NORTHROP GRUMMAN – DEVELOPING INFORMATION SOLUTIONS
By Julian Nettlefold
20 Jun 11. BATTLESPACE editor Julian Nettlefold was given a number of briefings at the Paris Air Show about Northrop Grumman’s new product development in the self-protection, tactical internet and information arenas, CIRCM, HART and eCORE.
In early June Northrop Grumman Corporation announced the development and demonstration of a new aircraft self-protection system processor that is specifically designed to meet the rigors of the military rotary-wing environment. This miniaturized processor identifies, tracks and defeats the threat of infrared missiles launched against rotary- and fixed-wing aircraft. Part of the company’s U.S. Army Common Infrared Countermeasures (CIRCM) self-protection system offering, this modular processor uses a commercially available operating system, is one-third lighter in weight, requires one-fourth the electrical input power, and is both more reliable and less costly to manufacture than the currently produced directional infrared countermeasures (DIRCM) processors. The successful demonstration, where identification, tracking and acquisition of multiple missiles were verified, took place at Northrop Grumman’s Rolling Meadows facility and was witnessed by Naval Surface Warfare Center Crane, a division of the U.S. Navy.
“This small processor has demonstrated the ability to perform complex tracking functions while hosted on a commercially off-the-shelf [COTS] processor,” said Carl Smith, vice president of infrared countermeasures for Northrop Grumman’s Land and Self Protection Systems Division. “The processor has demonstrated that it can track missiles in stressing environments including clutter by maintaining tracking through obscuring helicopter blades and rejecting flares.”
Heterogeneous Airborne Reconnaissance
The requirement for real-time access to ISR platforms, sensors and sensor products in complex environments, is key to the ability of the soldier to analyse and deliver accurate real time information. The Heterogeneous Airborne Reconnaissance Team (HART) system autonomously manages a large mix of manned and unmanned aircraft and sensors and distributes streaming video, surveillance and reconnaissance information to warfighters in the field.HART significantly assists in planning and conducting ISR operations, providing all the necessary tools to quickly submit ISR tasking or retasking requests based on the warfighter’s mission and changing tactical priorities.
HART can automatically and simultaneously track, interface and bi-directionally integrate up to 50 different manned/unmanned systems, simultaneously providing critical imagery to up to 50 user interfaces. The system can either dynamically retrieve, in near real time, the required information from a catalog of geo-registered images or direct manned/unmanned aircraft systems and/or sensors to collect updated intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance information.
Since initial demonstration in 2005, HART has successfully demonstrated integration with Raven, Wasp, Pointer, ScanEagle, Shadow, Bat and Hunter, all without requiring modification to either UAS platform or ground stations. It is also capable of interacting and integrating with current and future US Department of Defense UAS, including Global Hawk, BAMS, Predator, Fire Scout, UCLASS and others. The HART system has recently completed testing and is in the final stages of preparation for fielding. Adoption of HART is under active consideration by all military services.
HART is another example of Northrop Grumman’s world-class systems integration capabilities that enable a variety of military users to exchange real-time information on tactical, ad-hoc networks.
eCORE – (enhanced) C4ISR Operationally Responsive Enterprise
John C. Johnson, Vice President and General Manager, ISR Systems Division of Northrop’s Electronic Systems gave the Editor a fascinating in