Sponsored by Blighter Surveillance Systems
12 Nov 20. Citadel Defense Titan C-sUAS Systems Get AI Upgrades. Citadel Defense has pushed a new AI and machine learning software release to Titan systems deployed across thirteen countries. The software has evolved over 27 months of successful deployments across multiple combatant commands and hundreds of unique environments.
Owning the world’s largest dataset adapted for AI-based drone detection, Citadel can quickly and cost-effectively extend protection against emerging foreign-built drones, like those used in recent attacks on Armenia and the Middle East, that evade legacy counter drone systems.
As the Pentagon looks for reliable ways to counter commercial quadcopter attacks on American troops in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria, Citadel’s proven AI capabilities provide the necessary protection and responsiveness for the evolving C-sUAS mission.
“Library-limited counter drone systems that are overly complex put important missions at risk along with our servicemen and women. Titan’s use of AI, machine learning, and automated robotics significantly reduces operator stress while accelerating response time,” explains Christopher Williams, CEO of Citadel Defense.
The leader of U.S. Central Command, General McKenzie, expressed concern that the growing threat posed by unmanned aircraft systems, coupled with the lack of dependable capabilities to counter them, was the most concerning tactical development in the CENTCOM region.
“By substantially reducing system complexity, providing an industry-leading low false alarm rate, and delivering the most expansive detection and mitigation threat coverage, Citadel’s customers can focus on their missions without unnecessary and potentially life-threatening distractions,” says Williams.
Citadel’s radiofrequency sensors bring the most advanced AI and machine learning detection performance to integrated layered counter drone solutions. The system’s open architecture allows for quick integration with other sensors, offering a suite of options that match any mission need or configuration.
Citadel aims to make C-sUAS protection ubiquitous across government, military, and commercial force protection missions. With $30M in Government contracts for their Titan solution, the company recently tripled manufacturing production capacity to deliver on urgent contracts. (Source: UAS VISION)
12 Nov 20. DroneOptID – AI Detection of Improvised Threats. DroneShield and the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) have produced next generation drone technology to better identify threats from off-the-shelf unmanned aerial systems carrying a ‘payload’ of explosives or biological material, flown by terrorists or enemy armed forces into a crowded building or military base.
In a partnership funded by the NSW and Australian Governments, UTS and DroneShield – an Australian developer of counter-UAS solutions – have produced an optical system for detection, identification and tracking of fast moving threats such as nefarious UAS, comprised of a camera and Convolutional Neural Network (CNN).
UTS and DroneShield began working together in October 2019 – just a month after one of the most recent examples of aggressive use of drones when the oil facilities at Abqaiq–Khurais in Saudi Arabia were attacked by a swarm of UASs.
The new technology was recently demonstrated at Sydney Science Park.
NSW Minister for Jobs and Western Sydney, Stuart Ayres, said the State Government was committed to helping small businesses grow through programs such as the NSW Government-funded Defence Innovation Network (DIN).
“The collaboration between DroneShield and UTS is exactly the type of industry/university partnership the NSW Government is committed to expanding. This is a key part of how the Government is supporting growth in jobs in NSW in areas such as defence tech. And seeing the technology here in Western Sydney, just outside of the future Aerotropolis, gives us a glimpse into the type of R&D and industry activity that will take place out here in the future.”, said Minister Ayres.
UTS Vice-Chancellor Attila Brungs says this project is a great example of the types of partnerships UTS is committed to.
“For UTS to do what we do best – develop and translate world-leading research for practical application by industry – government support is critical. Having both the NSW and Australian Governments invest in this partnership which has produced defence technology that can be used around the world shows what can happen when universities, government and industry works together.”
Project lead and Co-Director of UTS Intelligent Drone Lab (IDL) Dr Nabin Sharma said UTS has both expertise and experience in collaborating with industry partners to develop and deliver innovative vision systems for UAVs. This is seen in the multi-award-winning SpotterAI suite of drones (SharkSpotter, CrocSpotter) which identify particular threats to humans and are used to safeguard swimmers, fishers and other marine species.
“We are using CNNs and deep learning to provide a solution for DroneShield to identify drones which could be of potential threat,” Dr Sharma said. “The algorithm enables the vision system to see what’s happening, to collate data and process it for ultra-fast image recognition and analysis. This delivers a speedy and efficient assessment of a threat and the decision-making in response to it. The system is able to detect different types of drones and check if there is a payload,” he said.
Oleg Vornik, DroneShield’s CEO, said, “We are pleased to add this ground-breaking technology to our systems, enabling our customers a unique camera-based detection, ID and tracking of improvised threats such as UAS. This project has been a great example of collaboration between an Australian defence industry and an educational institution, promoting development of world leading, cutting edge defence technologies right here in Sydney.” (Source: UAS VISION)
10 Nov 20. Israel supplies first Iron Dome multi-mission radars to US Army. Israel has delivered the first multi-mission radars (MMRs) for Iron Dome Defense System batteries to the US Army. Israel has delivered the first multi-mission radars (MMRs) for Iron Dome Defense System batteries to the US Army. The MMRs, manufactured by Elta Systems, were delivered by Israel Missile Defense Organization (IMDO) in the Israeli Defense Ministry’s Directorate of Defense R&D (DDR&D). The delivery comes more than a month after Israel delivered the first of two Iron Dome Defense System batteries to the US Army. Under a contract finalised a year ago, the US Army agreed to procure two Iron Dome missile defence system batteries to enhance its short-range missile defence capabilities.
According to the Jerusalem Post, the procurement included 12 launchers, two sensors, two battlement management centres and 240 interceptors.
The batteries contain the MMRs, which provides the system with air surveillance capabilities and help in detecting aerial threats. The radar is also capable of calculating the impact point in real-time.
IAI vice-president and Elta CEO Yoav Tourgeman was quoted by the publication as saying: “The MMR radar is operational in Israel and other countries. We are proud to supply our most advanced systems to our allies, the US Army.
“The MMR radar addresses a broad range of needs by locating and tracking incoming rockets and artillery shells and by providing a comprehensive aerial situation assessment.
“The MMR radar will maintain our allies’ military edge. The demand for mobile, combat-proven MMR systems is on the rise.” (Source: army-technology.com)
11 Nov 20. The SCAR-Pod Floats to Success! Airborne Technologies (ABT) has been chosen by the Canadian Aircraft manufacturer Viking Air Limited for the Sensor Integration required for a customer’s mission profile.
The Austrian Company has converted 3 DHC 6-400 Twin Otters into leading-edge ISR platforms. For this project, ABT assembled two SCAR-PODs to carry an EO/IR camera system (WESCAM MX-15) as well as the complete Airborne LINX mission system, such as a BMS Line of Sight Downlink, a multi-channel data recorder, a CarteNav Augmented Reality System, and a GTAC Mission computer.
As designed, the SCAR PODs are fully interchangeable between all three aircraft and thus provide the fleet’s highest flexibility. A Radar Pod under the second wing is an option to enhance the Maritime Patrol capabilities of the aircraft.
The cabin configuration is customer-specific. It provides operation of all systems integrated with the SCAR-Pod from the co-pilot position and the observer station behind the flight deck.
The three versatile aircraft with wheels and floats, upgraded with leading-edge surveillance technology, are perfectly suited for Maritime Patrol Missions and have already been delivered to Viking’s end-user in SE-Asia. (Source: Armada)
09 Nov 20. SIG SAUER TANGO6T Riflescope Selected by U.S. Department of Defense for Direct View Optic (DVO). SIG SAUER, Inc. announced that the TANGO6T has been selected by the U.S. Department of Defense for the Direct View Optic (DVO) in response to a solicitation to enhance squad performance with a variable powered riflescope. Unlike older generation non-magnified or fixed-magnification optics, the TANGO6T is a 1-6X variable-magnification riflescope that enables the soldier to engage both close quarter targets and targets at extended ranges.
This award from the U.S. DoD is the third award for the SIG SAUER TANGO6T; previously selections for the TANGO6T include the Squad Designated Marksman Rifle (SDMR) and the USSOCOM Squad-Variable Powered Scope (S-VPS). The TANGO6T riflescope is currently in use with the U.S. Army Squad Designated Marksman and U.S. Military Special Forces.
“After rigorous and stringent testing, where the best of the industry competed, we are proud to confirm the SIG SAUER TANGO6T riflescope has been selected by the U.S. Army as the Direct View Optic,” began Ron Cohen, President and CEO, SIG SAUER, Inc. “This is a three-peat for the TANGO6T as the riflescope continues to prove it will withstand the rigors of U.S. military testing making it the choice for use with our soldiers. The further proliferation of the riflescope into the U.S. Military’s M4A1 operating system is an exciting achievement for SIG SAUER Electro-Optics and further proof that the TANGO6T is the direction of the future.”
The TANGO6T 1-6×24 DVO riflescope will be used on M4A1 carbines and is a first focal plane ruggedized riflescope with a Flat Dark Earth (FDE) anodized aircraft grade aluminum main tube. The riflescope features the DWLR6 reticle capable of providing range estimation and wind holds at extreme distances, the advanced HELLFIRE illumination system for fast target acquisition, a locking illumination dial, Power Selector Ring (PSR) Throw Lever, the ALPHA4 ultralight mount, and a laser-marked scope level indicator for intuitive installation.
“The TANGO6T riflescope platform has been ruggedized and battle-hardened over the course of both the SDMR and S-VPS programs,” added Andy York, President, SIG SAUER Electro-Optics. “We are proud to assemble the TANGO6T here in the USA to support our warfighters with a variable powered riflescope that was developed to match the engagement requirements of today’s battlefield.”
The SIG SAUER TANGO6T 1-6x24MM riflescope is available commercially at local retailers and at sigsauer.com, in first and second plane, and varying reticles including 5.56/7.62 Horseshoe Dot, HELLFIRE MOA Milling, HELLFIRE FL-6 and the new DWLR6.
“This award solidifies the TANGO6T as the premier riflescope of the U.S. military as it continues to exceed the highest standards for ruggedization, range, and accuracy throughout testing protocols, and in the field with our soldiers. We are honored to partner with the U.S. Department of Defense as they continue to modernize their weapons systems and look forward to the continued proliferation of the TANGO6T amongst our fighting forces,” concluded Cohen.
All SIG SAUER TANGO6 riflescopes are designed and assembled in the USA at the state-of-the-art, ISO-certified, SIG SAUER Electro-Optics facility in Wilsonville, Oregon.
09 Nov 20. Exceptional ground and flight demonstrations lead way to further applicability across programs. Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) has successfully demonstrated an open mission systems (OMS) compliant active electronically scanned array (AESA) sensor in recent ground and multiple flight demonstrations. For the demonstrations, an advanced Northrop Grumman wideband AESA sensor was connected to an OMS-compliant mission computing system provided by Boeing. After integrating with the Boeing mission computing environment, the AESA sensor was instructed to focus on specific targets, capture and manage data, and communicate the information back to the mission computing system, which was displayed in real-time on an operator’s workstation.
“These demonstrations continue to act as pathfinders to enable further OMS opportunities,” said Paul Kalafos, vice president, surveillance and electromagnetic maneuver warfare, Northrop Grumman. “Using an agile framework, we can quickly develop and adapt complex, multi-function systems to enable multi-mission nodes at the tactical edge of the battlespace, be it Joint All-Domain Command and Control (JADC2), electronic warfare, or intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.”
OMS is an approach based on open architecture design allowing customers to rapidly add new or improved capabilities, regardless of supplier, at a reduced cost. This Northrop Grumman and Boeing joint live flight test demonstrated a key step in continuing the validation and integration of OMS-compliant systems and the ability to successfully transfer relevant active-passive kill chain data.
“Northrop Grumman is a pioneer in developing multi-function sensors,” said Greg Simer, vice president, air dominance and strike, Northrop Grumman. “Through our iterative development and flight demonstrations, we are focused on agile development with OMS-compliant sensors and commercial practices to prove the rapid integration of capabilities across mission sets. The result is faster and more affordable advances in sensor capabilities for U.S. forces and their allies.”
Northrop Grumman plans to integrate a combination of OMS/Open Communication Systems sensors and software-defined radios across multiple platforms, networks and nodes to address driving mission needs and ensure multi-domain interoperability. To learn more about Northrop Grumman’s role in connecting the joint force, visit the company’s website.
04 Nov 20. Silent Sentinel, part of PSSAP consortium, “selected as a provider of system to US DoD.” Silent Sentinel Inc., a US based surveillance company, has been selected as a provider for the US Department of Defense after reaching the finals of the Air Force’s “Build the Base of the Future” challenge. Silent Sentinel is part of Team Phosonic Perimeter Security Sensors and Analytics Platform (PSSAP) which specialises in sensor systems, machine learning algorithms and autonomous alert notifications for US Air Force Security Forces. Silent Sentinel provides the Electro-Optical, infrared and tracking for the solution.
According to a company press release: “Team PSSAP competed in the ‘Base Security and Defense’ challenge, looking to demonstrate comprehensive and affordable perimeter security and actionable intelligence. The Base and Security Challenge focused on how the US Air Force utilises new installations to analyse and improve the security and defence systems protecting its people and critical resources. The challenge called for solutions to build an agile and responsive air base of the future, safeguarded efficiently from threats ranging from explosives and shooters to cyber risks. It was centred around six topics – Base Security, Installation Resilience, Leveraging Technology for Operational Effectiveness, Reverse Engineering, Culture of Innovation, and Airman and Family Wellbeing. The proposals selected to advance in the challenge demonstrate innovative solutions across a range of specialist areas including security technology.
Silent Sentinel is a provider of surveillance and security systems, with products already exported to over 50 countries worldwide. With headquarters in the UK, Silent Sentinel Group has recently opened an office in Orlando, Florida. Silent Sentinel’s open Commercial Solutions Opening contract means this solution is now readily available to the Department of Defense and other federal customers. (Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)
03 Nov 20. Advanced Protection Systems launches 3D MIMO family of radars for drone detection. Advanced Protection Systems (APS) has launched a new generation of FIELDctrl 3D MIMO radars. According to an APS LinkedIn post, the multiple input multiple output (MIMO) radar family includes the following models: FIELDctrl Access is the smallest and provides an affordable VSHORAD 3D radar; FIELDctrl Advance is bigger and features MIMO, MHT and micro-doppler capabilty, 90deg azimuth, 60 deg elevation and 4Hz refresh rate; The FIELDctrl Range is designed to detect nano UAV from 6 km up to helicopters at 15km, designed for ECM/C-UAS, perimeter security, and high-precision VSHORAD detection, tracking and classification; FIELDctrl Follow is a tracking radar with narrow beamwidth, ultra-fast refresh rate, and angular accuracy, 20 Hz refresh rate, 1 mile range accuracy, and hardkill mitigation integration.
FIELDctrl 3D MIMO radars are aimed a military, security and critical infrastructure industries.
According to APS COO Radoslaw Piesiewicz, the new equipment addresses customer requirements including “precision of detection and classification, quality of clutter removal, accuracy of tracking, and super-high refresh rate.”
For more information visit:
04 Nov 20. NATO C-UAS exercise in Poland tested systems from 42 Solutions, Rinicom and Robin Radar Systems. Dutch Counter-UAS Nucleus hosted a NATO exercise to test Counter Unmanned Aerial Systems (C-UAS) capabilities and show how combined forces and strengths can made more effective, according to a LinkedIn post by 42 Solutions. “Unity, synergy, energy and success were the keywords that marked this day. We’re glad we could successfully test our interoperability and deployability with third-party systems, because at 42 Solutions, we believe in integrated solutions to better counter current and future rogue UAV scenarios.” 42 Solutions tested its drone threat mitigation solution Sparrow.
For more information visit:
09 Nov 20. US Department of Defense Hosted C-SUAS Industry Open House.
For the first time, the Department of Defense outlined its approach for Counter-small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (C-sUAS) during a virtual industry open house on Oct. 30.
The one-day online event informed vendors on upcoming efforts to align C-sUAS capabilities into an enduring and integrated enterprise approach. The industry open house was hosted by the Joint Counter-small Unmanned Aircraft System Office (JCO) and Army Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office (RCCTO). The event will provide information regarding emerging requirements, address the multitude of C-sUAS challenges, and encourage competition and efficiencies in future technology development and procurement activities.
Prior to the industry open house, the Department of Defense expects to validate the operational capability requirements for C-sUAS, which will serve as the basis for providing a path ahead for industry demonstration, experimentation, and innovation opportunities.
“To preserve freedom of action for friendly forces, we require C-sUAS systems that can quickly and accurately detect, identify, and if necessary defeat threats without impacting legitimate sUAS users or other authorized operations,”
said MG Sean Gainey, Director of the JCO, which was established earlier this year to lead and direct efforts to identify and prioritize Joint gaps and C-sUAS solutions. The RCCTO serves as the materiel and acquisition lead in support of the JCO.
The event was open to all vendors interested in C-sUAS and will cover key aspects including strategy, training, current capabilities and operational capability requirements. The open house also outlined future acquisition approaches, “on-ramp” opportunities for industry and plans for standardized test protocols. The event ended with a question and answer session, in which subject matter experts will address questions that have been previously submitted online.
“Countering the small UAS threat is a joint team effort and we look forward to working with industry on the future materiel approach,” said LTG L. Neil Thurgood, Director of Hypersonics, Directed Energy, Space and Rapid Acquisition, which includes the RCCTO. “This open house and other industry engagement efforts helps communicate our priorities in future capability development and ensure we can leverage new and emerging technologies as quickly as possible.”
Competitors are challenging U.S. interest across all domains and geographic regions with advances in technologies such as sUAS. The JCO aims to bring a common approach to this critical capability area with the goal of joint coordinated investing in the best performance and capability mix. The JCO, RCCTO and the Services are working with industry to lay out future research, testing, and capability modernization. This will decrease overlap, increase efficiencies and provide common architectures and interfaces.
“Outpacing the C-sUAS threat requires a continuous evaluation of processes and systems, to make deliberate risk-based investment choices, and provide the Joint Force with a range of options across all C-sUAS capability domains,” Gainey said. “With a holistic approach to C-sUAS we will help ensure the Joint Force is both ready to meet today’s challenges and prepared for the future.”
Photo: Soldiers from 5th Armored Brigade, First Army Division West, developed a course of instruction to counter the threat of commercial, off-the-shelf unmanned aerial surveillance vehicles at McGregor Range Complex, N.M., last June. – Staff Sgt. Timothy Gray (Source: UAS VISION)
09 Nov 20. MARSS, Northrop Grumman and MSI-Defence Demo Multiple Counter Measure CUAS System. MARSS Group announced that in collaboration with key partners it has successfully demonstrated new capabilities of the NiDAR CUAS AI Command and Control system. The solution, designed to protect against life-threatening unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) was activated at a private testing facility in Arizona, USA.
The demonstration confirms the full physical and software integration of the MARSS NiDAR CUAS technology with hardware and systems from its partners Northrop Grumman and MSI-Defence Systems Limited to detect, track and engage a hostile UAS. Led by MARSS, the companies showcased the new generation of layered countermeasures that provide a 360 degree arc of protection, at ranges from 250m to over 15km, protecting against current and emerging airborne threats.
The MARSS NiDAR CUAS includes a number of proven electronic countermeasures; however, as recently revealed by the US Department of Defence, emerging UAS threats may be able to evade or defeat traditional jamming technologies. In these cases, the NiDAR CUAS system for the first time enables end users to integrate layers of defensive countermeasures that are designed to permanently disable single or defeat asymmetric UAS threats; protecting assets and saving lives at significant ranges, with a high probability of intercept.
The MARSS NiDAR CUAS system is already being commissioned to several key installations, with undisclosed contracts exceeding $180m.
Johannes Pinl, MARSS founder and CEO commented, “The new generation of fully autonomous Class 2 UAVs as deployed by state sponsored agitators present momentum shift in warfare not seen in years. It causes real and very present danger to people, populations and national critical infrastructure and highlights the shortcomings of the currently deployed state of the art air defence systems. Such proven shortcomings will accelerate the export of such threat out of the Middle East globally. Therefore, alongside our partners I’m delighted to be part of the first working solution to protect nations against such next generation of autonomous airborne threats.”
Mark Aherne, Regional Sales Manager MENA, at MSI-Defence Systems Limited added, “In real-life scenarios, there is no room for error when a UAV is flying towards a target at 200km per hour. Systems need to not only be accurate, but consistent every time. We are delighted at the outcome of the event at Big Sandy – the solution explores every avenue possible and all within split-second time-frames.”
Jeff Tipton, Director International Business Development at Northrop Grumman added:
“When all other possibilities have been exhausted we have the capabilities to stop an incoming hostile drone dead in its tracks. This functionality is enhanced with the complementary offerings and system integrations with MARSS and MSI-Defence Systems Limited.”
10 Nov 20. Northrop, Boeing AEW&C work demonstrates open mission system potential. Northrop Grumman and Boeing have demonstrated an active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar optmised as an open mission system connecting with an early warning and control system (AEW&C) in recent ground and flight tests. The unnamed Northrop AESA radar was paired with the unspecified AEW&C system from Boeing aboard a Bombardier CRJ700ER regional jet. Northrop Grumman flew the open mission system-compliant advanced sensor on its CRJ testbed aircraft
The demonstrations validate that the two systems can “communicate with one another in an open mission system environment”, Boeing said on 9 November.
“After integrating with the Boeing mission computing environment, the AESA sensor was instructed to focus on specific targets, capture and manage data, and communicate the information back to the mission computing system, which was displayed in real-time on an operator’s workstation,” adds Northrop.
Open mission systems are designed to quickly integrate with new hardware or software, allowing customers to inexpensively upgrade their systems using technology from third-party suppliers. The US Air Force has pushed for defence manufacturers to design their products with open mission systems architecture. By moving towards open mission systems, the service hopes to avoid the “vendor lock” that comes with buying proprietary hardware.
Allowing an AESA radar system to be quickly upgraded as new software or hardware come on the market could help the sensor stay relevant against evolving threats, such as new combat aircraft or surface-to-air missiles. In a similar way, the ability to quickly integrate AEW&C systems with new sensors will also keep that platform relevant.
Ultimately, the recent demonstrations will serve as “pathfinders” for future open mission systems products, says Paul Kalafos, vice-president of surveillance and electromagnetic manoeuvre warfare with Northrop.
Cirium fleets data indicates that the aircraft involved in the project, N805X, was operated by Lufthansa CityLine from 2003 to 2015, when it was obtained by Northrop. (Source: Flight Global)
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.