Sponsored by Blighter Surveillance Systems
21 Sep 22. HawkEye 360 Adds New Radar and Communication Signals to RFGeo Product. HawkEye 360 Inc., the world’s leading commercial provider of space-based radio frequency (RF) data and analytics, today announced two new signals available as part of its RFGeo™ signal mapping product: VHF and UHF Flex. RFGeo data and analytics provide a new geospatial data layer that enables RF awareness, utilizing the unique data generated by HawkEye 360’s satellite constellation to detect and geolocate RF signals of interest.
Leveraging overhead collected UHF and VHF geolocated signal data, analysts can increase the efficiency of their workflows by rapidly discovering emitters of interest. RFGeo leverages the power of HawkEye 360’s growing constellation of satellites to detect and geolocate RF signals across Earth’s surface. The antennas on HawkEye 360’s satellites can cover areas spanning ms of square kilometers, enabling large-scale monitoring of RF activity over a wide RF spectrum.
VHF Flex and UHF Flex are being used in RF-based multi-INT workflows to gain situational awareness into a broad range of activities, including early-warning radars, military exercises, line-of-sight radio communications, and indicators of interference.
“VHF and UHF Flex represent our ongoing commitment to expand our products and services to address the rapidly evolving needs of our clients for RF Intelligence,” said Alex Fox, HawkEye 360 Chief Growth Officer. “The new UHF and VHF signals will help our clients better understand activity in their area of interest without the need to specify a specific waveform. This is the next chapter of increasingly powerful capabilities we are introducing over the next six months. I am excited about the work our team is doing with our clients to deliver high-impact solutions and value.”
UHF Flex and VHF Flex differ from other signals in our catalog by letting our customers choose from a broader frequency range, enabling more collections, characterizations, geolocations, and insights into RF activity.
The two signals join a growing catalog of signals including VHF Marine Communications, UHF Emergency Position-Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB), UHF Push-to-talk radios, GPS Interference, L-Band Mobile Satellite Communications (such as Thuraya and Inmarsat devices), X- and S-Band Maritime and Land-based Radars. All signals within the RFGeo product can be purchased through a historical archive, new collections, or regional awareness subscription if applicable. (Source: PR Newswire)
21 Sep 22. Space Force completes space-based JSTARS replacement analysis, will inform future budgets. The Space Force is “working with all the other services and combat commanders to determine what are their requirements for ISR that we can then work with our partners in the Intelligence Community to figure out how best to satisfy those requirements,” CSO Gen. Jay Raymond said.
The Space Force has just wrapped up a year-long analysis of alternatives (AoA) for acquiring capabilities to track moving targets from space, as part of a “multi-domain” approach to replace the aging Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (JSTARS) aircraft fleet, Chief of Space Operations Gen. Jay Raymond said today.
“That’s a force design work that we’ve been doing over the last year,” Raymond told reporters here at the Air Force Association’s annual conference. “You know the Air Force has had a JSTARS aircraft and was looking for a multi-domain solution for that. We have just completed the AoA on that work to determine how best to do that from a multi-domain perspective. And we’re in the process now of out-briefing those results to help inform inform budgets going forward.”
The analysis focused on the space-based GMTI sensor and was completed by the Space Force’s Space Warfighting Analysis Center (SWAC) as part of its over-arching mission to design the service’s future force structure. GMTI radars use a pulsing technique to discriminate moving targets, such as enemy tanks and mobile missile launchers, from stationary objects and clock their velocities based on their Doppler shift.
Raymond last May revealed that the Space Force had a classified effort underway to develop at space-based GMTI — sparking concerns within Congress about the potential for duplication with other service efforts and those of the National Reconnaissance Office. The NRO is currently responsible for providing intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) data from space, via both its own and commercial remote sensing satellites.
That said, the Joint Requirements Oversight Council last year tapped the Space Force as the lead service for coordinating joint space requirements, and ISR from space has been one of the service’s first efforts to that end, Raymond explained. The Space Force is “working with all the other services and combat commanders to determine what are their requirements for ISR that we can then work with our partners in the Intelligence Community to figure out how best to satisfy those requirements,” he said.
Space Force and Department of the Air Force leaders have made clear that they see a role for the newest service in proving what they call “tactical ISR” from space to commanders on the battlefield, while leaving the mission of acquiring “strategic ISR” to the NRO for dissemination through its IC partners at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. But just where tactical ISR ends and strategic ISR begins remains an open question — indeed, senior spy agency officials have questioned the actual validity of that distinction.
Asked by Breaking Defense about whether there is an agreed definition of those terms, Raymond said that the issue is still under discussion.
“What we’re now exploring with the Intelligence Community is the question that you just asked on the ISR front. Traditionally, that has been an NRO model or business area, and we’ve done other things like GPS and missile warning — and we are working very closely with them. One, we don’t want to duplicate capabilities. We don’t want to waste dollars,” he said.
At the same time, he added, “We want to move at speed.” (Source: Breaking Defense.com)
21 Sep 22. Mwari ready for first delivery. Paramount Aerospace is delivering its first Mwari intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and precision strike aircraft to a launch customer in Africa, and revealed additional orders.
Series production Mwaris were spotted flying from Wonderboom in August and now handover of the first aircraft to the customer is imminent. Four aircraft are on the production line at the Wonderboom Airport factory; Paramount has orders for nine of the aircraft.
“The orders for several new Mwaris represent an important milestone in its commercial success and has resulted in full levels of production at Paramount Group’s state-of-the-art aircraft factory,” Paramount said.
The CEO of Paramount Aerospace Industries, Mike Levy stated: “This is a proud moment for Paramount and our continent’s aerospace industry. The development and deployment of Mwari underscores the strategic importance of a world-class, indigenous African aerospace industry, one that can quickly and collaboratively address the increasing security threats, conflicts and insurgencies which Africa presently faces”.
Eric Ichikowitz, Senior Vice President of Paramount International, stated: “Mwari is a game-changer for air forces; it’s purposefully designed for the kind of asymmetrical warfare that modern military forces across the world are today being asked to conduct. The aircraft has a critical role to play in the connected battlefield providing forces on the ground and in the air with a force multiplier competitive advantage.”
Mwari has been designed to easily perform multiple missions thanks to an innovative Interchangeable Mission Systems Bay (IMSB), located in the belly of the aircraft, providing near-endless sensor and payload options which can be integrated and be swapped out in less than two hours. Open-architecture and flexible systems allows for the quick and low-cost integration of new pods, avionics, cargo, special mission equipment, weapons and sensors.
Mwari has a service ceiling of up to 31 000 feet, and offers a maximum cruise speed of 250 knots, a mission range of up to 550 nautical miles with ordinance and an overall endurance of up to 6.5 hours. The aircraft also offers a short take-off and landing (STOL) capability, with retractable landing gear optimised for both semi and unprepared airstrips or sites.
Mwari has been designed with portable production in mind. The aircraft could, depending on customer requirements, be exported in kit format for final assembly in customer countries and can easily integrate into supply chains around the world, enabling scalable mass production. (Source: https://www.defenceweb.co.za/)
16 Sep 22. Tatusky Technology introduces portable drone detection device offering 1.2km range. Chinese drone company Tatusky Technology has developed a portable drone detection device designed to detect and track mainstream drone brands including DJI, Autel, Parrot and other drone models. According to the company, the device offers the following:
- Detects the direction of the drone
- Detects FPV drone, mainstream brands drones, WiFi and other drone models
- Offers average false alarm rate <1 per day
- No active transmission of electromagnetic signals, making it environmentally friendly with high concealment
- Detection radius: 0.7 ~ 1.2km
- Screen display showing the identity of the UAV in real time
- Dimensions (LxWxH) 240mm x 66mm x 48 mm (excluding antenna)
- Weight 750g
- Operating temperature : -20deg to 55degC
- Endurance 4 hours.
The equipment operates in 1.1GHz, 1.2Ghz, 1.4GHz, 2.4GHz, 5.8GHz and other common frequency bands of UAV/drones.
For more information visit: www.tattudrone.net
14 Sep 22. Norwegian airport operator reports high incidents of drone incursions. Norway’s Oslo Gardermoen International Airport experiences 50 drone alarms every month according to airport operator Avinor, reports Norskrikskringkasting (NRK). This makes irresponsible and illegal use of drone a growing problem for Avinor.
Avinor takes illegal drone use near airports very seriously, and reports to the police any case where drones pose a danger to air traffic. Mats Gjertsen is head of traffic management and detection of drones at Avinor. “Illegal drone flying has in several cases severely disrupted air traffic at several of Avinor’s airports,” he says.
The Directorate of Police collaborates with several actors to deal with the challenges. There is a concern that many of those who buy drones for private use do not know the regulations well enough. The police issue fines for illegal drone flying and Avinor demands compensation if air traffic is disrupted. The fines start at NOK eight thousand and go up, depending on the degree of severity.
Norway requires all drone to be identifiable and the operator registered from 2024. If a drone weighs more than 250 grams, it must be registered at www.flydrone.no. Operators must pass an exam to fly it and also have taken out liability insurance. For more information visit: www.nrk.no
13 Sep 22. Interpol issues guidance on responding to rogue drone incidents, provides framework course material. Interpol has issued a report and developed course content for first responders to respond to a drone incident based on the Interpol Framework. The course includes items such as: Understanding drones and other associated evidence sources, guidance on safe drone operations (Federal Aviation Administration), crime scene processing sequence, drones’ unique hazards, and processes of investigation.
The Institute for Drone Technology has created formative assessments to sit alongside the Interpol content so learners can ensure the information is retained and they understand the content well.
The latest guidance follows Interpol’s publication of a Counter Uncrewed Aerial Systems (cUAS) report produced jointly with the Norwegian police in 2021. This document is mostly a technical assessment and therefore aims to share the findings of the INTERPOL Drone Incursion Exercise held at the Oslo Gardermoen Airport in Norway in September 2021, with specialized and technical staff from law enforcement agencies involved in countermeasures and protecting critical infrastructures. The Drone Incursion Exercise and the findings of this report represent cooperation between INTERPOL, the Norwegian Police and TEKDIR AS. The report aims to illustrate the preparatory phases, primary challenges, and tangible outcomes from the pre-test and testing phases of the drone incursion exercise to guide INTERPOL member countries in gaining insight and understanding when testing C-UAS technologies and systems. By working with law enforcement in its member countries, INTERPOL aims to ensure that areas of emerging technology and their implications are thoroughly explored, and that international, regional, and local expertise is shared.
The Interpol publication is in response to the threat of drones entering restricted airspaces which has become a cause for concern and a policing challenge in many of the 195 INTERPOL member countries. This threat is aggravated when a drone enters the airspace in and around an airport zone. It can cause an interruption in airport activity, the diversion of flights, and other potential incidents. Aerodrome menaces could result in financial losses to airport owners, airlines, and travellers using the airport due to delays and diverted aircraft, and create safety risks. In this context, counter-drone systems, also called counter-UAS systems (or C-UAS systems), are essential in ensuring the security of airports, and commercial providers have already developed a wide range of solutions to address this challenge. C-UAS systems will likely become even more prominent as authorities in member countries create regulations around drones and managed airspace. Despite this growth in importance, there is still insufficient information on assessing C-UAS systems in real-life conditions.
For more information visit: https://www.interpol.int/content/download/17737/file/CUAS_Interpol_Low_Final.pdf (Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)
13 Sep 22. Advanced Protection Systems exhibits vehicle mounted SKYctrl drone detection system at MSPO 2022. A mobile counter drone system on the Zakłady Mechaniczne Tarnów stand at the international defence industry exhibition MSPO held in Kielce, Poland, 6-9 September 2022, was equipped with Tarnów effectors and surveillance technology supplied by Polish company Advanced Protection Systems (ADS). Mounted on a Ford Super Duty demonstrator vehicle, the ADS SKYctrl anti-drone system is designed to track multiple targets simultaneously with 3D capability using MIMO radar technology. The company also provides pan-tilt-zoom optical visual and acoustic aids, and neutralisation jammers. The technology is field proven in military and critical infrastructure applications. For more information visit: www.mspo.defence24.pl; www.apsystems.tech(Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)
16 Sep 22. Indra’s ‘Crow’ anti-drone system counteracts a drone attack during a demonstration by the Spanish Air and Space Force at UNVEX in Seville. Two small unmanned aircraft take off without authorisation in the vicinity of an airbase, putting the safety of the air operations at risk. The [Spanish] Air and Space Force detects, analyses and neutralises the threat in a matter of seconds with the help of Crow, the cutting-edge anti-drone system that Indra presented this week at UNVEX, the flagship event held in Spain for the unmanned vehicle sector, which took place in Seville this year.
The Air Deployment Support Squadron (EADA) of the Air and Space Force was tasked with conducting the exercise and demonstrating to a large number of experts and customers the intelligence and significant capabilities of a state-of-the-art system that’s already being used during real military missions of the highest complexity. On this occasion, its mission consisted of protecting the runways of a small simulated airbase during which two drones unexpectedly took off just one kilometre away, leaving a short reaction time to neutralise them. The Crow system’s high-precision radar immediately detected the intrusion and its optoelectronic systems were able to establish visual contact with them to confirm the threat. At the same time, the system’s electronic defence antennas scanned the radio spectrum to determine what kind of link these devices were using.
All this information fed the advanced algorithm of Indra’s solution, which cross-checked with its data libraries the kind of drone it was dealing with and the most effective countermeasure to be employed. It was enough for the first of the two aircraft to cross the non-intrusion perimeter for Indra’s powerful jamming system to be activated and completely block the aircraft’s communication links and positioning systems, forcing them to land. The system thus prevented any of the drones, which were likely to be carrying some type of explosive, from having the slightest chance of approaching any of the aircraft that were landing.
According to Indra’s Counter UAS system manager, Juan López, “the vast majority of incidents that occur are caused by the inappropriate use of commercial drones, which many systems are able to counter, providing a false sense of security. To stop an intentional attack, during which advanced drones are used with the aim of causing as much damage as possible and the safety of passengers on a flight is jeopardised, requires the use of a fully reliable and effective system, such as the one Indra offers its customers”.
Anti-drone systems involve highly complex technology that requires the combined use of different systems working together with absolute accuracy and at enormous speed. In this respect, Indra has a huge advantage in that it’s one of the world’s leading radar manufacturers, a leader in electronic defence and command and control systems and a pioneer in the development of all kinds of radio frequency, positioning and communication systems. At the same time, it’s a drone manufacturer that relies on its own family of unmanned vehicles, providing it with in-depth knowledge of the systems it employs and how to neutralise them. Only in this way it is possible to bring a critical solution such as this to the market; all the world’s airports, industrial facilities and public buildings will have to incorporate it in the coming years, and armies are already using it to protect themselves in conflict zones. (Source: www.joint-forces.com)
16 Sep 22. Boeing demonstrates MQ-25′s utility as surveillance drone. Boeing said it proved in a virtual demonstration this spring that several U.S. Navy aircraft types could task the company’s MQ-25 Stingray tanker drone with surveillance missions and receive live imagery in support of their own missions.
BD Gaddis, Boeing’s director of MQ-25 advanced design, told Defense News the demonstration in the company’s mobile manned-unmanned teaming laboratory proved that its waveform-agnostic communications architecture worked, that the MQ-25 would be relevant to the surveillance mission and that operators aboard manned planes could easily task the MQ-25 and monitor its findings.
The demonstration took place in May, though Boeing just announced it in a news release this month. More than 100 customers — mostly from Naval Air Systems Command and the chief of naval operations’ staff, with some from the U.S. Air Force — visited for a series of briefs and demonstrations over the course of four days, Gaddis said.
The demonstrations included multiple use cases, or potential operational scenarios: the MQ-25 would fly off an aircraft carrier under the command of a ship-based control station; the air vehicle would announce itself as available for tasking; and one of three Navy aircraft types would take command of the drone from the ground station and send the MQ-25 the parameters of an intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance mission, including any restrictions or no-fly zones.
Boeing proved its F/A-18 Super Hornet Block III fighter jet and its P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft, as well as the Northrop Grumman-made E-2D Advanced Hawkeye command-and-control aircraft, could coordinate with the ground control station and the drone during this operation.
Gaddis said the mobile lab included an actual Super Hornet Block III cockpit — one of the key improvements compared to older versions of the jet — that showed visitors how a pilot could grab command of the drone and then see live imagery it captured.
He also said the drone paired well with the P-8, which hunts for submarine and surface ship targets from the air. The demonstration showed the two could operate 300 miles apart, covering a huge swath of ocean as the MQ-25 investigated surface target tracks and passed ones of interest to the P-8 to further investigate or engage.
This spring’s demonstration follows the first-ever MQ-25 manned-unmanned teaming virtual demonstration last year when the MQ-25 was sent on a tanking mission by the ground control station and a Super Hornet or Hawkeye took command of the drone to reroute their rendezvous for a new time and location. Last year, the company also conducted its first-ever live manned-unmanned refueling in the skies over Illinois.
The Navy determined tanking would be the primary mission for MQ-25, with ISR as a secondary mission.
Though the Navy is focused on a formal program of record — with plans to reach initial operational capability as a tanker for the carrier air wing in 2025 — Gaddis said Boeing wants to highlight what else the vehicle can do. The company is already making pitches for the 2025 budget plans, he said, meaning it’s important to demonstrate the maturity of this ISR capability to the Navy and consider future contract actions that will be needed for this manned-unmanned teaming work in the tanking mission, the ISR mission or anything else.
So even while Boeing’s MQ-25 team is focused on the engineering and manufacturing development phase of the program, Gaddis and his group are maturing related future capabilities such as the cybersecurity of the handover from the ground control station to a manned aircraft in the air, developing dynamic mission planning tools, and continuing to mature the communications architecture to ensure total interoperability with the rest of the Navy fleet.
“We’ve got to think past [engineering and manufacturing development], we’ve got to go beyond the program of record because it’s all about the strategic fight in the South China Sea,” Gaddis said. (Source: Defense News)
Blighter Surveillance Systems is a world-leading designer and manufacturer of best-in-class electronic-scanning ground-based radars, surveillance solutions and Counter-UAS systems. Blighter’s solid-state micro-Doppler products are deployed in more than 35 countries across the globe, delivering consistent all-weather security protection and wide area surveillance along borders, coastlines, at military bases and across critical infrastructure such as airports, oil and gas facilities and palaces. Blighter radars are also used to protect manoeuvre force missions when deployed on military land vehicles and trailers, and its world-beating multi-mode radar represents a great leap in threat detection technology and affordability for use in a variety of scenarios.
The Blighter range of radar products are used for detecting a variety of threats, from individuals on foot to land vehicles, boats, drones and low-flying aircraft at ranges of up to 32 km. Blighter Surveillance Systems employs 40 people and is located near Cambridge, UK, where it designs, produces and markets its range of unique patented solid-state radars. Blighter prides itself on being an engineer-led business committed to providing cost-effective and flexible solutions across the defence, critical infrastructure and national security markets.