Sponsored By Oxley Developments
24 Mar 22. Octavo Systems Announces AMD-Xilinx Zynq UltraScale+ MPSoC System-in-Package. Octavo Systems, the leader in mass market System-in-Package (SiP) solutions, today announced a new family of SiP devices based on the AMD Xilinx® Zynq® UltraScale+™ MPSoC Architecture. The OSDZU3, based on the ZU3, provides the benefits of System-in-Package while delivering the performance and flexibility expected from the Zynq UltraScale+ architecture.
The OSDZU3 leverages Integrated Circuit manufacturing technology to integrate:
OSDZU3-REF Development platform for the OSDZU3 System in Package
OSDZU3 System in Package
- AMD-XilinxZynqUltraScale+ MPSoC ZU3
- A Complete and Flexible Power System
- MEMS Oscillators
- Over one hundred passives
- All into a single 20.5mm x 40mm BGA
The OSDZU3 is about 60% smaller than an equivalent system design with discrete components. “The integration not only makes the OSDZU3 perfect for anybody concerned about the Size, Weight, and Power (SWaP) of their product, it is also ideal for anybody looking to move quickly through their design,” says Greg Sheridan, VP Strategy and Marketing at Octavo Systems. “Removing the need to design complicated power systems or DDR has saved our customers upwards of 9 months of design.”
The OSDZU3 provides access to all the interfaces and features on the ZU3. The 1mm pitch 600 pin ball map provides access to every I/O on the ZU3 in just 2 PCB layers using low-cost design rules. The power system also allows the designer to leverage all the power modes the ZU3 supports.
“System-level solutions are increasingly important to our customers, as they seek to deploy cutting-edge embedded computing and machine learning capabilities within increasingly compressed development timeframes,” said Hanneke Krekels, vice president of Core Vertical Markets, Adaptive & Embedded Computing Group, AMD. “In-line with these objectives, we have worked closely with Octavo Systems to bring the first System-in-Package solution based on the powerful Zynq UltraScale+ MPSoC. This offering enables our users to accelerate innovation and simplify system design for the most size constrained applications.”
The OSDZU3 is compatible with the AMD-Xilinx development tools, Xilinx Vivado Design Suite and Xilinx Vitis unified software platform. Octavo Systems worked closely with DesignLinx, an AMD-Xilinx Premier Design Service Partner, to develop the base software platform needed to ensure the SiP integrates into the standard AMD-Xilinx tool flow. “Leveraging our deep knowledge of FPGA and Embedded Software design, we worked with Octavo to ensure the OSDZU3 works seamlessly in the standard AMD-Xilinx development flows. This enables users to take advantage of the SiP in an environment they are comfortable with. This experience allows us to accelerate our mutual customer’s programs using the OSDZU3 SiP,” says Brian Mulhearn, Director of Embedded Solutions, DesignLinx.
Accompanying the OSDZU3 System-in-Package, Octavo Systems will be releasing the OSDZU3-REF reference platform. It features popular interfaces like USB-C, USB 3.0, SATA Host, 1Gb Ethernet, and an FMC LP Connector. It also supports displays through Display Port and a LVDS touch display connector. It will ship with a PetaLinux Distribution and demos that are also developed by DesignLinx.
Octavo Systems has also franchised Avnet as a global distributor to support the roll out and adoption of the new OSDZU3 System-in-Package.
Octavo Systems has Engineering Samples available today through their Beta Program. Design engineers who are interested in gaining access to the Beta program can contact their local Avnet, Octavo Systems, or AMD-Xilinx sales representative. The reference platform will be available to the general market in Q3 CY2022 and the OSDZU3 will be in production by the end of CY2022. (Source: PR Newswire)
24 Mar 22. Curtiss-Wright Corporation (NYSE: CW) today announced the successful verification of the Curtiss-Wright Laser Peening process on the airframe components of the fifth-generation F-35 fighter jet. Curtiss-Wright has been selected to help extend the life expectancy of the F-35B, the short takeoff-vertical landing (STOVL) variant flown by the U.S. Marine Corps and other allied nations around the world, by utilizing its critical Laser Peening process. The verification was implemented by the Fleet Readiness Center East (FRCE) at the Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, NC and the first F-35B to undergo the treatment has been successfully returned to the fleet.
“Curtiss-Wright is honored to be part of this milestone through the utilization of our critical surface treatment applications, building on our commercial and industrial capabilities to support the military’s premier fighter jet program,” said Lynn M. Bamford, President and CEO of Curtiss-Wright Corporation. “We are excited to be part of the team that returned the first laser peened F-35B back to active service, and we look forward to a long and successful relationship with all of the stakeholders involved on other F-35 variants.”
The Laser Peening process was developed by the Curtiss-Wright Surface Technologies Division, a leading global provider of highly engineered surface treatments and analytical services. Laser Peening strengthens the aircraft’s frame without adding any additional material or weight, which would reduce its capability by limiting its fuel or weapons carrying capacity. The technology has wide applications across the defense, commercial aerospace, commercial nuclear and industrial markets.
A recently published FRCE press release talks about the successful completion of the verification and return to service of the first aircraft to undergo the procedure. In the press release Ike Rettenmair, the interim Fixed Wing Division director at FRCE, said “the teamwork between FRCE, the F-35 Joint Program Office, Lockheed Martin, Curtiss-Wright Surface Technologies and Northrup Grumman Corporation helped make the effort successful. We have a great partnership between the working entities and that makes all the difference.”
The verification marks FRCE as the first facility in the world capable of conducting on-site laser peening modification on an F-35 aircraft. A second facility, Ogden Air Logistics Complex at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, is now also fully operational and the first F-35B will be processed at that facility starting in April of 2022, followed shortly thereafter by the F-35C. For more information about Curtiss-Wright’s Surface Technologies Division, please visit www.cwst.com/.
24 Mar 22. Next-gen engine for current and future US helicopter fleets begins testing. The engine for the U.S. Army’s Improved Turbine Engine Program has begun initial testing, the service and the engine’s developer announced March 23. The GE T901 “first engine to test” underwent a “light off,” marking the first time fuel was ignited in the engine, according to the Army. The Army selected the ITEP engine, built by General Electric, in February 2019, with the company receiving a $517 million award to build it. GE beat out the Advanced Turbine Engine Company — a Honeywell and Pratt & Whitney team — after a decade of competitive technology development. The engine will not only replace those currently in the Army’s UH-60 Black Hawk utility and AH-64 Apache attack helicopters; it will also serve as the engine in the service’s future attack reconnaissance aircraft, or FARA. The Army selected Bell and Lockheed Martin to competitively build prototypes with the ITEP engines. The program experienced some delays in delivering the first engine to the Army due to the coronavirus pandemic. But the service’s program executive officer for aviation, Brig. Gen. Robert Barrie, told Defense News in a recent interview that despite delays, he believes it’s possible the FARA prototypes will fly in fiscal 2023.
On the original timeline, GE was expected to provide the first engine to test in the last quarter of FY21, and a flight test airworthiness release was expected in the first quarter of FY23. Low-rate initial production was planned to begin in the fourth quarter of FY24 and wrap up in the fourth quarter of FY26, with a full-rate production decision following. The first engine to test is a “critical milestone,” according to the Army’s statement. “It is the culmination of years of engineering design work that will verify and validate engine performance models through engine testing.”
Barrie told Defense News the engine was instrumented with more than 700 sensors to measure data during testing.
The engine is expected to run for more than 100 hours over the next two months as a “gradual break-in process that builds up to maximum power runs,” the service and GE statement said.
The engine tests are based in an upgraded test cell at the GE facility in Lynn, Massachusetts. Testing will also occur at its facility in Evendale, Ohio, and in government facilities, according to a company announcement.
“The early testing data we’ve gathered indicates the engine is performing in line with our expectations and Army requirements,” said GE’s T901 program director, Tom Champion.
GE used advanced materials in its engine lines, and used 3D-printed and ceramic matrix composites to develop and build the T901.
“Compared to its predecessor, the GE T700, the T901′s 50% power increase restores aircraft performance, while its 25% better specific fuel consumption reduces fuel usage and carbon emissions. Increased component durability will lower life cycle costs,” GE stated. (Source: Defense News)
24 Mar 22. Quin opens first defence science and technology hub in the North East. New Dstl site in Newcastle will specialise in artificial intelligence and data science and work with regional partners. Today, Defence Procurement Minister Jeremy Quin opened the hub at a formal ceremony in Newcastle, alongside Chief Scientific Adviser, Professor Dame Angela McLean DBE and Dstl’s recently appointed chief executive Paul Hollinshead.
Defence Minister Jeremy Quin said: “It’s vital that Defence is open, outgoing and engaged, tapping into the best ideas across the UK. The Dstl science and technology hub in Newcastle will help spread Dstl’s geographic reach and harness the brilliant minds of the scientists, engineers and academics to develop cutting edge data science and artificial intelligence to support our national security.”
In response to the increased emphasis on science and technology in the UK and our drive for diversity and the recruitment of core skills, Dstl is investigating opportunities for science and technology hubs around the UK to access new suppliers, including industry, small and medium-sized enterprises and academia, and alternative recruitment opportunities.
The small Dstl team will carry out AI and data science related research to help defence, turn data into information advantage, and to accelerate the responsible and ethical adoption of AI across defence.
Dstl Newcastle aims to achieve full operating capability by spring 2023.
Recruitment is ongoing in parallel with the opening event. Dstl expects to have approximately 15 employees based at the site by April next year.
Dr Paul Hollinshead MBA OBE said: “This is a really exciting time for Dstl and our drive to support UK science and technology. The hub already has seven members of staff working at The Catalyst building, and we look forward to harnessing further talent from across the region to deliver the best scientific advice and solutions to the MOD and the country.”
Locally-based innovation organisations, such as the National Innovation Centre for Data and the Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA), will support Dstl’s objectives by enhancing its understanding of the opportunities offered by innovation in data both in the North East and across the country.
Dstl’s science and technology hub programme aligns with the Government’s Levelling Up agenda with Dstl Newcastle cited in the recently published White Paper. (Source: https://www.gov.uk/)
23 Mar 22. Mercury’s new rugged distributed processing solutions tackle the most challenging AI workloads at the edge. First rugged network-attached GPU edge server to incorporate NVIDIA BlueField DPU technology. Mercury Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: MRCY, www.mrcy.com), a leader in trusted, secure mission-critical technologies for aerospace and defense, today announced the new rugged distributed processing (RDP) rackmount server series, revolutionary data center-class servers designed to deliver GPU parallel computing resources over high-speed Ethernet networks. These high-performance computing (HPC) servers are optimized for size, weight, and power (SWaP)- constrained, compute-intensive, low-latency workloads at the edge such as sensor processing, artificial intelligence (AI) and data analytics.
Accelerated by NVIDIA® BlueField® data processing unit (DPU) technology, the new servers deliver powerful GPU computing resources to distributed sensors or clients connected over the network. With a high-speed PCIe Gen 4 fabric, multiple 100G Ethernet interfaces and integrated management processor, RDP servers enable GPU processing without the SWaP and cost disadvantages of a separate server to host and manage the GPU.
Why It Matters:
The latest in data center-class compute performance is now readily available for aerospace and defense application deployment, particularly in space-constrained platforms such as aircraft, ships, submarines, and ground radar stations. This new technology dramatically accelerates AI for threat assessment, augmenting mission-critical decision making, and ultimately making those platforms and their crews safer.
“Customers are seeking the highest-performance solutions packaged in rugged and SWaP-reduced form factors to enable compute-intensive AI and deep learning applications at the edge,” said Dusty Kramer, vice president and general manager, Mercury Edge. “Our new purpose-built RDP server series is the first in the industry to pair NVIDIA DPU and GPU technologies for use in vehicle, shipboard and aircraft applications at the edge. It’s another example of how we collaborate with key Silicon Valley tech companies to make commercial technology profoundly more accessible to aerospace and defense.”
Typically, GPU management is performed by a separate host computer, increasing cost and complexity. Mercury’s RDP server, on the other hand, incorporates all GPU and DPU components into a ruggedized 1U chassis, making GPU resources accessible anywhere. RDP 1U servers can also be installed as a companion unit with other Mercury servers and data storage solutions for enhanced computing power, while multiple RDP systems can be deployed as a GPU cluster for massive data processing tasks. For embedded VPX system applications, Mercury offers a module with dual NVIDIA Turing GPUs. Future RDP products may support additional NVIDIA DPU and GPU modules.
“Innovations in breakthrough technologies such as AI, 5G and simulated environments are supercharged by next-generation data center infrastructure,” said Kevin Deierling, senior vice president of networking at NVIDIA. “NVIDIA’s accelerated computing platform equips innovators with extreme performance as well as the security and SWaP-optimized efficiency to push the boundaries of state-of-the-art technologies, making it the ideal choice for Mercury to integrate into their solutions.”
Powerful Edge AI Capabilities with a Small, Ruggedized Footprint
- NVIDIA A100 Tensor Core GPU and BlueField-2 DPU technology in a standard 20” depth, 1U ruggedized form factor with rear I/O connectors
- Integrated host management using BlueField-2 Arm-core processors running Linux
- Low-latency PCIe Gen 4 backplane to dual 100G Ethernet ports for high-speed data transfer
- Eliminates need for x86 host server for management, reducing size, weight, and power footprint
23 Mar 22. Ambitious new projects for Cape Aerospace Technologies. After designing and manufacturing a range of micro- and small gas turbines, Cape Aerospace Technologies (CAT) is developing a range of new products, including larger turbojets and a rocket.
David Krige, Managing Director at Cape Aerospace Technologies, revealed this in a presentation at the Virtual Aerospace and Defence Industry Day held on 22 February. The Day was organised by the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition’s Aerospace Industry Support Initiative (AISI), which has provided assistance to CAT.
Cape Aerospace Technologies emerged from Baird Micro Turbines, which was established in 1998. CAT has built three small gas turbines producing 12, 25 and 46 kg of thrust for use in model aircraft, high speed target drones, unmanned aerial vehicles, experimental aircraft and full-size gliders.
The CAT 120 develops 120 N (12 kg) of thrust; the CAT 250 produces 250 N, and the CAT 400 produces 460 N of thrust. CAT 120 and CAT 250 engines have been delivered to international customers, including in the Middle East and Europe, such as the United Arab Emirates and Turkey. The latest CAT 400 engine, which developed more thrust than the rated specification, is currently going through the industrialisation and production phases – Cape Aerospace Technologies has received pre-orders for this engine.
All these engines are light, weighing 1.4, 1.9 and 3.6 kg respectively. All can operate between -25 and 50 degrees Celsius and at altitudes of up to 8 000 metres. They are intended for sub-sonic applications and can operate on diesel, kerosene or Jet A1 fuel.
Krige explained that as tolerances are high and quality control is tight, CAT uses top-end machinery. In-house manufacturing equipment includes CNC turning, milling, grinding and routing machines; turbine balancing equipment; an ultrasonic cleaner; 3D resin printer; and 3D filament printer to mention a few. The company is growing towards owning several five-axis machines. Turbine-related ancillaries, software and associated electronic control systems are designed and developed in-house – turbines make use of FADEC (full authority digital engine control).
CAT also has the ability to design and manufacture composite airframes, mainly for the hobby industry. In the 2000s it built a target drone for the South African Navy, and the composite airframe as well as telemetry, comms and turbines were designed and manufactured in-house.
Not content to rest on its laurels, Cape Aerospace Technologies is now working on the CAT 800, developing 800 N of thrust, and the CAT 1400, developing 1 400 N of thrust. It is also working on a 1 kN rocket – Krige explained that this will be tested soon. The idea is to scale the rocket up so that it will eventually be capable of reaching low earth orbit (LEO).
Various future projects and ambitions include a vertical takeoff and landing passenger aircraft (air taxi), auxiliary power units (APUs), turboshafts, turboprops, turbofans and range extenders. Some of this is in response to the many requests for gas turbines for power generation rather than propulsion.
Another project is for a twin 250 N mount, intended for a jetwing (such as flown by Jetmen like Yves Rossy). With a twin mount under each wing, total thrust is 1 000 N. CAT is developing the jetwing’s propulsion system for a client and hopes to carry out a launch from Swellendam. The client intends to scale the twin configuration to using 400 N engines.
Krige said Cape Aerospace Technologies is the only micro to small turbojet manufacturer in Africa – all design, manufacture and testing is done in-house. The company saw a gap in the African market for small gas turbines and has cornered this market. Its successes have seen multiple export sales, including an exclusive sales agreement with an international client.
Cape Aerospace Technologies has recorded a number of highlights over the years, and these include developing a target drone for the South African Navy in the 2000s, developing the first single fuel electric start system for micro gas turbines in the world in 1999, developing the world’s first plasma ignition system for micro gas turbines (outperforming standard glowplugs), and developing the first fully web-enabled gas turbine user interface with over-the-air update capability.
CAT boasts the fastest micro turbojet startup time on the market: six seconds from 0 rpm to idle (32 000 rpm), compared to the industry’s best at 25-40 seconds. Going from idle to full throttle takes three seconds.
The Aerospace Industry Support Initiative (AISI) has provided financial support to CAT, specifically on the CAT 250 and CAT 400 engines, and helped developed engine control software. As such, CAT is one of the AISI’s biggest success stories. The AISI is an initiative of the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition and managed and hosted by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). The CSIR, together with Stellenbosch University, collaborate with CAT to support industry and students. (Source: https://www.defenceweb.co.za/)
22 Mar 22. UAV Corp’s Lighter Than Air Detachable Drone Completing Avionics Installation. UAV Corp has announced the near completion of the new Lighter Than Air Detachable Drone “LTATDD SA-70” with the avionics installation in its final stage and integration of subsystems before flight. Over the past three years UAV Corp’s wholly owned subsidiary Skyborne Technology, Inc. has designed, developed and is currently completing the manufacturing of innovative technology to provide disaster relief, communications, agriculture assessment, public safety, defense and other functions for domestic and international customers. The LTATDD SA-70 semirigid structure encompasses a helium-filled, lighter-than-air (LTA) drone, fixed site mooring and tether controls as well as the LTA Drone is unique in that it allows the command-and-control personnel to release the tether and initiate flight as a remotely piloted unmanned airship. The LTATDD SA-70 will be equipped with a modular pod (APOD) system which includes the flight deck and housing for up to two (2) unmanned drones for in-flight launch. Our first LTATDD SA-70 will be utilized for FEMA Disaster Relief efforts for the State of Florida through the Triumph Fund-Gulf/Coast State College Program. Our market research after Hurricane Michael and ongoing dialog with government agencies such as Homeland Security, Customs and Border Patrol, Naval Warfare Center, FEMA, Air Force, and other government agencies led to new advanced designs for the build of the LTATDD SA-70-12. During the LATDD SA-70’s development, the company has re-engineered all hard structures, outer/inner envelopes, new UAS drone decks and an avionics suite for manned and unmanned capabilities. The hard structure CAD designs that can be transferred from aircraft aluminum to composites which could reduce the LTA Drone weight allowing for additional future surveillance and telecommunication systems. The avionics suite is a state-of-the-art system for remotely piloted operations.
“The company chose to invest in advanced technologies to be ahead of the curve for a total aerial communication system at an affordable cost,” stated Michael Lawson CEO.
With the planned infrastructure upgrades to UAV Corp’s Costin Airport improvements will give the company a well-equipped operating base to complete the planned test flights of their LTATDD.
“I am pleased to report that the Gulf County Commission unanimously approved a motion to go out for construction bids to provide the $1,034,000 in infrastructure support to develop UAV Corp’s Skyborne hangar and operations facility in Port St. Joe Florida. The scope of work includes paving Cessna Drive and provision of water, sewer and electricity. We are excited by the possibilities and look forward to assisting UAV Corp in making this facility a reality!” stated Jim McKnight, Executive Director Gulf County Economic Development Coalition.
We continue to show that we are building our proprietary new technology to benefit both commercial, military and humanitarian opportunities. We believe that focusing our business directive on these markets will provide future growth and continue to add value for our shareholders.” stated Billy Robinson, Chairman. (Source: UAS VISION)
22 Mar 22. EyeTracking Enters Cooperative R&D Agreement (CRADA) with U.S. Army. Aeromedical Research Lab will use eye-tracking tech to support aviator health & safety. The U.S. Army Aeromedical Research Laboratory (USAARL) has entered a cooperative R&D agreement with EyeTracking, LLC, a San Diego company that uses eye-tracking technology to objectively measure human performance. The mission of the USAARL is to preserve the health and safety of Army aviation personnel and other Warfighters while optimizing mission effectiveness. That includes developing secure ways to monitor their physiological, psychological, and performance status under operational conditions. The systems developed by EyeTracking directly support that objective. They monitor eye and pupil movements to track users’ attention and measure cognitive workload and cognitive state. This information, processed using proprietary algorithms, can be used to quantify human performance in real time. Through this partnership, the USAARL will use EyeTracking’s PilotReady® software to develop real-time systems for monitoring the health and safety of military personnel during missions. The goal is to tailor the software to operational conditions, first in laboratory studies, then flight tests with military aircraft and personnel. The project supports Future Vertical Lift, an effort across the U.S. Armed Forces to develop a new generation of military helicopters. It also supports Military Operational Medicine Research Programs in three areas: 1) Trust in Automation, 2) Studies on Workload, and 3) Effects of Hypoxia and Fatigue.
Together, EyeTracking and the USAARL will:
- Develop instrumentation for real-time monitoring of military aviators and other Warfighters during missions
- Generate scientific insights about the physiological and psychological status of Army Warfighters and aircrew
- Create methods for real-time monitoring of operator states, reserve resources, functionality, and competencies
“We are thrilled to partner with the U.S. Army Aeromedical Research Laboratory to support aviator health and safety and mission effectiveness,” said EyeTracking President James Weatherhead. “Our solutions equip instructors with the data they need to enhance training today, as well as host a range of deep technical capabilities to develop integrated and automated training solutions for the future.”
About EyeTracking, LLC: EyeTracking is based in San Diego and has pioneered the field of applied eye-tracking research for over two decades, transforming scientific advances into practical tools that put people and systems in perfect sync. Whether in an operational setting, a full motion-based simulator, or VR, the goals are the same: better decisions, fewer errors, and a faster path from novice to expert. (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)
22 Mar 22. NanoGraf Wins $1m Development Contract from United States Department of Defense to Produce Next-Generation Battery Technology for the U.S. Army. NanoGraf, an advanced battery material company and enabler of the world’s most energy-dense 18650 lithium-ion cell, today announced that it won a $1m development contract from the Department of Defense to produce a more powerful, longer-lasting 4.3Ah lithium-ion battery. The cell will provide U.S. military personnel with enhanced run-time for the equipment they rely on to operate safely and efficiently.
Soldiers carry upwards of 20 pounds of lithium-ion batteries to power communication devices, goggles, helmets, and more. Battery-powered technology helps soldiers achieve their missions, but the weight can result in fatigue and mobility issues, putting soldiers at risk. Improved battery performance is key to the U.S. military’s success and ability to provide excellent communications and keep soldiers safe. NanoGraf’s batteries will continue to improve run time on U.S. soldiers’ equipment, resulting in increased overall performance.
This is the second Department of Defense project won by NanoGraf. In 2021, the company developed the world’s longest-running 3.8Ah 18650 cylindrical lithium-ion cell, at 800 watt-hours per liter (Wh/L). This cell will go into volume production in the Spring of 2022.
“When people talk about range anxiety with electric vehicles, it’s about the inconvenience, whereas in the military, it can be about life or death,” said Dr. Francis Wang, CEO of NanoGraf. “We’re honored to have this opportunity to enable enhanced survivability and effectiveness to our Soldiers and Warfighters with greater runtimes for their critical electronic devices.”
In an industry where performance improvements are typically very small, the 4.3Ah will be a dramatic increase in energy density reaching 870Wh/L, and NanoGraf expects no impact on cycle life, shelf life, discharge rate capability, or operating temperature.
The cell will enter into volume production in Q2 2024, and be available for battery pack qualifications and fielding to the Warfighter in late 2024.
22 Mar 22. Mercury’s latest commercial technology leverages strategic investment in U.S. trusted, secure microelectronics. Customizable RF SiP solution redefines edge processing for radar, electronic warfare and 5G communications. Mercury Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: MRCY, www.mrcy.com ), a leader in trusted, secure mission-critical technologies for aerospace and defense, today announced the new RFS1140 System-in-Package (SiP), a first to combine powerful state-of-the-art FPGA processing with Jariet Technologies’ high-speed data converters at chip scale and manufactured in a trusted U.S. microelectronics facility. By delivering the latest commercially developed integrated circuits, Mercury’s SiP devices revolutionize edge processing applications by maximizing performance in a trusted, highly customizable architecture.
Why It Matters:
Most silicon for defense applications is designed by domestic chipmakers but fabricated in overseas foundries representing a vulnerability in the microelectronics supply chain. The RFS1140 is manufactured in Mercury’s trusted defense microelectronics activity (DMEA)-accredited microelectronics facility in Phoenix, Ariz., an example of how Mercury is making commercial technology profoundly more accessible to the DoD.
“In the fall of 2019 Mercury announced a $15 million strategic investment in trusted microelectronics technology innovation,” said Tom Smelker, vice president, Mercury Systems. “Our new RFS1140 is our latest product supporting that investment. By combining high-speed data converters, digital processing, memory and power in a single package, Mercury lowers overall system costs and complexity, and enables placement closer to the sensor edge, reducing latency. In addition, our trusted onshore design, manufacturing and testing directly support DoD requirements for critical state-of-the-art microelectronics.”
A trusted, secure, low-latency solution that reduces back-end processing
- Best-in-class silicon technology for a dramatic increase of performance per unit area
- State-of-the-art FPGA processing, high-speed data converters with four channels
- Integrated power and memory
- High-speed direct digitization up to 64 GSPS at the sensor edge
- Onshore trusted manufacturing in a DMEA-accredited facility
16 Mar 22. US Navy conducts maritime remote ID experiments with Pierce Aerospace during Thunderstorm 2021 event. The US Naval Surface Warfare Center Carderock has signed a three-year cooperative research development agreement (CRADA) with Pierce Aerospace. The initiative represents the first maritime experiment for Pierce Aerospace’s Flight Portal ID, Remote ID technology suite.
According to Danko, “the focus of this demonstration was Joint Contested Logistics.” Danko continued, “We selected 10 technologies, integrated them into the boat and conducted underway experiments over a couple weeks. One of the highlights was the ability and willingness of technology providers like Pierce Aerospace to collaborate and combine new technologies in innovative ways to address a common tactical goal.”
“This was the first time stress testing Flight Portal ID in a maritime environment, exposing the system to vibration, shock, sea state, and marine airspace while aboard a US Navy vessel,” said Aaron Pierce, CEO of Pierce Aerospace. “The experiment was very valuable to our ongoing prototype development and we immediately began iterating with lessons learned from the maritime environment.”
The US Navy’s M80 Stiletto hosted the event, with multiple Rigid Inflatable Boats (RIBS), a jet ski, and an unmanned surface vessel (USV) all contributing to the multi-asset experiment. The M80 Stiletto was originally developed for US Navy Special Warfare and has an extensive history supporting next generation technology and prototype experimentation. The USV was a Seasat X3, provided by Seasats. The activities included maritime UAS Remote ID experimentation aboard the M80 Stiletto during the US Navy’s Thunderstorm 2021 experiment.
During the experiment Pierce Aerospace integrated Flight Portal ID into Air Force Research Laboratory’s (AFRL) COPERS Common Operating Picture. COPERS provides a distributed web-based common operational picture that enables anyone with approved credentials to login and participate or observe events monitored and administered by COPERS. The system is designed for diverse integration and delivers superior situational awareness across a wide range of users.
“The Pierce Aerospace team integrated into COPERS and was ready to go before arriving dock-side. Their technology, coupled with the situational awareness power of COPERS provided a picture of the operational space that had not been previously available,” said Preston Hoeve, COPERS Principle Investigator, Centauri/KBR.
Dennis Danko, the JPEM program manager said: “The focus of this demonstration was Joint Contested Logistics. We selected 10 technologies, integrated them into the boat and conducted underway experiments over a couple weeks. One of the highlights was the ability and willingness of technology providers like Pierce Aerospace to collaborate and combine new technologies in innovative ways to address a common tactical goal.”
(Image: Screen capture of video shot from a UAS equipped with FPID while flying from the M80 Stiletto during Thunderstorm 2021) For more information visit: www.pierceaerospace.net (Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)
17 Mar 22. Australian research finds acoustic signals can identify drones almost four kilometers away. Australian researchers have reverse engineered the visual systems of hoverflies to detect drones’ acoustic signatures from almost four kilometres away, according to an article published by Science Daily. The finding could help combat the growing use of IED-carrying drones, including those used in Ukraine.
According to the article: Autonomous systems experts from the University of South Australia, Flinders University and defence company Midspar Systems say that trials using bio-inspired signal processing techniques show up to a 50 per cent better detection rate than existing methods.
The findings, which could help combat the growing global threat posed by IED-carrying drones, including in Ukraine, have been reported in The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America.
University of South Australia Professor of Autonomous Systems, Anthony Finn, says that insect vision systems have been mapped for some time now to improve camera-based detections, but this is the first time that bio-vision has been applied to acoustic data.
“Bio-vision processing has been shown to greatly increase the detection range of drones in both visual and infrared data. However, we have now shown we can pick up clear and crisp acoustic signatures of drones, including very small and quiet ones, using an algorithm based on the hoverfly’s visual system,” Prof Finn says.
The hoverfly’s superior visual and tracking skills have been successfully modelled to detect drones in busy, complex and obscure landscapes, both for civilian and military purposes.
“Unauthorised drones pose distinctive threats to airports, individuals and military bases. It is therefore becoming ever-more critical for us to be able to detect specific locations of drones at long distances, using techniques that can pick up even the weakest signals. Our trials using the hoverfly-based algorithms show we can now do this,” Prof Finn says.
Associate Professor in Autonomous Systems at Flinders University, Dr Russell Brinkworth, says the ability to both see and hear small drones at greater distances could be hugely beneficial for aviation regulators, safety authorities and the wider public seeking to monitor ever increasing numbers of autonomous aircraft in sensitive airspace.
“We’ve witnessed drones entering airspace where commercial airlines are landing and taking off in recent years, so developing the capacity to actually monitor small drones when they’re active near our airports or in our skies could be extremely beneficial towards improving safety.
“The impact of UAVs in modern warfare is also becoming evident during the war in Ukraine, so keeping on top of their location is actually in the national interest. Our research aims to extend the detection range considerably as the use of drones increases in the civilian and military space.”
Compared with traditional techniques, bio-inspired processing improved detection ranges by between 30 and 49 per cent, depending on the type of drone and the conditions.
Researchers look for specific patterns (narrowband) and/or general signals (broadband) to pick up drone acoustics at short to medium distances, but at longer distance the signal is weaker and both techniques struggle to achieve reliable results.
Similar conditions exist in the natural world. Dark lit regions are very noisy but insects such as the hoverfly have a very powerful visual system that can capture visual signals, researchers say.
“We worked under the assumption that the same processes which allow small visual targets to be seen amongst visual clutter could be redeployed to extract low volume acoustic signatures from drones buried in noise,” Dr Brinkworth says.
By converting acoustic signals into two-dimensional ‘images’ (called spectrograms), researchers used the neural pathway of the hoverfly brain to improve and suppress unrelated signals and noise, increasing the detection range for the sounds they wanted to detect.
Using their image-processing skills and sensing expertise, the researchers made this bio-inspired acoustic data breakthrough thanks to Federal Government funding through the Department of Defence’s Next Generation Technologies Fund
The funding partly supports technological solutions to address the weaponisation of drones which are now among the deadliest weapons in modern warfare, killing or injuring more than 3000 enemy combatants in Afghanistan and being deployed in the current war in Ukraine.
A video explaining the technology can be viewed here: https://youtu.be/zAmiyaDH5oQ
For more information visit: www.sciencedaily.com;; www.asa.scitation.org;www.uasvision.com (Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)
Oxley Group Ltd
Oxley offer a range of Military Marine NVG friendly LED lighting that includes navigation lights and controls, flight deck landing lights and interior compartment lighting. Our lighting products are used by Navies around the world including our own Royal Navy on UK Aircraft Carriers, Canadian Frigates, Swedish Submarines, Australian Surface vessels and Submarines, on board French Naval Carriers and in Naval Gun Turrets.
The technology is extremely energy efficient and built robustly, with proven long life. The lighting is NVG friendly, dimmable and programmable to allow for operations with aircraft pilots using military night vision goggles. They offer superior design giving high reliability for the most demanding environments with high sealing and the ability to meet the most stringent EMC standards.
Oxley are proud to say that we are working in partnership with SeaKing to enable a control panel to be offered with our LED Navigation Lighting. All of Oxley navigation lights have been specifically developed for vessels over 50 metres.
Contact Marcus Goad on 07850 917 263 for more information or to arrange samples.
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.