Sponsored by Blighter Surveillance Systems
21 Jan 21. Japan’s Coast Guard recently completed successful flight testing of Raytheon Intelligence & Space, a Raytheon Technologies business (NYSE: RTX), maritime surveillance technologies onboard a General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI) SeaGuardian® Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA). RI&S provided its SeaVue Expanded Mission Capability (XMC) radar and AN/DAS-4 Multi-spectral Targeting System for the tests, which were conducted in the Hachinohe, Aomori Prefecture, Japan, between Oct. 15 and Nov. 10, 2020.
The tests validated the wide-area maritime surveillance systems support for the Japan Coast Guard to carry out missions for search and rescue, disaster response and maritime law enforcement.
“Our advanced intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance solutions can aid the Japan Coast Guard to perform their duties effectively in alignment with Japan’s maritime security priorities,” said Barbara Borgonovi, vice president of Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Systems for RI&S. “Through our partnership with GA-ASI, SeaVue XMC and DAS-4 contribute to SeaGuardian’s critical role to help operators make decisions faster. Our wide-area surveillance technologies have proven track records that can be tailored to any mission in the maritime environment.”
The SeaVue XMC radar provides enhanced wide-area surveillance by identifying targets of interest rapidly and efficiently, such as small maritime vessels. SeaVue MR delivers expanded capabilities including small-target detection at longer ranges and higher altitudes, and a software-defined digital architecture to add new functionality without changing hardware.
The DAS-4 sensor suite offers operators next-generation electro-optical surveillance in high-definition and full-motion video to identify and engage targets with pinpoint accuracy. The flight tests support the Japan Coast Guard’s policy on Strengthening Maritime Security System. The policy calls for modernized maritime technologies to protect Japan’s sovereignty.
21 Jan 21. DSIT Supplies PointShield™, its Advanced Portable Diver Detection Sonar System, to a NATO Country.
PointShield is a fully automatic, high-performance PDDS system
designed for underwater ship and site protection.
DSIT Solutions Ltd. – a world leader in underwater defense and security solutions based on advanced state-of-the-art sonar and acoustics technologies for naval, homeland security and energy applications – supplies a NATO country with its PointShield Portable Diver Detection Sonar (PDDS) system. PointShield is a fully automatic, high-performance PDDS system designed for underwater ship and site protection.
The sophisticated, cost-effective system secures nuclear power facilities, underwater pipelines and cables, naval bases, ports, offshore platforms, and oil and gas terminals as well as ships of all sizes and displacements. Continuously monitoring over 1,000 sonar contacts simultaneously in real time, PointShield enables rapid detection of underwater threat locations, providing a tactical picture in short- and medium-ranges. Modular with flexible architecture, sensors can cover any required sector from 0° to 360°. Multiple units can work simultaneously, controlled from a single Command & Display unit that provides intuitive displays and menus. The system’s open architecture supports the easy interface with any sensor and C&C system.
Lightweight, compact and portable, PointShield is rapidly deployed and easily moved between sites. Especially robust, it is designed for long-term operation, 24/7/365, in all weather and water conditions. The system can be easily installed using a variety of methods including seabed, pier, tripod, and mooring pile. Providing fully automatic detection, tracking, classification and alerts, PointShield can be operated by security personnel with no special knowledge of sonar systems. For this reason, and due to its minimal maintenance requirements, the system has a very Low Cost of Ownership.
Remarking on the selection of PointShield, Hanan Marom, DSIT’s VP Business Development and Marketing said, “We are proud that after an extensive and rigorous testing process, the customer chose to purchase our product, which demonstrated performance superior to all other systems tested. The PointShield system, like all DSIT systems, delivers a high level of precision and reliability, with a minimum false alarm rate, due to the smart built-in algorithms. Our systems consistently meet global customer needs for advanced underwater threat detection. About 100 systems of this type are in use around the world.”
21 Jan 21. Zenith Aerotech Tethered Drone with Radar, Networking Radio, and EO/IR Camera. Zenith AeroTech has announced that it has integrated an advanced flight radar, gimbaled EO/IR camera, and mobile ad hoc networking radio on the company’s Quad 8 tethered mid-range, unmanned aircraft system (sUAS). The engineering work, which was done at the behest of an unnamed Federal customer, demonstrates how the long-endurance, tethered sUAS can support force protection and early warning missions.
Able to fly at 400 feet AGL for hours—and even days—at a time, the tethered Quad 8 draws power from an easily transportable ground power unit. Zenith Aerotech’s sUAS line, can carry a variety of payloads, from 10 to 24 lbs. Until now, the company has never flown this combination of advanced sensor and communications equipment on the Quad 8.
“We are very excited to have worked with so many cutting-edge industry partners on this effort,” said Kutlay Kaya, CEO of Zenith AeroTech. “With their collaboration, we were able to have our Quad 8 carry Echodyne’s Advanced EchoFlight radar, Trillium Engineering’s HD45 gimbaled EO/IR camera, and the Persistent Systems MPU5 mobile ad hoc networking radio.”
The next step for the company is to demonstrate the capability of the platform with all these integrated payloads, said Mr. Kaya.
“We plan to show how we can simultaneously collect high-resolution imagery, both electro-optical and thermal, as well as air- and ground-based radar anomalies and then securely deliver these collections through the MPU5, providing a robust overwatch capability,” Kaya said. “The MPU5 also acts as a radio/data relay to support disaster recovery operations and provide secure communications.”
The planned platform/payload demonstration shows the versatility of Zenith AeroTech in meeting customer’s needs, whatever they made be. “Whether our customer is a first responder agency, media company, or armed service, we strive to develop and deliver relevant capabilities in a timely fashion,” Kaya said. (Source: UAS VISION)
21 Jan 21. £102m investment in detect and destroy system for British Army. The British Army has invested £102m in a high-end surveillance system which allows frontline soldiers to detect and engage enemy targets in seconds.
Elbit Systems UK (ESUK) – which currently supports over 500 jobs across the UK – will deliver a state-of-the-art ‘sensor to shooter’ system creating an additional 40 highly-skilled engineering and manufacturing jobs split across Bristol and Sandwich, East Kent.
Utilising state-of-the-art thermal sight technology, the Dismounted Joint Fires Integrator (DJFI) will enhance soldiers’ ability to find and identify targets on the Battlefield. It then provides the crucial targeting information necessary to fire more quickly and accurately than ever before.
Using specialist software on a tablet, information gathered by the DJFI is sent digitally to an artillery system or aircraft to instantly engage the target, while the soldier operating the system remains hidden.
Defence Procurement Minister Jeremy Quin said, “This contract with Elbit Systems UK not only delivers the very latest in battlefield technology to our frontline soldiers, but also invests in the British defence industry, sustaining more than 500 jobs across the UK.”
ESUK has also confirmed all five subcontractors will also be UK-based. Additional jobs are expected to be sustained elsewhere through the UK supply chain between now and 2026.
DJFI will deliver six distinct Fires Integration equipment suites – each tailored to specific battlefield mission roles – to be combined with existing hardware and software. The technology is designed to be integrated and used alongside similar equipment used by allied forces, meaning the UK can play a pivotal role in joint overseas operations.
Major General Darren Crook, Director of the Land Equipment Operating Centre for Defence Equipment & Support, the procurement arm of the MOD, said, “Our commitment to equipping and supporting our Armed Forces has never faltered and I am delighted that we have been able to continue to secure state-of-the art equipment for the British Army.”
Colonel Sheldon, Assistant Head of the Army Joint Effects Delivery team: said, “DJFI will enable rapid and highly accurate target engagements. In addition to being fielded across the Army to our fire support teams and joint terminal attack controllers, DJFI will also deliver capability to 3 Commando Brigade, the RAF Regiment and our special forces. This is a key system that will contribute directly to modernising our forces to face future threats.” (Source: https://www.gov.uk/)
21 Jan 21. Elbit Systems’ UK Subsidiary Awarded $137m Contract to Supply the Future Target Acquisition Solution for Soldiers of the British Armed Forces. Elbit Systems Ltd. (NASDAQ: ESLT, TASE: ESLT) (“Elbit Systems” or “the Company”) announced today that its UK subsidiary, Elbit Systems UK Ltd. (“Elbit Systems UK”), was awarded an approximately $137m (approximately £100m) contract by the UK Ministry of Defence to provide the British Armed Forces with the future target acquisition solution for Joint Terminal Attack Controllers and Fire Support Teams under the Dismounted Joint Fires Integrators (“D-JFI”) program. The contract will be performed over a five-year period.
The D-JFI solution to be provided by Elbit Systems UK, is a networked, passive and active target acquisition solution that acquires, generates and communicates target information to effector systems for effective engagement of joint precision and non-precision fires. The solution is empowered by Artificial Intelligence and will interface with the radio communication systems of the British Army, Royal Air Force and Royal Marines. The D-JFI solution draws on the Company’s operational experience in providing dismounted network combat solutions. It integrates several of its technologies, including: the TORCH-XTM Battle Management Application; the HattorixTM system for undetectable generation of high-precision targets, the CORAL Multi-Spectral electro-optical payload for enhanced target acquisition in day and night and the RattlerTM XR long range laser designator. The D-JFI solution will enable fast and secured transmission of target information across the British and Allied Armed Forces, allowing swift and accurate utilization of artillery and close air support.
Martin Fausset, CEO of Elbit Systems UK, said: “It is essential for our Armed Forces to be able to operate swiftly and accurately in hostile environments. The systems to be supplied by Elbit Systems UK represent our commitment to continuously provide the most advanced technology to those on the frontline. The D-JFI solution will provide operational advantage to the British Armed Forces in an increasingly complex battlefield.”
Defence Procurement Minister Jeremy Quin said: “This contract with Elbit Systems UK not only delivers the very latest in battlefield technology to our frontline soldiers, but also invests in the British defence industry, sustaining more than 500 jobs across the UK.”
Employing over 500 people in 10 sites across the UK, Elbit Systems UK has successfully delivered on multiple projects in the UK both independently and in partnership with other British companies, most notably are the Watchkeeper UAV program for the British Army and the the UK MOD Military Flying Training System (UKMFTS) program. Elbit Systems UK was also recently selected by the UK MOD to provide the Royal Navy Future Naval Training Program, the MORPHEUS Battlefield Management Application for the British Army and networked simulators to train mounted and dismounted Joint Fires teams and Joint Fires Cells.
21 Jan 21. HENSOLDT UK launches SPEXER 600 ground based surveillance radar. HENSOLDT UK are pleased to announce the launch of SPEXER 600 multi-mission, X-Band ground based surveillance radar utilising our world beating SharpEye solid state transceiver technology.
Building upon the excellent pedigree of well-established HENSOLDT products and technologies, SPEXER 600 complements the SPEXER family of Active Electronically Scanned Array or AESA radars, offering a cost effective and truly crew portable field deployable solution.
Designed to meet user requirements to detect multiple threats in the modern battlefield or security environment, it offers a number of modes allowing multiple functions to be carried out by a single radar sensor. The built in tracker reduces the need for additional electronic units, making it a lightweight, crew portable unit that can be set up in a few minutes. In fixed installations the low weight allows it to be installed without any specialist masts or structures.
Controlled either locally or remotely from a command centre, SPEXER 600 can be easily networked with other sensors.
“SPEXER 600 from HENSOLDT UK is the solution for today’s complex operational needs on the battlefield, or in securing the nations critical infrastructure against multiple threats” stated Adrian Pilbeam, Head of Sales – Ground and Maritime Surveillance Radar.
20 Jan 21. NS50 radar to equip the Belgium Navy and the Royal Netherlands Navy next generation Mine Counter Measures Vessels (MCMV). Through this contract for its new NS50 radar, Thales is proud to serve both the navies of Belgium and the Netherlands through the next generation MCMV contract with Kership – a joint venture between Naval Group and Piriou.
- The NS50 radar introduces a complete and high level of self-protection capability against air and surface threats for high value ships.
- The NS50 radar is a game changer: it is the world’s first compact multi-mission 4D AESA (Active Electronically Scanned Array) radar available in the market for smaller vessels offering both Air and Surface surveillance with missile and Gun Fire control.
The navies of Belgium and the Netherlands rely on Thales, Naval Group and KERSHIP shipyard to equip the 12 next generation Mine Counter Measures Vessels with NS50 radars for Air & Surface Surveillance with Fire Control capabilities.
The NS50 provides for the first time a complete and superior level of self-protection capability against air and surface threats for this category of high value MCM vessels. A strategic choice for small to medium vessels, the NS50 offers dual functions between air and surface surveillance and fire control.
The nature of threats faced by Navies has never been more varied nor more challenging, ranging from next generation anti-ship missiles, robotic warfare and swarm attacks, to electronic warfare (jamming) as well as, overall, having to operate in a simultaneously conventional, asymmetric and hybrid threat environment. Time and quality of information are critical when facing this new array of unpredictable simultaneous threats. The NS50 provides maximum time on target for forces to evaluate the threat and take countermeasures while, at the same time, understanding what is around them to safeguard the ship and to protect their own allied forces.
The NS50 is the world’s most compact, affordable 4D multi-function naval radar in the market. It offers superior air and surface detection, tracking and classification performances providing highly accurate 4D target information required for rapid acquisition by short-range “fire and forget” Surface-to-Air-Missile Systems as well as fire control of ship-borne artillery against surface targets. It can defend against Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), low slow flying object, surface targets and in combination with small to medium caliber gun system.
A fully software-defined sensor, the NS50 features a modular and scalable hardware architecture, making it equally suitable for combat boats, Offshore Patrol Vessels, MCMVs, auxiliaries and various other platforms. No other radar in this class up offers the NS50’s flexibility and range of features, which are similar to those that do equip larger sized ships. Its full digital design implies that upgrades are possible at any moment and at any place and that, software modifications are simple for integrating new features. The NS50 meets today’s cybersecurity requirements.
The NS50 is part of the NS family of radars already operational within the Royal Netherlands Navy, providing enhanced situational awareness and contributing to regional stability in various parts of the world.
“Navies are facing more complex, smaller, agile and faster moving simultaneous threats. The compact NS50 is a game changer – it brings the benefit of multi-mission air and surface surveillance, as well as fire control to combat boats, MCM vessels, OPA’s and various other platforms. We are proud to work with Naval Group and Kership and supply an innovative radar to the Belgium and Netherland Navies for operational advantage”. Serge Adrian, Senior Vice-President Surface Radar activities, Thales.
19 Jan 21. US looking for aerostat air-defence radars for Saudi Arabia. The US Air Force Life Cycle Management Center (AFLCMC) has released a request for information (RFI) for radars that are carried by aerostats to increase their ability to detect low-flying missiles and aircraft as part of a wider Saudi C4I modernisation study.
AFLCMC said it has already carried out a Saudi radar coverage study that concluded that “the combination of terrain and Earth surface curvature make it economically unfeasible to provide a complete and persistent coverage using ground-based radar assets against low-altitude in-bound air-breathing threats.” As an example, it said that a radar on a 100 ft (30.48 m)-high tower cannot see a threat flying at 100 ft until it is 45 km away.
The study’s proposed solution is to elevate radars, saying their range would be increased to about 180 km if they were at an altitude of 5,000 ft, and installing these at 13 sites in Saudi Arabia, some on the border looking out, with others further inside the kingdom requiring 360° coverage.
These stations will need to be able to provide year-round surveillance in desert, mountain, and coastal conditions in sustained winds of up to 102 km/hour. Two systems could potentially be used at each site to provide the required operational availability.
The radar system will have to provide 360° coverage at a minimum range up to the line-of-sight limit for air-breathing threats flying at 100 ft from its operational altitude. The threats include cruise missiles, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), and aircraft with a radar cross-section as low as 0.1m2. (Source: Jane’s)
19 Jan 21. Cambridge Pixel, a developer of radar display, tracking and recording sub-systems (www.cambridgepixel.com), has introduced its Maritime Display Framework (MDF), an out-of-the-box software application that provides a set of core capabilities to enable maritime integrators to accelerate the development of ARPA (automatic radar plotting aid) radar display consoles.
The new software provides a .NET framework, optionally with source code, that can be used as the starting point for a custom ship-based application, providing display of primary radar, radar tracks, electronic navigational charts (S-57/S-63), secondary transponder information, such as AIS and ADS-B, and NMEA navigation data.
The MDF software can receive radar video from a variety of maritime radar sensors including Furuno, Hensoldt, JRC, Koden, Raymarine, Raytheon, Simrad, Sperry and Terma, with control of the radar supported for certain models.
The MDF software supports many display capabilities required in an ARPA display, including bearing lines, range markers, trails and closest point of approach (CPA) and time to CPA (TCPA). Additionally, camera video is supported for situations where a customer requires an integrated radar and camera display for security against piracy and smugglers.
David Johnson, CEO, Cambridge Pixel, said: “Using the MDF framework application with source code, developers can significantly accelerate the time to develop a customer application. The software offers a fully-functional out-of-the-box display application in a development environment so that customised displays can easily be created.”
A marine radar with automatic radar plotting aid (ARPA) capability can create tracks using radar contacts. The system can calculate the tracked object’s course, speed and CPA, thereby knowing if there is a danger of collision with the other ship or landmass. Marine radars with ARPA are used on numerous commercial vessels including cargo ships, passenger ferries, trawlers, superyachts and tankers.
“Our MDF software application provides maritime integrators with a working solution from day one and gives them the freedom to add the bells and whistles later,” said David Johnson. “So rather than a developer starting from scratch with a low-level library of modules we provide those building blocks as a pre-packaged application to fast-track development.
“This is attractive to new entrants to the ARPA display console market and for software developers who may be looking for a better pedigree of standard modules for their application and who want to focus their software development efforts on customisation.”
The MDF software is compatible with Cambridge Pixel’s radar processing products, such as SPx Server for target tracking and SPx Fusion. A complete ship-based radar processing solution can be provided using standard server applications for radar processing and a customised MDF client application.
The Maritime Display Framework is written in the C# language and is designed for development of a Windows WPF-based client application.
Cambridge Pixel’s Maritime Display Framework is part of a family of radar acquisition and processing components and applications that provide system integrators with a powerful toolkit to build server and client display systems. The company’s world-leading SPx suite of software libraries and applications provides highly flexible, ready-to-run software products or ‘modules-of-expertise’ for radar scan conversion, visualisation, radar video distribution, target tracking, sensor fusion, plot extraction and clutter processing.
Cambridge Pixel’s radar technology is used in naval, air traffic control, vessel traffic, Electronic Chart Display and Information Systems (ECDIS), commercial shipping, security, surveillance and airborne radar applications.
19 Jan 21. Saab offers to establish sensor centre under Canada’s FFCP programme. Swedish firm Saab has proposed to build a sensor centre under its bid for Canada’s Future Fighter Capability Project (FFCP). Swedish firm Saab has proposed to build a sensor centre under its bid for Canada’s Future Fighter Capability Project (FFCP). The company announced the news during AIx Space 2021 Conference on 18 January.
Dubbed ‘Saab Sensor Centre’, the new facility will be established in Vancouver, British Columbia. It would mainly focus on sensor technologies such as radar.
The proposal is part of Canada’s Industrial and Technological Benefits programme from the company.
According to Saab, a ‘Space Surveillance Radar’ project in Canada has been proposed to be developed in partnership with other Canadian firms within the country’s space industry.
The company noted that this surface radar will be designed to offer a superior understanding of objects in the Earth’s orbit.
Saab Canada president Simon Carroll said: “So much of modern life and military capability depends on space-based assets. Today space is anything but empty when it comes to the Earth’s immediate vicinity with an increasing number of satellites and many more to come.
“We feel that Saab teamed with Canadian space partners are the perfect combination to co-develop a SSR for Canada and the global market.”
The Swedish firm has offered 88 of its advanced fighter aircraft ‘Gripen E’ for Canada’s FFCP.
These new jets will replace the Royal Canadian Air Force’s (RCAF) existing fleet of CF-18 fighters. In August, the Government of Canada received three bids for the multi-billion FFCP programme. (Source: airforce-technology.com)
18 Jan 21. General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI) is working with Leonardo to integrate the Leonardo Seaspray 7500E V2 radar into the centerline radar pod of its MQ-9B SeaGuardian remotely-piloted aircraft system (RPAS). The integration of this market-leading radar onto the SeaGuardian will enable persistent maritime ISR and is available to our international customer base.
GA-ASI’s MQ-9B is revolutionizing the long-endurance RPAS market by providing all-weather capability and compliance with STANAG-4671 (NATO airworthiness standard for Unmanned Aircraft Systems). These features, along with an operationally proven collision-avoidance radar, enables flexible operations in civil airspace. SeaGuardian has a multi-mode maritime surface-search radar with Inverse Synthetic Aperture Radar (ISAR) imaging mode, an Automatic Identification System (AIS) receiver, and a High-Definition – Full-Motion Video sensor equipped with optical and infrared cameras. This sensor suite, augmented by automatic track correlation and anomaly-detection algorithms, enables real-time detection and identification of surface vessels over thousands of square nautical miles.
The Seaspray 7500E V2 radar is well-suited to the SeaGuardian mission set, using Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) technology to detect, track and classify hundreds of maritime contacts. The integration will also include an Open Mission Systems (OMS) approach, which enables the SeaGuardian and its sensor suite to offer operational and sustainment flexibility to end users.
Numerous countries use Leonardo Seaspray E-scan radars and the company has utilized operational feedback from these customers to expand and optimize the radar’s suite of advanced modes. These include Leonardo’s patented small target detection capability, allowing it to spot extremely difficult targets such as submarine periscopes and shipwrecked individuals at long range, even in very stormy seas. A key discriminator of Leonardo’s E-scan radars is their high reliability and fault tolerance that allows effective operation throughout a mission even if a number of individual radar modules fail.
The Seaspray greatly enhances the capabilities of the MQ-9B and builds on the already close working partnership between GA-ASI and Leonardo. Earlier this year GA-ASI announced the completion of initial integration work of Leonardo’s SAGE electronic surveillance unit onto the SeaGuardian, equipping the aircraft with the ability to gather intelligence information on maritime and land-based radar emitters over a wide area.
Customers will be able to choose from a wide assortment of sensors and payloads on the SeaGuardian platform, with both Seaspray and SAGE as off-the-shelf sensor options.
18 Jan 21. HattoriX, the innovative fire support system launched by Elbit Systems at the end of 2018, recently completed a series of demonstrations for eight Western European countries. Operational with the Israeli Defense Force since 2019, HattoriX is a passive/active target acquisition systems that uses Artificial Intelligence to enable Forward Observers and similarly tasked tactical teams to close sensor-to-shooter loops with three intuitive touches on a screen: a touch to acquire the target, a touch to issue the precise target coordinates, and a touch to send all of the target information to the fire systems.
The capability demonstrations in Europe were performed in urban locations and in open fields, in both day and night, simulating a variety of operational scenarios. During the demonstrations, users had the opportunity to experiment, first hand, with the capability to passively and rapidly acquire Category 1 targets (Target Location error of few a meters), facilitating effective engagement of Time Sensitive Targets.
Featuring payload agnostic mission computer that runs proprietary software, photogrammetry algorithm and an Augmented Reality (AR) overlay of real-time C2 data, HattoriX performs automatic fusion of Geographical Information System (GIS) database, pre-loaded targets data, payload’s visual feed, and C2 information, thereby enabling the tactical user to intuitively issue CAT-1 targets without using any emitters, and seamlessly feed acquired targets and additional target information (image, video, description) into any Battle Management System. Interfacing with any Electro-Optical payload of choice, HattoriX is comprised of a Goniometer, a mission computer, a touch-screen display unit and a lightweight tripod. HattoriX also includes a remote-controlled configuration for extended force protection. Users include FOs, Forward Air Controllers (FAC), Joint Terminal Attack Controllers (JTAC), reconnaissance teams, field intelligence and Special Forces.
16 Jan 21. Secrets of Tempest’s ground-breaking radar revealed. Radar engineers on the Tempest fighter program have said they expect to break data-processing records. The secret, they explain, is all about miniaturization and going digital.
The sixth-generation jet — planned by the U.K., Sweden and Italy and set to enter service after 2030 — will bristle with new technology, from its weaponry and propulsion to a virtual cockpit projected inside the pilot’s helmet.
But the group set the bar high in October by announcing the fighter’s radar would process a quantity of data equivalent to nine hours of high-definition video — or the internet traffic of a medium-sized city — every second.
Few details were given to back up the claim, but now U.K.-based engineers with Italian firm Leonardo, who are working on the radar, have shared clues with Defense News.
Boosting performance will mean rethinking today’s electronically scanned radars, which have grids of small Transmit Receive Modules, or TRM, on the antenna, each generating an individual radar beam which can follow different targets or combine with others to create a larger beam.
The TRMs in the array are formed into groups, and the signals received by each group are fed to a receiver which digitalizes the data before passing it to the radar’s processor.
Due to their size, the receivers must be positioned back from the aircraft’s nose and accept the incoming analogue radar signal down coaxial cables, which incurs some data loss before the signal is digitalized.
To remedy that, Leonardo is working on miniaturizing the receivers so they can be moved up into the nose and integrated within the antenna, cutting out the need for a coaxial cable. The data emerging from the receiver must still travel to the processor, but by now it is digital and can flow down fiber-optic cables, reducing data loss.
“Miniaturized receivers can digitalize the signal within the antenna much earlier in the receive chain,” said chief engineer Tim Bungey.
That’s one step up from the new state-of-the-art European Common Radar System Mark 2 radar that BAE Systems and Leonardo have signed to deliver for RAF Eurofighters, which will use coaxial cables.
“Digitalizing the data closer to the array means more data can be received and transmitted, the data can be more flexibly manipulated, and there is more potential for using the radar as a multi-function sensor such as for data linking and for electronic warfare,” said Bungey.
There is also a second advantage to miniaturized receivers: Many more can be installed, meaning each one handles fewer TRMs.
“To improve performance and flexibility within the system, a key challenge is to divide the TRMs into more groups containing fewer TRMs, handled by more receivers,” said Bungey.
“By achieving that, together with supporting wider bandwidths, you can generate significantly more data, giving greater flexibility for beam steering and multi-function operation,” he added.
“We are aiming to increase the number of groups of TRMs, and therefore the number of receivers, beyond what will be offered by the MK2 radar for Eurofighter,” he added.
While the radar may push the envelope, Duncan McCrory, Leonardo’s Tempest chief engineer, said it would be a mistake to consider it as a stand-alone component.
“The MRFS will be integrated within the wider Tempest Mission System, which incorporates a full suite of electronic-warfare and defensive-aids capabilities, EO/IR targeting and situational awareness systems, and a comprehensive communications system.” he said.
“The data captured by these systems will be fused to create a rich situational awareness picture for the aircrew,” he added.
“This information will also be fused with data received from other aircraft and unmanned systems, with machine learning used to combine and process the overall situational awareness picture for the aircrew. This avoids information overload in the cockpit, enabling the aircrew to quickly absorb data and make decisions based on suitably processed and validated information, and rapidly respond to threats in highly contested environments,” he said.
McCrory added that Leonardo demonstrated aspects of human-machine teaming recently in a trial organized with the British Army and the MoD’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory, in which a Wildcat helicopter crew tasked a semi-autonomous UAV provided by Callen-Lenz to gather imagery and feed it back to the cockpit display via datalink.
“It is these human-machine teaming principles that we will be building upon for Tempest,” he said.
As Tempest development proceeds, McCrory said design of the integrated mission system was proceeding in parallel with the design of the aircraft itself.
“We are effectively designing the aircraft from the inside out; by this I mean we are working closely with the MoD to understand future sensing, communications and effects capability requirements, and then working with the Team Tempest partners to ensure the aircraft can accommodate and support the required avionic systems.”
Leonardo is working with BAE Systems to ensure the airframe will accommodate sensors, with Rolls Royce to ensure there is sufficient powering and cooling for the systems, and with MBDA, said McCrory, “to give weapons the best available data prior to launch, and to keep them informed after they are released and receive data back from them as they progress towards the target.” (Source: Defense News)
15 Jan 21. In a recent flight test, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI) integrated a Lockheed Martin Legion Pod® onto an Avenger Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) demonstrating enhanced autonomous sensing capabilities for an unmanned aircraft. Taking less than three months for the Legion Pod integration to move from concept to flight, the 90-minute captive-carry flight test verified mechanical interfaces and aerodynamics safety of flight for the aircraft.
“Our flight demonstration revealed the quick reaction capabilities of the Avenger RPA,” said GA-ASI Vice President of Strategic Development J.R. Reid. “From software and hardware architecture implementation to sensor integration, the Avenger is a great platform for delivering critical capabilities.”
The Legion Pod’s infrared search and track (IRST) system provides passive, high-fidelity detection and tracking of air-to-air targets in radar-denied environments. Additional follow-on flights are planned for 2021.
“The successful integration of Legion Pod on the Avenger RPA is a testament to the flexibility of the Legion Pod system from a fighter aircraft to an unmanned aircraft, which means Legion Pod has proven its capabilities can assist our warfighter and keep them ahead of threats,” said Kenen Nelson, director of Fixed Wing Sensor Programs at Lockheed Martin’s Missiles and Fire Control. “We are excited to see how our IRST21® systems will be integrated on other unmanned platforms.”
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.