learning. (Source: Defense News)
01 Oct 21. US Army Researchers Tackling Soldier Power Problems. US Army scientists and researchers are taking on a perennial problem for soldiers on the battlefield: powering up the many devices they are required to carry. In recent years, troops have had to lug more and more devices in their rucksacks, from radios to remote controls to tablets, which has resulted in increased soldier load. To tackle the issue, the Army’s Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Cyber, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance — or C5ISR — Center is investing in new battery and power management technologies that officials hope will unburden warfighters and improve efficiency.
The C5ISR Center’s power management branch — which is nestled under the Army’s Combat Capabilities Development Command — is developing cutting edge tactical systems that can be handheld or soldier-worn.
Dr. Ashley Ruth, a research chemical engineer at the center, noted that power is a cross-cutting technology that is relevant across each of the Army’s six modernization priorities that Futures Command has been spearheading for the past three years. These include long-range precision fires; next-generation combat vehicles; future vertical lift; the network; air-and-missile defense; and soldier lethality.
“Power is instrumental for all of these,” Ruth said during an interview with National Defense. “Every single weapon system needs power.”
The office is developing a myriad of new technologies, including its small tactical universal battery system, an interoperable family of batteries that will enable standardization for soldier-worn and handheld equipment, officials said.
As the Army has outfitted soldiers with modernized systems over the past several years, “we’ve really seen where these different pieces of equipment would tend to bring their own either proprietary or unique power sources onto the battlefield,” said Dr. Nathan Sharpes, a research mechanical engineer with the C5ISR Center. “We were seeing this future where a soldier is going to have to carry 10 different types of batteries … even though they all push the same electrons.”
All these systems may have slightly different user interfaces and feature varying voltages and chemistries, he noted.
It’s difficult to pin down how many batteries the typical soldier carries today, Sharpes said. What an infantryman carries will be different from what a radio operator has on hand.
It’s hard to even grasp how many of these types of technologies the Army has in its inventory, Ruth added. “In fact, we’ve tried, and the Army doesn’t have a means to access information on how many individual battery packs we actually use,” she said.
Ideally, all the gadgets a soldier carries — from GPS trackers to radios to night-vision goggles — would all be powered with the same type of battery, Ruth said. However, there are a multitude of energy sources being developed individually throughout the service.
“It’s logistically burdening, as well as then cognitively burdening on the soldier to keep track of all this,” Sharpes said.
By simplifying the batteries troops carry, a soldier no longer must worry about whether he or she inserted them the right way into their device, whether they are mixing old and new cells, or if they are combining chemistries, Ruth said.
“When you’re getting shot at, it’s much easier to just unscrew the battery and stick a new one on,” she said. “Then you’re done and you’re up and running again.”
To achieve both simplicity and interoperability among different equipment, the center has been developing for the last year and a half the small tactical universal battery, or STUB, Sharpes said.
“It’s just the best, most advanced USB power bank that you can’t buy yet,” he said. The system contains some proprietary military protocols in it, he added.
STUB works by determining the voltage needed for a particular system, making the device interoperable with different equipment, he said.
Researchers are looking beyond Army needs and are also working with the Navy, Special Operations Command and even NATO partners to make sure STUB is interoperable with their devices as well, Sharpes and Ruth noted.
“Now, the types of cells, the chemistry, all of that that inside of the battery doesn’t matter as much … because the battery can make whatever voltage it needs,” Sharpes explained.
The STUB family of systems features eight different form factors, but the same interface and attachment features, he said. The smallest weighs about a quarter of a pound, and the largest weighs about a pound and a half. The initial iteration is powered by lithium-ion cells.
“When you get down into the handheld-size of devices, the size of the power source is just as important as how much energy is in it,” Sharpes said. “That’s why we rolled out with all these different sizes. They are kind of mix and match to where you could have the bigger one or a smaller one and the soldier essentially could decide on the fly what battery they want to take for a particular mission.”
For example, if an infantryman wants to have a lighter load, he or she could grab a smaller version of STUB, he said.
“Essentially, it’s all kind of plug and play,” he said. The center is “trying to simplify power for the soldier, [so] they’re not worrying about what type of battery or interface or chemistry” a battery has.
“A soldier doesn’t need to worry about any of that sort of stuff,” he added. “We’re just giving them a power brick that can be interoperable.”
STUB will help alleviate burdens for soldiers, as well as vendors and government program offices, Ruth said.
“Because program offices and vendors may not have a lot of experience involving battery [technology], chances are they tend to fall short in performance” when they build their own, she said. These performance issues could include safety concerns, a lack of ruggedness or even electromagnetic interference vulnerabilities, she added.
Additionally, once a program office invests in a battery technology for a particular system, officials will have to sustain that product over the long term, she noted. “It becomes a lot easier when it’s only one type of battery … in the field.”
Having one system consolidates demand signals and allows for companies to manufacture the same battery at scale, she added.
“It makes the Army a better customer in the battery space,” Sharpes said. “Traditionally, the Army has been a very bad customer in that we want a very particular solution, and the manner in which we go about ordering these batteries isn’t always the best and it stresses the supply chain.”
A standard battery means overall lower costs, while also offering increased availability and reliability, he said. (Source: glstrade.com/National Defense)
05 Oct 21. Rohde & Schwarz introduces dedicated phase noise analysis and VCO testing excellence with the R&S FSPN. For high speed, real-time phase noise measurements using sources that require high stability in demanding applications, the new R&S FSPN from Rohde & Schwarz has superb sensitivity, accuracy and reliability. As a pure phase noise analyzer and VCO tester, the R&S FSPN provides an unrivaled combination of performance and ease of use. All radio or RF based devices, including radar, communications satellites and mobile phones require the purest signal generation and reception electronics. Without them, the push for ever higher radar resolution or data rate increases for 5G and beyond would be impossible.
Rohde & Schwarz designed the new R&S FSPN phase noise analyzer and VCO tester for production and design engineers who characterize sources such as synthesizers, VCOs, OCXOs, and DROs. Providing very high sensitivity and measurement speed, the R&S FSPN is ideal for demanding phase noise and VCO analysis in development and production.
The R&S FSPN from Rohde & Schwarz comes in two models: one covers the frequency range from 1 MHz to 8 GHz and the other from1 MHz to 26.5 GHz, addressing radar and satellite applications in the C band, X band, Ku band, and the complete K band. Catering to the unique measurement challenges in these fields, the R&S FSPN expands the Rohde & Schwarz phase noise product portfolio which already contains the successful, market-leading ultra-high-performance R&S FSWP phase noise, spectrum and signal analyzer. The R&S FSPN shares tried-and-tested R&S FSWP features such as low noise internal local oscillators coupled with real-time cross correlation engines for increased measurement sensitivity.
Cross-correlation sensitivity gains can be viewed in real-time in result traces, allowing users to adjust the trade-off between measurement speed and sensitivity to meet their application requirements. Users in production need just a few correlations to measure high-quality oscillators, synthesizers or VCOs with high throughput. By increasing the number of correlations, users in R&D can characterize the most sensitive commercially available synthesizers and oscillators. Simultaneous device frequency and phase settling times can be measured with up to 8 GHz of real-time analysis bandwidth. To investigate oscillator long-term frequency stability, the R&S FSPN calculates the Allan variance in the time domain at fixed intervals and uses phase noise measurements to apply cross-correlations and suppress spurs.
The R&S FSPN is also equipped with three ultra-low-noise DC sources to supply and sweep VCOs. The built-in VCO characterization measurement mode analyzes VCO characteristics such as frequency, sensitivity, RF power or current draw versus tuning voltage. For a more in-depth view of the device under test, the spot-noise versus tune measurement mode combines a sweep with ultra-low-noise DC sources plus fast and accurate phase noise measurements. VCO harmonics can also be measured versus tuning voltage without an additional spectrum analyzer.
Since Rohde & Schwarz designed the R&S FSPN as a pure phase noise analyzer, all relevant measurement modes and enhancements come standard. Users only need to choose the frequency range to order.
04 Oct 21. The Whiskey Project showcases new watercraft to US military. The NSW-based defence company has unveiled its new combatant craft to senior US military officials, in a bid to support a broader push to bolster Indo-Pacific interop ability. The Whiskey Project has unveiled the WHISKEY Multi Mission Reconnaissance Craft (WHISKEY MMRC) to key US government and military defence stakeholders in Washington DC. The watercraft, developed following a two-year collaboration with United States Marine Corps (USMC) veterans, has been designed to meet the US’ strategic maritime modernisation objectives, particularly in light of the pivot to the Indo-Pacific. According to the firm, the offering builds on the recently announced AUKUS agreement between the US and the UK.
“This is more than just an export opportunity of Australian designed and owned Defence assets into the US,” The Whiskey Project chief operating officer Ryan Carmichael said.
“It’s about Australia driving innovation to deliver the most capable combatant craft the world has ever seen, for use in a theatre on our doorstep, by our closest ally.”
The USMC Commandant’s Planning Guidance identified the simultaneous development of amphibious capability as a potential opportunity to strengthen the US-Australia partnership, helping to bolster interoperability between the allied forces.
“The WHISKEY MMRC provides the opportunity to achieve combatant craft with a common hull, a common technology, a common supply and sustainment chain between two ‘great friends of freedom’,” Carmichael added.
“In anticipation of USMC watercraft operating in-region amongst Australia’s riverine and littoral capabilities, the provision of fit-for-purpose watercraft that enable joint capability and interoperability also delivers a meaningful force-multiplier effect.”
WHISKEY MMRC integrates command, control, communications, computers, cyber, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C5ISR) sensors and weapons.
The watercraft can also provide increased safety and protection for warfighters, a key component flagged by veterans of Operation Phantom Fury on the Euphrates River in Iraq.
The vessel is built to provide manoeuvre from the sea to support reconnaissance and counter reconnaissance, surveillance, collections, target acquisition, interdiction and battlespace shaping operations.
WHISKEY MMRC features the distinctive Whiskey Sea Blade hull in a 9.5-metre aluminium variation and fit-for-purpose multi-mission modularity.
WHISKEY MMRC also leverages the WHISKEY HORIZON STRIKE technology suite — a low signature Sense First, See First, Strike First solution combining advanced maritime systems, sensors, and effectors with US in-service tactical networks and situational awareness tools.
WHISKEY HORIZON, which was developed by USMC technology integrator Aries Defense in partnership with The Whiskey Project, is integrated into the WHISKEY MMRC design, supporting enhanced operational awareness, command and control, and co-ordination of multi-domain effects to provide commanders with decision dominance.
“The doctrine drove the design,” Darren Schuback, The Whiskey Project managing director, said at the launch of the Wharf Marina in Washington.
“[The] Whiskey Multi Mission Recon Craft will transform how combatant craft and crew operate, providing an unparalleled level of joint capability, operational agility, affordability and availability.”
To address the USMC’s requirements, the watercraft integrates Whiskey slam-reduction hull technology, tipped to reduce shock loading on personnel and sensitive equipment by up to 40 per cent.
“WHISKEY MMRC has been developed specifically with the US Defense warfighter in mind, but its relevance and applicability to the Australian Defence Force and other Five Eyes nations is substantial, particularly in light of the formation of the AUKUS alliance,” Carmichael said.
“The WHISKEY MMRC marks an historical step-change in combatant craft capability, enabling significant human performance advantage, operational advantage and a competitive advantage for those who risk their lives in the strategic maritime environment.”
WHISKEY MMRC is set to be on display at the Team Defence Australia stand at AUSA in Washington, DC, from 11-13 October. (Source: Defence Connect)
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.