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21 Sep 23. Australian P-8A Poseidon Fleet to Receive Upgrades.
Australia recently announced the Royal Australian Air Force’s (RAAF) fleet of P-8A Poseidon Maritime Patrol and Response aircraft will be upgraded to Increment Three Block Two, the latest capability upgrade available for the aircraft. The upgrade will enhance anti-submarine warfare, strike and intelligence capabilities.
“The Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Aircraft Program Office (PMA-290) works closely every day with our Australian teammates to promote international security and enhance interoperability, and this upgrade will set us up for future success in these endeavors,” said Capt. Eric Gardner, program manager of PMA-290.
The first aircraft is expected to begin upgrades in 2026 with the final aircraft to be completed in 2030. The upgraded P-8A Poseidon aircraft will continue to be operated by RAAF’s No. 11 Squadron at RAAF Base Edinburgh, South Australia.
The RAAF declared initial operating capability for the P-8A in March 2018. The fleet currently consists of 12 aircraft. In December 2020, the Commonwealth announced the acquisition of an additional two aircraft through its existing cooperative program with the U.S. Navy. The upgrade will ensure the RAAF P-8A’s operational effectiveness into the 2030s. Through cooperative programs such as the P-8A, the U.S. and Australian militaries continue to enjoy more than 100 years of “mateship.”
PMA-290 manages the acquisition, development, support, and delivery of the Navy’s maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft.
(Source: ASD Network)
18 Sep 23. GEOSAT to manufacture Japanese C-UAV systems in Taiwan. Taiwan’s GEOSAT Aerospace & Technology signed a transfer of technology (ToT) agreement with Fortunio Japan to manufacture the latter’s counter-unmanned aerial vehicle (C-UAV) known as ‘DDD (Drone Detective & Disabilitating System)’ in Taiwan at the Taipei Aerospace & Defense Technology Exhibition 2023 (TADTE 2023) held in Taipei from 14 to 16 September.
A GEOSAT spokesperson told Janes at the showthat the system will be offered to the Republic of China (RoC) Armed Forces to meet the service’s C-UAV requirements.
According to the company specifications, the DDD can detect UAVs within a range of 25 km.
The DDD comprises three units: detection head unit, tripod, and software and personal computer. The circular detection head unit is mounted on the tripod with an overall height and weight of 1,430 mm and 35 kg respectively.
The height, weight, and diameter of the head unit are 150 mm, 7 kg, and 375 mm respectively. The system can be mounted on a ship or a military vehicle, the spokesperson added. (Source: Janes)
20 Sep 23. MARSS Joins Forces with Al Seer Marine to Enhance Maritime Security Solutions. MARSS, has entered a strategic partnership with Al Seer Marine, heralding a new era of innovation in the realm of Unmanned Surface Vehicles (USVs). Al Seer Marine, a renowned global maritime organization, and MARSS, a pioneering technology innovator with a worldwide presence, have underscored their dedication to collaboration by formalizing their commitment through the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). This landmark agreement aims to foster the development of advanced security solutions for USVs.
The MOU signals a key partnership between the two industry leaders and will spearhead rapid acceleration in the innovation of security and defence technology, supporting the work of Al Seer Marine’s “Autonomous Center of Excellence” for Maritime Autonomous Systems (MTII Center), and further establishing MARSS’ position as a global leader in technology innovation.
MARSS’ CEO and founder, Johannes Pinl, said: “At MARSS, we have spent many years innovating and improving our world-leading NiDAR technology to create an adaptable, scalable, intelligent and easy-to-use platform, which offers unparalleled, real-time protection against security threats.
“We very much look forward to this partnership with Al Seer Marine, and to drawing on their design and industry expertise to take our technology to the next level, as we work together to exceed our own expectations and those of our customers.”
This groundbreaking collaboration will witness the integration of Al Seer Marine’s USV research platform with MARSS’s proprietary NiDAR defense technology. This integrated system will demonstrate superior command and control (C2) capabilities and marine security features. Providing unparalleled situational awareness and security enhancements, it will support operators in their decision-making process, automatically detect potential threats, and suggest appropriate measures to neutralize them. This innovative system will be unveiled in mid-2024.
MARSS and Al Seer Marine have also established a joint initiative to develop operational training programs for their employees and partners. They will also collaboratively participate in contracted product and technology demonstrations within the region.
Guy Neivens, CEO of Al Seer Marine, commented, “As market leaders in the field of Unmanned Surface Vessels, we are thrilled to partner with MARSS on this groundbreaking project. Through our collaborative efforts in innovation and design, we are confident that we can seamlessly integrate MARSS’ advanced security solutions into our state-of-the-art vessels, ensuring unprecedented levels of security, defense, and safety for our clients.”
This strategic partnership between MARSS and Al Seer Marine represents a significant step forward in the evolution of USV security technology, promising enhanced safety and protection for maritime operations worldwide.
19 Sep 23. Lasers that shoot down drones from armoured trucks to be used by Army for first time. Weapon system to be part of Ministry of Defence’s Land Demonstrator Programme where the Army tests and experiments with new capabilities. Laser weapon system on a Swinton truck, but it will be mounted on top of a Wolfhound armoured vehicle
Lasers that can shoot down drones from armoured trucks are to be used by the British Army for the first time.
The new Raytheon high-energy laser weapon system, together with its all-weather targeting camera, is contained in a battlefield proof housing, which is then mounted on top of the Wolfhound armoured vehicle.
The 15-kilowatt laser, which fires silently, works in tandem with a separate radar to track unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).
Once a target is identified by the radar, the information is passed to the Command and Control System operated by troops within the Wolfhound vehicle. The soldiers can direct the camera, which locks and follows the target, to assess what the radar has identified and decipher whether it is a friendly or hostile drone.
Using a hand controller the soldier can remove the safety switches then fire the laser at the target.
With invisible beams of light the laser directs electrical energy at the drone which generates huge amounts of heat to burn holes through the target and ultimately destroy it in seconds.
The laser has four m operational flight hours, giving the soldier the ability to destroy an unlimited number of drones.
Julie Finlayson-Odell, managing director of weapons and sensors at Raytheon UK, said: “The arrival of this transformative technology is an important milestone in our collaboration with the MoD on using directed energy to address a variety of threats, from drones and UAVs to more complex missile systems.
“This system is a culmination of decades of investment, research and innovation and its arrival reflects our continued commitment to help fulfil a key strategic objective of the UK’s Integrated Review, which is to understand how directed energy weapons can safely and effectively operate alongside other elements of the UK’s Armed Forces.”
The system has been proven in the US to work in all types of difficult weather as the camera has in-built infra-red, making targets easier to track if weather is bad or there is poor visibility.
It is also compact, portable and can be installed on a variety of platforms, as well as being easy to connect to other air defence systems.
Raytheon sources added that as a system, it offers a nearly infinite number of shots and precision accuracy with very low collateral damage, which makes it an affordable alternative to traditional munitions.
British defence sources confirmed the system will be in the UK next month, where UK industry will prepare it for use by troops as part of the Ministry of Defence’s Land Demonstrator Programme, where the Army tests and experiments with new capabilities.
They added that the laser was a “novel capability”, although cautioned there was “no commitment or formal contract to procure it at the moment”.
Already in use with US forces, the system participated in live-fire exercises earlier this year where it successfully acquired, tracked, targeted and destroyed dozens of drone targets in short-range attack, swarm attack and long-range threat scenarios.
Launching the novel weapons programme in 2019, Penny Mordaunt, the then-defence secretary, said such technologies “have the potential to revolutionise the battlefield by offering powerful and cost-effective weapons systems to our Armed Forces. (Source: Daily Telegraph)
19 Sep 23. Australia boosts maritime surveillance with drones, aircraft upgrades. Australia will spend A$1.5bn ($966m) to boost maritime surveillance of its northern approaches, buying more long range drone aircraft and upgrading Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft.
The fleet of 14 Boeing (BA.N) P-8A Poseidon Maritime Patrol aircraft will have anti-submarine warfare, maritime strike and intelligence collection capabilities upgraded, Minister for Defence Industry Pat Conroy said in a statement on Tuesday.
A fourth Northrop Grumman (NOC.N) manufactured MQ-4C Triton drone aircraft, developed with the United States Navy, will be based in Australia’s Northern Territory, closest to Asia, and operated by a newly formed squadron in South Australia state.
The Triton will provide long-range surveillance of Australia’s maritime region, the statement said.
“The purchase of an additional Triton will enhance operations from Australia’s northern bases, a priority under the Defence Strategic Review,” said Conroy.
The review in April said United States was no longer the “unipolar leader of the Indo Pacific”, that intense competition between the U.S. and China was defining the region, and that the major power competition had “potential for conflict”.
It recommended the country’s northern bases become a focal point for deterring adversaries, and protecting trade routes and communications.
Australian Poseidon aircraft have conducted patrols in the South China Sea, and have also operated out of a Japanese airbase to enforce United Nations Security Council sanctions on North Korea. Conroy said the Poseidon aircraft upgrades will strengthen the protection of Australian “maritime interests”. ($1 = 1.5523 Australian dollars) (Source: Defense News Early Bird/Reuters)
18 Sep 23. BAE Introduces Enhanced Features for TWV640 Thermal Camera Core.
- Enhanced capabilities for BAE Systems’ TWV640 thermal camera core
BAE Systems has unveiled enhanced capabilities for its TWV640 thermal camera core, designed for makers of thermal imaging solutions for defense, space, and commercial markets. The technology is used in security and surveillance, firefighting vision systems, automotive cameras, and more.
The TWV640 is powered by BAE Systems’ Athena™ 640 focal plane array, an uncooled long wave infrared microbolometer. The upgraded features include:
- Contrast enhancement to provide improved imagery detail;
- Patent-pending spotlight mode to enable a picture-in-picture style image through a customizable region of contrast enhancements that do not degrade the sharpness of the image in the remainder of the frame;
- Field pixel kill to automatically substitute degraded pixels, making them virtually undetectable;
- And Improved Noise Equivalent Temperature Difference (NETD) to more accurately identify objects and threats within a scene, particularly within degraded environments and/or at longer ranges.
- The combination of these four improvements allows for a more flexible and customizable image. The thermal camera core enables the ability to pick out threats at a long distance that are only a few pixels large.
The technology captures clear, complete images with lower temporal noise in the most visually challenging conditions including heavy fog, smoke, dust, haze, and darkness. This is invaluable to a broad range of applications for security, firefighting, targeting, thermography, and more.
“By further enhancing our imaging technology, we are continuing to provide our customers in the U.S. and abroad the superior imagery and customizable features they expect from BAE Systems,” said Robyn Decker, director of Sensor Solutions at BAE Systems.
TWV640—a 640X480 thermal camera core—was the first commercially available, uncooled thermal camera core on the market using 12-micron pixels, versus the standard 17-micron focal plane which can reduce optics sizes by 50% and decrease optics cost by 20%.
BAE Systems’ Athena product line of high performance thermal camera cores is renowned for customizable settings, a software development kit, graphic user interface and display drivers, making it easy to configure based on mission needs.
The TWV640 is produced at BAE Systems’ state-of-the-art facility in Austin, Texas. (Source: ASD Network)
15 Sep 23. USMC seeks to accelerate MADIS development and acquisition. As the US Marine Corps continues to push its modernisation agenda, transforming the Corps into a lighter, faster, easier-to-deploy, yet highly lethal multi-domain expeditionary force, so, too, it is accelerating the continuing development of its Marine Air Defense Integrated System (MADIS), according to the Center for Military Modernisation.
Developed to meet the rising demand for highly mobile drone destruction, targeting of hostile helicopters and potentially jamming drone swarms, MADIS consists of a vehicle-mounted radar and EW and interceptor weapon systems built to track and destroy low-altitude airborne targets while on the move in combat. The integrated system combines an Oshkosh Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) with sensors, EW, radar, turret-launched Stinger missiles and a direct-fire weapon operated from a remote weapons station.
MADIS technology was recently cited in a recently-published Marine Corps text, Force Design 2030: Acquisition for the Future Battlefield (click here for access), laying out and explaining the need for further acceleration in the transition programme currently occupying the minds of USMC leaders. For more information: The Center for Military Modernisation https://warriormaven.com (Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)
15 Sep 23. Sentrycs demonstrates anti-swarm capabilities in US Department of Homeland Security trial. The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) staged tests in August in Oklahoma, during which Sentrycs demonstrated its ability to simultaneously detect and track multiple drones, operating at diverse ranges, altitudes, and speeds. A particular feature of the Sentrycs solution was that the system was shown to be insensitive to the proximity of drones to each other, or to their relative speed and altitude, according to the company.
Among the multiple scenarios the tests covered were:
- Individual and multiple drones flying in various formations at ranges up to 2,500 metres and altitudes of 500 metres;
- Safe drone mitigation; distinguishing authorised from unauthorised drones; tracking DJI, Autel, and Parrot drones simultaneously; tracking and mitigating the only 4G-enabled commercial drone;
- Outside the planned test and demo, several other drones were detected and tracked at ranges of 12-25 kilometres.
The company’s solution centers on Protocol Analytics, which enables operators to detection, tracking, and identification of commercial, DIY and manipulated drones, to minimise zero false alarms and disruption to other communication signals. According to the company, the solution offers the ability for the secure takeover of unauthorised drones, safely guiding them to a controlled landing or directing them back to their point of origin, simultaneously leaving authorised drones unaffected.
For more information: www.sentrycs.com (Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)
14 Sep 23. Cambridge Pixel provides display for HBS Consulting SpyDar UAS detection solution. HBS Consulting’s SpyDar is a portable drone detection system that now benefits from an easy to use display that provides operators with images of drones detected by the radar as well as both panoramic and live ‘area-of-interest’ feeds from the system’s camera array.
SpyDarView, developed by Cambridge Pixel, displays radar tracks both on the PPI pane and on the panoramic view. The simple touchscreen interface allows operators to change range settings simply and to grab screenshots for recording purposes. It is designed to run on rugged tablets and provides a clear example of Cambridge Pixel’s ability to tailor solutions to specific applications.
SpyDar innovatively combines an array of super-high resolution cameras and Echodyne’s EchoGuard radar. The SpyDar camera assembly fits directly onto EchoGuard, with the two sensor systems having comparable fields of view and sensitivity, dispensing with the need for an expensive and complex PTZ optical subsystem. The solution can be further enhanced with the addition of an optional AI-based image processing system from Openworks for automatic target classification.
“SpyDarView is a custom solution, with the screen layout optimised to match the sensors and make the system easy to use,” said Cambridge Pixel Sales Director, Mark Saunders. “Although it is based on the code-base from our off-the-shelf VSD application, it is a unique solution for SpyDar”. For more information: www.cambridgepixel.com (Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)
14 Sep 23. Israel Aerospace Industries and 2Excel Aviation combine to develop UK UAS applications. Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and 2Excel Aviation have signed an agreement to forge ahead in developing the future use of uncrewed aerial systems (UAS) in UK airspace. Initial efforts will focus on growing and enhancing 2Excel’s regulatory approvals in the uncrewed sphere using the maritime version of IAI’s Heron UAS. According to the press release, successful in-person and virtual demonstrations of the Heron to both UK Government and civil observers, flying out of West Wales Airport in Aberporth, Wales, demonstrated that IAI and 2Excel could operate a Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) platform in the UK within the constraints of the regulatory environment. Feedback from the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) was positive, paving the way for future uncrewed operations. For more information visit: www.iai.co.il (Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)
13 Sep 23. Aselsan introduces SARP Next Gen RWS at DSEI 2023. Continuing its development of advanced remote weapon stations (RWS), Aselsan is highlighting its Stabilised Advanced Remote Weapon Platform (SARP) family at DSEI 2023 in London this week, introducing the SARP Next Generation (SARP Next Gen) model.
Maintaining the high hit probability, track-on-the-move performance and shoot-on-the-move capability that have been hallmarks of the SARP family to date, the system combines high-precision reconnaissance capabilities with the firepower to serve tactical needs. Its compact design suits it to integration onto tactical vehicles or fixed surveillance posts and towers. Mounting 12.7mm or 7.62mm machineguns or a 40mm automatic grenade launcher as main armament, SARP Next Gen can also mount a 7.62mm coaxial machinegun. With extensive surveillance and remote control capabilities, SARP Next Gen enhances gunner situational awareness.
Innovative hardware and advanced engineering enable a variety of enhanced capabilities, among them the concept of a hybrid ammunition box which enables vehicles to carry up to 1,250 additional rounds of 7.62mm ammunition, for example, compared to traditional reload-under-armour weapon systems.
Aselsan’s electro-optical expertise and advanced engineering expertise means it would not take much modification, Unmanned Airspace suggests, for SARP Next Gen to be modified to make a counter-UAS application feasible in the not too distant future. For more information: www.aselsan.com.tr (Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)
17 Sep 23. Teledyne FLIR expands Neutrino Ground ISR range of MWIR imaging solutions. Teledyne FLIR, a Teledyne Technologies company, announced two new medium-wave IR (MWIR) imaging solutions on 12 September – the Neutrino Ground ISR 300 and 420.
Aimed at integrators developing ground-based ISR systems, the two imaging solutions lend themselves to a wide variety of applications, including perimeter surveillance, border surveillance and counter-UAS. They offer high-performance imaging, long life and economic switching costs by combining the company’s MWIR camera modules, continuous zoom (CZ) lenses and image processing with market-leading control electronics from InVeo Designs.
“The Neutrino Ground ISR series incorporates multiple focal plane array (FPA) resolutions and CZ lens
options, all with the same industry standard image processing and interface electronics, allowing for differing detection recognition and identification (DRI) requirements and affordability,” said Dan Walker, VP of Product Management. “As the most complete and versatile integrated MWIR solution yet for ground-based ISR systems, the newest addition to the Neutrino series delivers the performance, reliability, and support expected from Teledyne FLIR”.
Driving high system-level performance, the Neutrino Ground ISR series includes industry-adopted
AgileCore imaging electronics, long-life Linear Stirling coolers that provide a superior mean-time-to-failure of greater than 27,000 hours, and fully integrated CZ optics. With the choice of either 640×512 or 1280×1024 thermal pixel resolution, the modules provide optimal thermal sensitivity while the zoom, focus, and boresight retention enable superior autofocus and focus-to-range. They also feature common camera interfaces with 30Hz Camera Link or Gigabit Ethernet and 1080P30 HD-SDI or 720P60 HD-SDI to streamline development further. For more information: www.teledyneflir.com (Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)
13 Sep 23. Cerbair adds Drone ID identification to Hydra systems. At DSEI in London this week, Cerbair has announced a major software upgrade to enhance the capabilities of its Hydra range of drone detection systems, adding the Drone ID identification solution.
As the proliferation of drones continues to test those responsible for identifying and countering them, one of the abiding challenges is to be able to identify and discriminate between collaborative and non-collaborative drones – separating ‘mere’ dangerous flight in restricted areas from real threats. Additionally, Remote ID legislation is gaining momentum worldwide, and drone manufacturers are now developing proprietary remote identification solutions, thereby playing a crucial role in the management of low-altitude airspace.
Cerbair uses its own entirely French-developed Drone ID technology to enable Hydra systems to detect drone transmissions of remote identification signals, providing operators with critical information such as drone location, trajectory and speed, take-off point, operator location and drone serial number. Fusing the identification, detection and localisation capabilities into a single RF detection systems allows operators to protect flight-sensitive environments, and create customised geofencing and ‘no-fly’ zones, thus adding additional layers of protection in sensitive areas, benefiting both unmanned traffic management (UTM) and counter-UAS missions.
Designed to ensure the acquisition of capability can be achieved even within limited budget resources, Drone ID is an example of Cerbair’s strategy of offering major enhancements to the existing product range via a novel software licensing model. Now, identification of DJI drones, discrimination between collaborative and non-collaborative drones, and localisation of drones and their pilots is possible with a single RF detection system. For more information: www.cerbair.com (Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)
12 Sep 23. Hensoldt highlights Ceretron sensor suite on MUV at DSEI 2023. Vistors to Hensoldt’s booth at the defence and security event DSEI in London this week have been presented with an iteration of the Ceretron sensor suite integrated into a Multi-Utility Vehicle (MUV) that has already proven detection and operator capabilities with the Bundeswehr.
With Ceretron, Hensoldt has taken an innovative approach to the conundrum of increasing data volume and potential information overload. The sensor suite combines sensors, merges their data streams, evaluates them in real time, processes them and provides vehicle crew and the entire battle group with an AI-supported operational picture. Relevant information is thus provided automatically on an ad hoc basis, empowering faster and more intelligent decision-making. “Through the automated AI-supported evaluation of sensor data, we significantly accelerate the situational awareness process for planning and decision-making,” said Tanya Altmann, Head of the company’s Optronics & Land Solutions Division. “We therefore want to contribute this expertise, proven in practical scenarios at the German Army, to future programmes, such as D-LBO in Germany and FOXTROT in the Netherlands, together with our partners”.
Ceretron can be flexibly configured to meet specific mission requirements, and can network a wide range of heterogeneous sensors that come from Hensoldt or third-party portfolios, thus providing ultimate operator adaptability. It ensures information superiority simultaneously with relieving the user through the use of decentralised AI, enabling effective, highly efficient reconnaissance, target acquisition and transmission of target data across the battlefield – mission-critical capabilities increasingly in demand. Applied to current and future platforms, information superiority along the entire sensor-to-effector value chain can be realised quickly, at minimal cost and in a threat-appropriate manner. For more information: www.hensoldt.net (Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)
12 Sep 23. Chess Dynamics reveals DEFT – advanced real-time video tracking capability. Cohort plc’s Chess Dynamics has launched its Deep Embedded Feature Tracking (DEFT) system, an advanced real-time video tracking capability that provides accurate, robust tracking in complex situations.
Using a deep learning approach developed by Vision4ce (a Chess Dynamics brand), DEFT creates comprehensive models of the target, allowing for continuous accurate tracking after occasional occlusion, for example. It provides for improved tracking of difficult targets – an issue not unknown in C-UAS circles – in which traditional algorithms often struggle. The models are continuously fine-tuned so as to enhances user understanding of the target, resulting in precise long-term, robust tracking performance. The technology enhances the company’s AI-driven target detection and tracking capability and integrates with neural network-based object detection and classification of targets, including multi-rotor drones, vessels and land vehicles.
“The increased proliferation of stealthy drones and more flexibly deployed forces has posed an unprecedented threat to security and privacy,” said David Tuddenham, Group Managing Director. “These agile and hard-to-detect devices capitalise on cluttered environments to evade traditional surveillance methods, highlighting the urgent need for innovative technologies to counteract them [DEFT has been developed in response to this growing issue. For more information: www.chess-dynamics.com (Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)
18 Sep 23. US Air Force Seymour Johnson AFB seeks C-UAS operations training services. The U.S. Air Force, Seymour Johnson Air Force Base (SJAFB), has been tasked to identify potential sources, market capabilities and market conditions for the acquisition of Counter Unmanned Aerial Systems (c-UAS) Operations Training Services.
“The purpose of this sources sought is to gain knowledge of interest, capabilities and qualifications of members of the Small Business Community, to include Section 8(a), Historically Underutilizes Business Zones (HUBZone), Service Disabled Veterans-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB), and Economically Disadvantaged Women Owned Small Business’s (EDWOSB) to compete for this requirement,” according to the request for information posted on the www.sam.gov contracting website.
“The objective of the 4th Fighter Wing Counter Unmanned Aerial Systems (c-UAS) Operations Training is to prepare and provide a live fly training experience in support of the 335th Fighter Squadron’s preparation to support OPERATION SPARTAN SHIELD in November of 2023.
Provide training that develops the capability for F-15Es to Find, Fix, Track, Target, Engage and Assess multiple UAS targets during a three day period. Current F-15E simulators do not have the capability to replicate the specific threat systems utilized in this live fly training.
Provide training that allows F-15E aircrew to utilize on board sensors to detect and track an air picture consisting of multiple Group 2 and 3 UASs along a single threat axis during a VUL.
Provide training that presents representative communication with outside agencies to build the UAS kill chain.
Provide training that allows F-15E aircrew to utilize on board systems to target Group 2 and 3 UASs out to a 30-50 nautical mile distance.
The expected level of proficiency at training completion is that each Airman has the capability to perform the above tasks at a basic skill level individually and perform the above tasks as part of an integrated team.”
Responses are to be emailed to or mailed and addressed to: 4th Contacting Squadron/PKB attention Aaron VanVynckt, 1570 Wright Brothers Avenue, BLDG 2903, Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, NC 27531-2479. Negative responses are not required. Capable and interested sources must respond to this sources sought no later than 1:00 p.m. EST on 22 September 2023. For more information: https://sam.gov/opp/4a2cc693d3c74de4aee8e097ba8eb1e8/view
12 Sep 23. USAF seeks C-sUAS electronic drone emulator. In a 7 September ‘sources sought’ announcement, the US Air Force is seeking organisations capable of responding to a requirement for a C-sUAS electronic drone emulator.
No solicitations are currently available – the intent at this juncture is merely to establish potentially competent sources, in order to support a potential competitive procurement. Technical parameters revealed to date include:
- System must be able to receive and detect SUAS RF signals in common communication bands (2.4/5.8 GHz and 400/900 MHz)
- System must be able to validate the successful transmission of a protocol-based RF countermeasure
- System must provide supplemental environmental RF scanning to identify dynamic interference sources
- System must be able to receive support and software updates
- System must be able to be reusued and withstand multiple Electronic Warfare (EW) C-UAS system type tests without alteration to the device.
- System must have an internal rechargeable battery that lasts for a minimum of 3 hours
- System must have built-in display module that reflects user-based input and actions
The ‘sources sought’ inquiry is designated as a total Small Business Set Aside. Responses should be made by email before 09:00 Alaska Daylight Time on 18 September to A1C Felix Prose at
15 Sep 23. AUVSI launches ‘Partnership for Drone Competitiveness’ to strengthen US drone industry. The Association for Uncrewed Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) has announced the launch of the Partnership for Drone Competitiveness, a coalition built to support a stronger US drone industry, enable greater security for customers and end users, forge American leadership in advanced aviation, and effectively level the playing field for domestic and allied drone manufacturers against foreign subsidized competition, says the association.
The Partnership represents a coalition of leading US and allied drone and drone component manufacturers and enterprise users of drones. Together, the group will advocate for targeted investments and common-sense policies that level the playing field against state-subsidized competitors and reduce dependence on foreign supply chains for components and rare earth materials.
The coalition aims to advance policies that enhance competitiveness for the US drone industry. The coalition intends to host an event later this year calling on Congress to pass legislation advancing these policies.
Partnership supporters include AeroVironment, Arrive, Avangrid, BRINC Drones, Dark Wolf Solutions, Censys Technologies, Draganfly, DroneUp, Easy Aerial, MatrixSpace, MissionGO, Mobilicom, Near Earth Autonomy, Ondas Holdings, Phoenix Air Unmanned, ProximaVision, Skydio, Skyfish, Skyfront, Valor Robotics, Watts Innovations, Workhorse Aero, WISPR Systems, and members of AUVSI’s Air Advocacy Committee.
In addition to launching the Partnership, AUVSI released a corresponding whitepaper detailing the Partnership’s inception, the challenges facing the industry, and policy recommendations for US lawmakers and regulators. Among the whitepaper’s key findings are:
- China Flooding the Market with Subsidized Drones: Chinese drones account for almost all of the drones used in consumer, industrial, and first responder markets, largely benefitting from “Made in China” economic policies bolstered by the People’s Republic of China (PRC). The result of a market flooded by Chinese products represents a threat to the United States’ national security, aviation leadership and workforce development, and values and fundamental human rights.
- The Need to Boost the US Drone Industry: Incentivizing US leadership in the drone industry represents a strategic imperative in a market long characterized by state-subsidized companies based in China. AUVSI believes it is essential to advance security and competitiveness in a thoughtful way that respects existing investments while building toward a more secure, sustainable future that puts US interests first.
The Partnership will support policies and legislation which allow the US to reposition itself as the global leader in advanced aviation. The Partnership intends to host an in-person, public event later this fall commemorating recent legislation. The Partnership’s recommended legislative actions include:
- Establishing manufacturing tax credits and loan guarantees;
- Supporting access to critical minerals;
- Creating new federal grants for first responders and enhancing existing ones;
- Enacting pending pieces of legislation including the Drone Infrastructure Inspection Grant Act, the American Security Drone Act, and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization;
- And ensuring funding for and suitable transition periods for agencies transitioning from foreign made to secure drone fleets.
For more information visit: www.auvsi.org (Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)
13 Sep 23. UK CAA Future of Flight programme newsletter highlights progress and objectives. The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) Future of Flight Industry Update September 2023 provides a summary of progress by its Future of Flight programme. Supporting a thriving drone industry is a key programme goal, along with enabling routine beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) and reviewing and updating the regulatory framework.
The CAA Future of Flight programme (alongside the Department for Transport Future of Aviation Programme and the UKRI Future Flight Challenge) will jointly deliver the Future of Flight Action Plan, as endorsed by the Future of Flight Industry Group (FFIG) run by Department for Transport (DfT). The FFIG is due to publish its Action Plan in December 2023.
View the update here: https://publicapps.caa.co.uk/docs/33/FoF_Industry_Sept_Update_v3.pdf?mc_cid=3062ba657f&mc_eid=f1e6f9c12a&fbclid=IwAR2RCGnjf_epM8fotJe348J-5d5gcmsmhdWOuo0j-QK1HH8f6C4MgJmWFwc For more information visit: www.caa.co.uk (Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)
18 Sep 23. HENSOLDT, a leader in cutting-edge technology, has joined forces with Nature Connect, a non-profit organisation committed to preserving wildlife, on a ground-breaking project aimed at safeguarding the endangered western leopard toad species. These unique amphibians are being protected by the watchful eyes of smart camera solutions engineered, donated and installed by HENSOLDT.
Western leopard toads reside exclusively in the coastal lowlands of South Africa’s Western Cape and face numerous threats, including habitat loss, pollution, predation and busy roads during their annual mating migration. Urbanisation has severed their natural habitat, compelling hundreds of western leopard toads to embark on a perilous journey across a busy stretch of road each spring, to reach wetlands where they can mate and lay their eggs. Tragically, many toads are killed by cars during this treacherous journey.
Initial efforts to protect these toads involved conservationists and volunteers keeping guard alongside the road, assisting toads to cross the road. These efforts disrupted traffic and also took place at night, endangering the lives of the volunteers. Furthermore, interacting with these toads requires a permit, as they are a protected species.
In response to this crisis, Nature Connect initiated a project to build special tunnels, also known as bio-ducts, designed specifically to facilitate the safe passage of amphibians beneath the road. These tunnels, equipped with guiding walls, help direct the toads during their migration, reducing the risk of casualties. To ensure and monitor the success of the project, volunteers were still required to manually track the toads’ movements and their utilisation of the tunnels.
To enhance the project’s efficacy, HENSOLDT designed a camera solution that is deployed at the tunnel entrance and exit areas. These cameras capture images of the toads, which are then analysed by artificial intelligence to identify individual toads by species, gender, size and unique markings. This innovation provides invaluable insights into the toads’ behaviours, movement patterns, and their utilisation of the tunnels. It also aids in monitoring population dynamics and the effectiveness of conservation measures.
“We are engineering for nature,” says Warren Ingram, acting Chief Technology Officer at HENSOLDT’s Optronics business unit in South Africa. “It is part of our DNA at HENSOLDT to engineer solutions that shape the world we live in. We are driven to innovate and create technologies that detect and protect,” says Ingram.
Over the past year, the project has expanded significantly. Additional efforts include the installation of road signs, protective fences, and more tunnels to ensure safe crossings for the toads. Community awareness initiatives have also been implemented to engage the local population in toad conservation efforts.
Initiated in February 2023, this project aims to revolutionise western leopard toad conservation by harnessing innovative tools, including HENSOLDT’s cutting-edge optical devices, to gather crucial scientific data. Beyond the breeding season, HENSOLDT continues to collaborate in analysing images using artificial intelligence, identifying individual toads and employing near-infrared technology to minimise disruption during migration.
Ranking first in environmental, social, and governance (ESG) across the industry, HENSOLDT embraces its commitment to making positive contributions to both the environment and society. This project stands as a testament to HENSOLDT’s dedication to protect all species, even a small creature like the western leopard toad, through the power of technology.
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