Sponsored by Blighter Surveillance Systems
13 May 20. Ascent Vision Technologies Delivers Latest X-MADIS CUAS Systems to US DoD Customer. Ascent Vision Technologies has completed the delivery of several units of the eXpeditionary Mobile Air Defense Integrated System (X-MADIS) to a non-disclosed US DoD customer.
The delivery, part of a major contract award, included the latest variant of the X-MADIS, which incorporates cutting-edge technology innovations for improved portable, on-the-move capabilities in combating small Unmanned Aerial Systems (sUAS).
To provide forces with greater protection against hostile sUAS, the latest variant of the X-MADIS offers superior situational awareness by combining radar with a Radio Frequency (RF) detection sensor. Multiple detection methods ensure no sUAS threat goes undetected, while offering greater reliability in detection, classification and locating of one or multiple sUAS simultaneously.
The rugged Electro-Optical/Infrared (EO/IR) imaging system delivers accurate identification of sUAS in all light conditions. With high zoom capabilities, the system provides long range sUAS identification at day and night. With a powerful Electronic Warfare (EW) system for neutralization, the X-MADIS offers a portable, full-spectrum solution for combating sUAS and drone swarms. Other enhancements include improved power distribution, simpler setup and deployment features and new hardware components for reliable Counter UAS on-the-move in rough terrain. All components are integrated into AVT’s latest CUAS Suite software for seamless command and control of the entire kill-chain.
“As the threat of weaponized sUAS and drone incidents escalate, it’s critical that we continue to offer the latest technologies to provide effective and reliable counter UAS systems to the U.S. Military and our allies around the world,” said Terry Erb, Air Defense Program Manager at AVT. “The latest variant of the X-MADIS builds on our combat-proven technology with innovative enhancements that offers better protection against hostile drones.”
Prior to delivery of the first units to the customer, AVT conducted a series of field tests tailored to the customer’s specific operational needs. The final phase of field testing, which focused on optimizing the X-MADIS for integration into the customer’s selected platforms, was completed late last year.
“We are proud to support our customers around the world with cutting-edge technologies and products designed to protect combat forces, governmental leaders, civilians and critical infrastructure,” added Lee Dingman, AVT President. (Source: UAS VISION)
13 May 20. FLIR Launches C5 Compact Thermal Camera with Cloud Connectivity. May 13, 2020– FLIR Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: FLIR) today announced the FLIR C5 Compact Thermal Camera with new built-in FLIR Ignite™ cloud connectivity and Wi-Fi features for professionals in the building maintenance, manufacturing, and utility industries. The FLIR C5 is designed as a pocket-portable thermal camera, providing easy sharing tools and reduced diagnostic time for commercial electrical testing, mechanical engineering, home and building inspection, energy auditing, and general contracting.
This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20200513005177/en/
The C5 is the first FLIR Cx-Series thermal camera to offer the FLIR Ignite cloud-based solution. When connected to Wi-Fi, professionals can directly upload, store, and back up images and videos to FLIR Ignite. Professionals can also manage and share the data via email from any mobile device or desktop computer. With all images and videos in one place, sharing data with team members and creating reports for customers is convenient and simple.
Featuring FLIR Lepton® thermal imaging sensor and FLIR-patented MSX® (Multi-Spectral Dynamic Imaging) technology, which embosses visible scene details onto thermal images to create a crisp image, inspectors can pinpoint hidden problems instantly.
“The FLIR C5 helps professionals troubleshoot faster and more safely by guiding them to the source of problems including electrical faults, hot fuses, air leaks, plumbing issues, and moisture,” said Rickard Lindvall, General Manager, Solutions Line of Business at FLIR. “The compact C5 is an ideal size to carry in a pocket or tool bag, enabling faster inspections.”
The FLIR C5 is available for purchase today globally for $699 (€649) on FLIR.com and through FLIR authorized distributors. To learn more, please visit www.flir.com/C5.
13 May 20. Cambridge Pixel Announces Dual Redundant Radar Tracking to Support Coastal Surveillance Systems.
- SPx dual redundant radar tracking protects against system failure by providing two processing paths for the radar data & allowing automatic switching as needed
- SPx dual redundancy is designed for high reliability or remote systems such as maritime & coastal surveillance applications where multiple radars are located along a coastline
Cambridge Pixel, a developer of radar display, tracking and recording sub-systems (www.cambridgepixel.com), has added dual redundancy to its SPx Tracking Server to support high reliability radar tracking. The enhancement will protect against system failure by providing two processing paths for the radar data and allowing automatic switching from one to the other.
Support for dual redundant radar tracking is designed for developers of high reliability or remote systems such as in maritime and coastal surveillance applications where multiple radars are located along a coastline and may be unmanned and highly inaccessible.
David Johnson, CEO, Cambridge Pixel, said: “Many of our radar processing systems are being used in complex, distributed architectures where reliability and remote monitoring are essential and many rely on our radar tracking capability to interpret the radar observations to distinguish real targets from noise.
“With support for dual redundant radar tracking within our SPx radar processing software, we can now provide customers that demand high reliability with the built-in capability to switch processors in the event of a system failure. This means that the receiving client sees a single consistent and uninterrupted stream of radar and target track data because the individual processors are programmed to manage the switch-over between themselves if needed.”
Cambridge Pixel’s SPx radar tracker is a best-in-class software-based COTS primary radar data extractor and target tracker that provides target track identification, course and speed. It is fully parameterised, highly configurable and supports multi-hypothesis tracking to improve tracking efficiency and reduce nuisance alarms, as well as modelling algorithms to support the detection of very small targets. The software is sensor independent and supports a wide range of commercial and military radars.
Cambridge Pixel has other products which assist developers and integrators with managing system wide activity. For example, SPx Monitor supports wide-area and local monitoring of network traffic and system health, providing information back to a central monitoring point which can show errors, conflicts, or an absence of data on any expected network addresses.
“We are seeing increasing demand from customers for dual redundancy and for management tools to provide a consolidated view of systems across multiple locations,” said David Johnson. “This is further evidence that the display of radar is increasingly moving up the supply chain and becoming a critical part of modern surveillance, navigation and command & control systems.”
SPx is Cambridge Pixel’s integrated radar processing and display software based on COTS software and Open Standards. The SPx suite of software libraries and applications provides highly flexible, ready-to-run software products for radar scan conversion, visualisation, radar video distribution, target tracking, sensor fusion, plot extraction and clutter processing.
Cambridge Pixel’s radar technology is used in naval, air traffic control, vessel traffic, commercial shipping, security, surveillance, and airborne radar applications. Its systems have been implemented in mission-critical applications with companies such as BAE Systems, Frontier Electronic Systems, Blighter Surveillance Systems, Exelis, Hanwha Systems, Kelvin Hughes, Lockheed Martin, Navtech Radar, Raytheon, Saab Sensis, Royal Thai Air Force, Sofresud and Tellumat.
12 May 20. Trillium Engineering Tests New HD55 Gimbaled Camera System for Tactical Drones. Replacing older HD50 model, HD55 houses sharper EO and IR cameras for better target ID. Trillium Engineering, an industry leader in gimbaled camera systems for small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), announced today that it has begun airborne testing of its lightweight, high-definition HD55 system.
Designed for use on Group 2 and smaller Group 3 UAS, the new HD55 employs electro-optical (EO) and cryogenically cooled mid-wave infrared (MWIR) cameras, as well as an onboard image processor – all in a gimbal just 5.5 inches in diameter and weighing 1750 grams.
“At Trillium, we are constantly on the hunt for state-of-the-art technology,” said Rob Gilchrist, cofounder and president of Trillium Engineering, “and the development of the HD55, the newest addition to our family of gimbaled systems, exemplifies this approach.”
The HD55 replaces the end-of-life HD50, which came in four configurations and was first delivered to customers in November 2014. The HD50-MV was the smallest cooled MWIR gimbaled camera system on the market.
The new and improved HD55 will have the same swept volume as its predecessor but will be slightly lighter and more capable than the trailblazing HD50. “The HD55 has a narrower field of view than the HD50, allowing the new system to get a closer, more actionable look at targets,” Gilchrist said.
Trillium personnel have been flight testing the HD55 on various airborne platforms, including a small multi-rotor drone and a manned Cessna aircraft, which serves as a surrogate for a fixed-wing tactical UAS. The next step, say company officials, is to begin testing on the real thing.
“We are already getting interest from major platform providers,” Gilchrist said. (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)
11 May 20. These three companies got money to prototype new ground-based radars for the US Air Force. Months after the Air Force gave Raytheon the axe on the Three-Dimensional Expeditionary Long-Range Radar (3DELRR) program, the service has tapped three new companies to work on next-generation ground-based radars.
Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and Australian firm CEA Technologies were each awarded $500,000 on May 8 for a 3DELRR rapid prototyping effort known as “SpeedDealer,” the Air Force announced Monday.
3DELRR will replace the legacy AN/TPS-75 radar used to detect and track aerial targets flying at long distances. Raytheon had beaten Northrop and Lockheed for the contract in 2017 after a protracted competition that included multiple protests over the award.
After schedule delays and technical challenges mounted, the Air Force announced in January that it was concluding its work with Raytheon on the program. Instead, the service would seek out off-the-shelf options from industry that could be fielded faster.
“Each award provides $500,000 for the companies to demonstrate their radar system’s capabilities, maintenance concepts and radar performance against operationally-relevant targets and conditions, no later than the end of September,” the Air Force said in a statement. The service would then determine whether a prototype is ready for integration or production, with additional contracts potentially awarded by the end of 2020.
Initial operational capability of a production-ready radar could occur as early as fiscal year 2024, the service said.
Despite a global pandemic, the program is already moving at a fast pace. After holding an industry day in February, the Air Force released a solicitation for the 3DELRR program on March 2, said Lt. Col. Matthew Judge, materiel leader. The three companies were selected less than a month from when industry proposals were due on April 15.
“We are not starting over; this is not a new development contract,” said Col. Michael Harm, 3DELRR’s senior materiel leader. “Through the information presented during our industry day and received in the companies’ response to the solicitation, we were able to confirm that production-ready systems can be demonstrated this year.”
Judge added: “We are excited to see what these three systems can do.”
Lockheed and Northrop’s work will be funded under a contracting mechanism known as an “other transaction authority,” which is typically used for prototype projects. As a foreign company, CEA has been granted a Foreign Comparative Test project award, the service said in a statement.
Northrop Grumman will demonstrate its solution this summer, said Mike Meaney, the company’s vice president for land and maritime sensors.
“We are confident that our solution meets the Air Force’s needs and is the most affordable, low-risk, and validated system available,” he said. “With successful completion of test demonstrations, a hot full-rate production line and opportunities for capability growth, we are confident that the Northrop Grumman solution is uniquely positioned to fulfill the Air Force 3DELRR mission need.” (Source: Defense News)
11 May 20. Delta Digital Video ruggedised encoders supporting MQ-1C Gray Eagles. Delta Digital Video is to continue delivering its ruggedised airborne video encoders to support production of avionics, datalinks and software for the General Atomics MQ-1C Gray Eagle UAS (pictured).
The Model 6800R ruggedised HD video encoder has provided full-motion video services to the US military since 2008. It encompasses payload video, audio and metadata for real-time, low-latency transmission to remote hardware or software decoders, via serial or Ethernet networks.
George Nelson, VP and general manager of Delta Digital Video, said: ‘Performance is all that matters when it comes to designing and engineering fully rugged video encoders to be deployed on UAS, manned ISR aircraft, helicopters, ground vehicles and ship platforms for Air Force, Army and Navy programmes.’ (Source: Shephard)
11 May 20. US Air Force solicits industry sources for new multispectral ISR pod. US Air Force officials are soliciting industry sources for the possible development of a Multi-Spectral Reconnaissance (RECCE) pod programme that could be marketed to international partner nation forces, a 4 May sources sought notice stated.
The intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) sensors – foreign military sales division of the Air Force’s Life Cycle Management Center (AFLCMC) is leading the effort “to explore a technically sound and economical non-developmental solution” to provide podded RECCE capability to US armed forces and their allies, according to the sources sought notice. While AFLCMC officials provided detailed system requirements for the new multispectral pod and set a 25 May deadline for all white paper submissions from industry, service leaders in charge of the effort made clear the sources sought notice was not an immediate precursor to an official programme of record. (Source: Jane’s)
05 May 20. US Army patents new cartridge design capable of disabling or destroying UAVs. US defense technology agency TechLink reports development of counter Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) by researchers at the US Army’s Armament Center. According to the US Department of Defense (DoD) agency, researchers have invented novel 40mm grenade cartridges capable of kinetically disabling or destroying small UAVs. The related intellectual property and technical data are available via license agreement to companies that would manufacture the munitions or components.
The development is made up of two actions. The first 40mm cartridge fires shotgun-style buckshot from a newly designed cup, the second fires a stack of aerodynamic rings.
US Patent 10,584,947, issued to the Army on March 10, 2020, describes the sub-projectile carrier developed by the engineers to control the spread of the buckshot BBs, which extends the maximum effective range of the munition.
“This invention utilizes a saboted pusher which acts as an aerodynamic containment device which is intended to pull off of the payload, due to the aerodynamic drag, instead of releasing it rapidly. In this way the shot is contained until a much greater distance from the barrel, thus extending the effective range of the projectile. In addition to this, the pellets are released more cleanly and in a contained manner, causing the pellets to disperse from the shot line at a slower rate. This containment enables the cartridge to produce a more concentrated grouping of pellets at extended ranges,” the patent states.
U.S. Patent 10,408,591, issued to the Army on Sept. 10, 2019, describes the munition containing six ring-shaped projectiles, which spread out to cover a large area and can create punch holes in the UAVs.
“In addition to being able to damage large portions of the UAS, being able to increase the probability of hitting the target is important due to the fact that UAS targets are often small moving targets. As a result, it is also important to have multiple sub projectiles in the defeat mechanism to increase the probability of hitting the UAS,” according to the patent.
For more information visit:
https://techlinkcenter.org/technologies/40mm-counter-drone-munitions/007d8665-ff71-436f-9a92-daa757e53e71 (Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)
11 May 20. US Army seeks industry/academic partner to help assess soldier and base protection technologies. The US Army’s ACC-APG, RTP Division, on behalf of the Combat Capabilities Development Command (CCDC) Data and Analysis Center (DAC) “is exploring the possibility of entering into a Partnership Intermediary Agreement (PIA)….with a Partnership Intermediary to provide services for CCDC DAC to increase the likelihood of success in the conduct of cooperative or joint activities of CCDC DAC with small business firms, institutions of higher education as defined in 20 USC 1141(a), or educational institutions as defined in 10 USC 2194.”
According to the request for information text posted on the US government beta.sam.gov website:
“With a rapidly changing world comes an operating environment that is more contested, more lethal, and more complex. Peer adversaries are challenging the ability of the U.S. and our allies to deter aggressive actions. To address these challenges, the concept of multi domain battle is to drive change and design for the U.S. Army to effectively operate and succeed against peer adversaries to maintain U.S. interest, deter conflict, and when necessary prevail in war. The CCDC DAC is conducting applied research and analysis to meet challenges in the Maneuver Support and Protection functions necessary in Multi Domain Operations and seeks a Partnership Intermediary to identify and organize external partners from industry and academia that support and extend such research and analysis. CCDC DAC supports the Maneuver Support Center’s responsibility to develop new materiel requirements based on the needs of the Soldier and provide research and analysis solutions to defeat operational deficiencies.
“The Partnership Intermediary is expected to enhance partnering, between the CCDC DAC, academia, industry, other government agencies and entrepreneurs by identifying and facilitating the development of new applied R&D and analysis partnerships along with stimulating early-stage partnership. The Partnership Intermediary is expected to be well versed in Maneuver Support and Protection applied research and analysis objectives for Multi Domain Operations. Objectives would be consistent with desired capabilities as currently identified and overtime be updated by DAC and the Maneuver Support Center in the fields including:
- Protect Soldiers and facilities
- Investigate fundamentals of assured mobility at every echelon
- Provide an improved ability to enable freedom of action by Army forces
- Develop Force Protection
- Increase Security efficacy
- Devise Counter Observation
- Improve Survivability
- Conduct Chemical, Biological, Radiological & Nuclear Reconnaissance & Surveillance/Integrated Early Warning
- Conduct CBRN Contamination Mitigation
- Shape the battlefield, protect the force, and preserve combat power while maintaining secure environment to provide freedom of action
Reference code: W911NF20RFI0004
Deadline date: 22 May 2020
Responsible authority: Department of the Army, US Army Contracting Command – Aberdeen Proving Ground (ACC-APG), Research Triangle Park (RTP) Division, Durham, NC
For more information
11 May 20. This recent deployment to secure Remembrance Day in Amsterdam marks the successful introduction of Xpeller as a service from HENSOLDT Ventures. Depending on the concept of operations or the physical environment, customers can choose the best options for their individual C-UAV requirements. HENSOLDT provides installation and operation in parallel with local security forces. Alternatively, the German sensor solution specialist can also provide training to local operators if, for example, deployment of countermeasures rules demands local control. The system selected in this case consisted of two SMS-D, made up of a Spexer 360 radar, daylight and thermal cameras, in addition to one Spexer 500, two Skyscan 7x and one Jammer. On location, these various sensors where set up on two buildings approximately one kilometre apart to ensure the best radar and DF coverage. Coverage maps options in the CxEye software allows operators to optimize sensor placement quickly and efficiently. Using a comms link to join the different locations, Xpeller provided a common operating picture with fused radar, camera and DF information, and a live-stream of the operating picture was provided into the police headquarters.
The request had been made by the National Police as part of a task force including the Royal Netherlands Air Force and Army, only three weeks before the event. HENSOLDT’s Xpeller team responded with resources from Germany, South Africa, the UK and the Netherlands. Because of current COVID 19 restrictions, the equipment was shipped from different locations and set up the day ahead of the event with remote support from the all the involved entities. The successful deployment was closely monitored by representatives of the authorities involved.
11 May 20. Liteye Experts Provide CUAS Long-Term Service & Support to US Military. Continuing a three-year run of production and delivery of the US configured Anti-UAS Defense Systems (AUDS), Liteye Systems, based in Denver Colorado, will now be providing service and support to the US Military for the next four years.
Liteye, founded by Kenneth Geyer and Tom Scott in January of 2000, was recently ranked in the Top 50 privately held companies in Colorado. Liteye has over $100M in counter drone contracts with the US Government, while AUDS is Combat Proven with over 1,000 defeats against enemy drones flown by ISIS, Taliban and others.
US configured AUDS is a leading CUAS solution that can be layered with multiple capabilities to Detect, Track, Identify and Defeat a wide range of malicious small UAS threats being encountered today. The C-AUDS (Containerized AUDS) variant features a state-of-the-art operator suite, hardened for use in any climate, and can easily be moved between locations. The Liteye services team provides 24/7 reach back support, training, and system updates to ensure that the systems remain effective against the threats that are continuously increasing in complexity.
Kenneth Geyer, CEO states, “Liteye has AUDS in operation all over the world, and now with Liteye experts providing service and support, the Good-Guys will get what they need from us to accomplish their mission”. Mr. Geyer goes on to say, “As the threat continues to escalate, and drone technology continues to improve, we are diligent about improving AUDS and providing on-time delivery, service and support to those who need it. We consistently out-perform other CUAS companies, and AUDS remains extremely effective against these evolving threats”
About Liteye Systems, Inc.
Located in Centennial Colorado, Liteye Systems, Inc. is a world leader and technology solutions manufacturer and integrator of military and commercial Counter Unmanned Aerial Systems (CUAS), manufacture of US AUDS, Drone Sense and Warn Systems, rugged high-resolution head mounted displays (HMD), augmented sights, thermal surveillance systems, convert surveillance systems, electronic warfare packages, radar systems, and fire control software solutions. With offices in the UK and sales affiliates worldwide, Liteye is protecting critical infrastructure from real world threats. (Source: UAS VISION)
08 May 20. First deployed MQ-8Cs will be equipped with AN/ZPY-8 radar. The U.S. Navy, with support from Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC), commenced flight testing of the MQ-8C Fire Scout equipped with the Leonardo AN/ZPY-8 radar.
“The AN/ZPY-8 radar significantly increases Fire Scout’s detection and tracking of targets. The ability to simultaneously employ multiple modes supports U.S. Navy intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance requirements,” said Melissa Packwood, program manager, tactical autonomous systems, Northrop Grumman. “This increased capability enables Fire Scout to extend ranges to meet emerging requirements.”
Operating out of Webster Outlying Field, the MQ-8C’s first flight with the radar occurred Feb. 27. Testing began with several weeks of ground test prior to the first flight and continues to progress as the Navy and Northrop Grumman consider mission expansion opportunities for the platform.
To date, Northrop Grumman has delivered 32 of 38 MQ-8Cs to the Navy, all of which will be retrofit with the AN/ZPY-8 radar. The MQ-8C achieved initial operational capability in June 2019 and is scheduled for its first deployment in 2021.
Blighter® Surveillance Systems (BSS) is a UK-based electronic-scanning radar and sensor solution provider delivering an integrated multi-sensor package to systems integrators comprising the Blighter electronic-scanning radars, cameras, thermal imagers, trackers and software solutions. Blighter radars combine patented solid-state Passive Electronic Scanning Array (PESA) technology with advanced Frequency Modulated Continuous Wave (FMCW) and Doppler processing to provide a robust and persistent surveillance capability. Blighter Surveillance Systems is a Plextek Group company, a leading British design house and technology innovator, and is based at Great Chesterford on the outskirts of Cambridge, England.
The Blighter electronic-scanning (e-scan) FMCW Doppler ground surveillance radar (GSR) is a unique patented product that provides robust intruder detection capabilities under the most difficult terrain and weather conditions. With no mechanical moving parts and 100% solid-state design, the Blighter radar family of products are extremely reliable and robust and require no routine maintenance for five years. The Blighter radar can operate over land and water rapidly searching for intruders as small a crawling person, kayaks and even low-flying objects. In its long-range modes the Blighter radar can rapidly scan an area in excess of 3,000 km² to ensure that intruders are detected, identified and intercepted before they reach critical areas.