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11 Feb 21. India’s ‘Infinity’ Can Fly 90 Days Continuously. Design and development of an ultra high altitude Indian-made drone, has progressed significantly and could be available to the Indian armed forces within three to five years.
The solar-powered drone, called the Infinity, is designed to cruise at an altitude of more than 65,000 feet for ninety days and would be a key element in India’s CATS or the Combat Air Teaming System.
Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, in partnership with NewSpace, a Bengaluru based start-up closely involved in developing cutting-edge drone solutions, are developing this new drone.
‘The stratosphere will form the next phase of exploitation for the next generation of airborne platforms towards future warfare needs,”said a source closely involved in the programme.
Equipped with a variety of sensors including a state-of-the-art synthetic aperture radar, Infinity will keep track of targets deep within enemy territory and coordinate attack missions carried out by other Indian drone systems, such as the Warrior ‘loyal wingman,’ Alfa-S swarm drones or Hunter cruise missile which are part of India’s indigenous Combat Air Teaming System. (Source: UAS VISION/YouTube; website)
10 Feb 21. US Army sees counter-drone tools for cooks, medics. The Army is leading the Defense Department’s strategy for making platforms and devices to counter small unmanned aerial systems usable by all service members. In January, the Pentagon released its counter sUAS strategy, highlighting the threats posed by the growing number of small drones to siphon off data and endanger DOD personnel, facilities and assets.
The idea is to make the counter-UAS job “agnostic,” according to Marc Pelini, division chief for capabilities and requirements for the Pentagon’s Army-led Joint Counter Small UAS Office (JCO).
“I think inherently the Army is really looking hard at making counter-UAS a [military occupational specialty] agnostic platform where … anyone from a cook to a medic to an infantryman, tanker can operate the system,” Pelini told reporters on Feb. 2.
As a result, the Army is looking to shape requirements and materiel solutions that have intuitive user interfaces, while also developing complementary training that can be “institutionalized and promulgated out to the force,” he said.
The Army is also planning two industry demonstrations this year, the first of which is scheduled for early April at Yuma Proving Ground in partnership with the Air Force, focusing on low-collateral effect interceptor capabilities.
The ultimate goal is to align existing counter-UAS solutions for warfighter needs and use resources more efficiently, said Maj. Gen. Sean Gainey, director for the JCO and Army Fires in the G3/5/7.
“The cost of prevalence in this threat can be everywhere and affect every echelon,” Gainey said. “You have to have that capability pretty much in as many locations as you can.” (Source: Defense Systems)
10 Feb 21. Australian DoD partners with start-up to develop imaging technology. A Victoria-based SME is gearing up for the commercial launch of its new imaging technology, developed with support from the Department of Defence. Leveraging a grant from the federal government’s Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre (AMGC), 1 MILLIKELVIN, a subsidiary of LRM Technologies, has developed MiTE (Microbolometer Thermoelastic Evaluation) — an imaging technology designed to identify and measure minute changes in temperature in solid objects.
MiTE can be used to image complex aircraft structures undergoing fatigue testing, and generate highly accurate and detailed full field stress maps.
The system leverages small infrared cameras and sophisticated real-time image and data processing to capture high-resolution close-up images of the object and identify critical stress hot spots.
“As a former salesman for a multinational infrared imaging specialist, I had been aware for some time of this transformative technology under development at Defence – our biggest customer at the time,” Kheang Khauv, managing director at 1 MILLIKELVIN, said.
“After we formed LRM we jumped at the chance to bring MiTE to market. We started collaborating with Defence and our other partners to further develop prototypes for defence, aerospace and commercial application.
“With this grant, we will now be able to accelerate commercialisation and manufacture MiTE for global defence, aerospace and commercial applications.”
According to 1MILLIKELVIN, the imaging technology addresses a wider market need for smaller, cost effective thermoelastic stress measurement offerings by harnessing economies of scale and miniaturisation.
As such, MiTE is expected to be priced between one-fifth and one-tenth of its competitors.
“The MiTE is a prime example of what can be achieved when industry and research collaborate. And in this case, the device joins a long list of defence-derived innovations which have transformed everything from surgery to communications and navigation,” Dr Jens Goennemann, managing director, AMGC, said.
“Of course, invention is not the same as innovation – this requires a team effort to turn R&D into a commercial outcome.
“We are thrilled to support this project, not only with funding, but in providing those invaluable linkages between industry and research organisations to support bringing this revolutionary product to market.”
The AMGC co-funded grant is expected to enable 1 MILLIKELVIN and its partners to develop a mini-format version of 1 MILLIKELVIN’s camera and move the product from Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 3 to 7 resulting in advanced prototypes ready for in-situ testing and certification with defence customers or researchers.
Khauv observed: “Previously to resolve temperature changes of even 20 millikelvin required a big, bulky defence- or scientific-grade machine costing close to a $1m, which only a scientist could operate.
“This system is much simpler to use, is able to resolve a temperature change of less than 1 millikelvin and could in later stages be deployed in civilian settings.
“Without collaboration we would only ever have a great idea and get nothing done, commercially speaking.”
Khauv concluded: “Our journey has required us making countless contacts, continuing algorithm and software development work with Defence, partnership with Outerspace for industrial design, and university help for validation.” (Source: Defence Connect)
09 Feb 21. DroneShield partners with M2K Technologies to bring revolutionary anti-drone systems to Indian market. DroneShield Ltd (ASX:DRO) (“DroneShield” or the “Company”), a global leader in drone detection and mitigation, and M2K Technologies, part of M2K Group with business interests in Defence & Aviation, Biologicals, Real Estate and Entertainment, have entered into an Agreement to collaborate and distribute DroneShield solutions in the Indian market.
Oleg Vornik, DroneShield’s CEO, commented, “M2K Technologies is a strong business partner in the Indian market, which has been seeing a rapid rise in the c-UAS requirements, being driven by non-State (such as criminal and terrorist) and State-based use of UAS, including escalation of the India-China border conflict along the Line of Actual Control (LAC).”
Vikash Bhagchandka, President M2K commented, “We are pleased to partner with DroneShield for addressing the imminent threat emerging from rogue drones faced by forces and security agencies and provide solutions across industries to protect our borders, prisons, airports, petrochemical complexes and other critical infrastructures and VIPs. We are actively engaging in multiple procurement processes in India in the c-UAS space through our partnership.”
The Australia-India defence relationship has been considerably strengthening in recent years, including signing of multiple landmark defence arrangements between the countries in June 2020, as part of the Australia-India Comprehensive Strategic Partnership announced by Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. India is already part of “the Quad”, which brings together the US, Australia, India and Japan for naval exercises. DroneShield has participated in DefExpo 2020 in India as part of Team Defence Australia.
08 Feb 21. USAF to buy more BACN. The US Air Force (USAF) plans to strengthen its Battlefield Airborne Communications Node (BACN) fleet, with a further six aircraft to be procured over the coming five years. With the fleet currently comprising three Bombardier Global 6000 regional jet-based E-11A (one of the original four was lost on operations in Afghanistan in 2020) and four Northrop Grumman RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned aircraft, the service disclosed on 5 February that it plans to acquire a further six E-11As through to 2026.
“In an effort to boost the fleet, the BACN Program Office is working to procure six E-11A aircraft over the next five years. The team has secured additional funding for the first aircraft, and contract negotiations on a purchase agreement are currently in progress,” the USAF said, adding that it expects to have a contract in place by the end of March. While the announcement said that all six aircraft would be delivered by the end of June, it appears from the previously stated timeline that ‘2026’ was inadvertently omitted.
News of the proposed boost to numbers came days after the USAF awarded Northrop Grumman USD3.6bn for continued BACN operations, sustainment, and support. (Source: Jane’s)
05 Feb 21. Lockheed Martin’s SPY-7 Radar Is Going to Sea. Lockheed Martin’s new SPY-7 radar will be sailing to sea on the ships of three navies as the company highlights the radar’s capabilities for application to other navies, including the U.S. Navy.
The SPY-7, which uses gallium nitride modules, initially was developed for the Navy’s Air and Missile Defense Radar competition. It was adapted into the Long-Range Discrimination Radar (LRDR) procured by the U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA) as a sensor of the Ground-Based Midcourse Defense system. Being installed at Clear Air Force Station in Alaska, the LRDR is designed to discriminate between incoming warheads and decoys.
The core building blocks [of the LRDR] are the same core building blocks in SPY-7,” said Jon P. Rambeau, vice president and general manager, Integrated Systems & Sensors, Lockheed Rotary and Mission Systems, during a Feb. 2 interview with Seapower. “[SPY-7] is a modular radar that allows us to build different configurations for both land-based and sea-based applications.”
The SPY-7 has been selected by the Spanish navy to integrate it with the Aegis Combat System on its F110 frigates. The Canadian navy is procuring the radar to install it on its new Halifax-class surface combatant.
Japan had selected the SPY-7 for its two planned Aegis Ashore ballistic-missile defense sites, but when the plans were cancelled in part out of concern for missile debris falling on populated areas, Japan shifted to a plan to deploy the SPY-7 on some future, unspecified sea-based BMD platform. Japan already has BMD capabilities in its Kongo-class guided-missile destroyers with Aegis systems using the SPY-1 radar.
Japan, which already has placed an order for the SPY-7, “is going through a process now to determine exactly what that platform is going to look like,” Rambeau said. “We are pleased with the progress that the technology has made, and we’re starting to see some uptake both here in the U.S. as well as abroad.”
“SPY-7 is part of the Aegis common source library (CSL) and the interfaces are understood,” said Patrick W. McNally, director of communications for Integrated Warfare Systems & Sensors, in a statement to Seapower. “For Japan, we have completed the first of three releases which were recently demonstrated to MDA. Starting from the CSL, with over one million lines of code, Japan will be receiving the best of both Baseline 9 and 10 [Aegis software].”
The U.S. Navy is considering backfitting some Flight IIA Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers with a radar more modern than the SPY-1, and Lockheed is keeping a watch on developments in the event the SPY-7 could complete in the program if it comes to pass.
Rambeau said his company also “has some more affordable options available to upgrade some of the SPY-1 arrays to provide improved sensitivity and improved resistance to electronic attack and we think we can do that at a fraction of the cost of a wholesale replacement, so we’ve put forth a couple of options for upgrades to SPY-1 to both MDA and the Navy.” (Source: Defense News Early Bird/https://seapowermagazine.org/)
03 Feb 21. Dedrone “first to offer both US and EU drone remote ID capability” to identify drones and pilots. US drone security company Dedrone reports compliance with both US and EU government-provided drone remote identification standards, commonly known as Remote ID, to identify drones. The development enables security providers using Dedrone to read Remote ID data through Dedrone’s intelligent software system to identify the drone operator, operator’s location, drone type and drone location in real time.
Dedrone’s proprietary database of drone activity, DroneDNA, automatically references Remote ID data as well as identifies any unauthorized or noncompliant drone activity. In the event of an unauthorized drone alert, Dedrone users can respond to the threat and ensure their airspace is protected against the consequences of unwanted drones, from espionage, contraband delivery, or terrorism, while allowing authorized drones to proceed with their normal flight operations.
In December 2020 the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) published its Remote ID requirement and the European Commission’s UAS regulations came into force, setting the framework for the safe operation and management of drone traffic. Once these rules take effect, drone pilots in the US and EU will be responsible for complying with drone regulations in their geography, including registering their aircraft and incorporating registration data into the drone’s Remote ID system.
Dedrone report its global footprint ensures that its customers will be able to leverage the latest regulations around the world. By actively following FAA developments and also supporting the European Commission through participation in the ASD-STAN working group that defined the technical standard for Remote ID, Dedrone is ready for Remote ID in accordance with both sets of standards. “Dedrone is committed to continuous product development and ensuring our product and services are future-proof,” shares Dedrone CEO, Aaditya Devarakonda. “Regardless of flight regulations, or a drone pilot’s adherence to them, Dedrone provides security leaders with the assurance that they are seeing all airspace activity, and protecting their operations, assets and information from malicious and unauthorized drone threats.”
For more information visit:
www.dedrone.com (Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)
01 Feb 21. Partnership between Operational Solutions and Carmenta Geospatial to deliver enhanced C-UAS tools. Operational Solutions Ltd (OSL) has partnered with Carmenta Geospatial Technologies to pursue opportunities in the Counter Unmanned Aerial Systems (C-UAS) market.
The announcement follows on from a recent joint project between the two companies in which OSL’s latest product, the Siting Tool, was developed. The Siting Tool allows the user to visualise a 3D Map of their chosen site with an overlaid C-UAS sensor coverage, and more. The tool gives the user the unique benefit of seeing their C-UAS coverage area, in a 3D environment, prior to physical installation or site testing.
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03 Feb 21. EU framework agreement for counter drone devices features Skywall net capture solution. OpenWorks’ Skywall net capture solution for drones has been selected in a framework agreement that gives participating European law enforcement authorities with equipment the ability to provide an initial operational capability and a range of training activities through EU ISF funding. The framework agreement also allows the Member States to purchase these systems in order to roll out the capacity on a larger scale.
The framework agreement is the result of a series of tests conducted at the end of 2019 as part of the Internal Security Fund – Police project SKYFALL, an EU-funded programme – followed by a formal evaluation. SkyWall Patrol was operated in a live urban environment during the tests and was then down selected in the evaluation. According to the OpenWorks press release, SkyWall Patrol provided a low collateral damage and physical defeat of the target drones.
SkyWall Patrol gives a mobile operator the ability to physically capture a drone in a net, used in conjunction with electronic countermeasures for a layered defence, or in environments where electronic attack cannot be deployed. The system can be networked through command and control systems to enhanced situational awareness and gives a tactical advantage to mission commanders.
James Cross, Director and founder of OpenWorks commented, “We are excited to announce that SkyWall Patrol will form an important part of the counter-drone response for more law enforcement authorities in Europe. The evaluation was incredibly challenging and we learned a lot from being pushed harder than ever during day and night tests in an urban environment. The whole OpenWorks team will be working hard to deliver the equipment quickly and looking forward to learning more from a new group of end users.”
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03 Feb 21. Skylock upgrades its wearable anti-drone system to cover more frequencies. Israeli company SkyLock has upgraded its wearable anti drone system to respond to drones using radio frequencies that are supposed to make them immune to anti drone systems.
According to Asaf Lebovitz, the company’s VP sales the upgrade was made to allow the systems to be efficient against more versions of drones. “We are about to demonstrate the system to an air force in Asia and the timing depends on the pandemic,” he said. The Israeli army and police are also considering the purchase the company’s personal anti-drone systems.
The growing threat posed by hostile UAVs and the need to neutralize them from a safe range has resulted in a race to create personal devices to curb unauthorized drones, products that were previously only installed on vehicles. Skylock’s wearable system weighs only 1.5 kilograms – the RF detector weighs 730 grams and the jammer weighs the same – and has already been sold to the US Army and NATO forces. According to Skylock, the system, which is worn like a vest, is capable of neutralizing any drone within one kilometer of the device.
According to the company’s VP the RF detector scans a sector of 270 degrees in front of the person wearing the system. The system allows special units to neutralize enemy attempts to detect the soldiers by using drones “The operator of such a drone will not get any warning the drone is jammed,” said Lebovitz.
Another growing market is luxury yachts used by celebrities who don’t want to be expose to paparazzi photographers using drones.
The wearable system has been developed in cooperation with Danish company MyDefense, with systems tailored to each customer. (Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)
08 Feb 21. U.S. Army Conducts Operational Assessment of Fire Weaver Sensor-to-Shooter System. Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd. and Rafael Systems Global Sustainment (RSGS), its new U.S. subsidiary, jointly demonstrated Fire Weaver, an advanced sensor-to-shooter system leveraging AI decision-aid software and 3D terrain data for the U.S. Army, as part of the Army Expeditionary Warrior Experiment 21 (AEWE) in Fort Benning, GA.
Fire Weaver integrates as an open and modular software application with existing battle management systems and other tactical computing devices. Fire Weaver enhances ground combat capability with enhanced situational awareness and ability to maximize available combat power in GPS-denied environments. It networks sensors and formations together, providing a shared understanding on a fully digital common operational picture (COP) enhanced with augmented reality of battlefield intelligence. The result is intuitive situational awareness and common visual language “on the sights” of the battlefield for commanders and soldiers and enabling them to close sensor-to-shooter loops in seconds.
AEWE 2021 is assessing advanced technologies in support of U.S. Army modernization, including enhancing lethality. Fire Weaver is a key enabler for increased lethality needed by US Army Infantry formations conducting multi-domain operations. This demonstration was a joint effort between the U.S. Army and Rafael with the Army providing an operational assessment team and a platoon of soldiers, including combat veterans and junior soldiers from the Army’s EXFOR unit.
At AEWE, soldiers operated the sensors and shooters to acquire and engage multiple targets, achieving effects in seconds where traditionally it would take minutes or longer. The artificial intelligence decision-aid algorithms provide target and weapon pairings based off a predetermined set of rules controlled by the Commander at echelon, with constant human on the loop presence for lethal tactical decisions.
The soldiers received half a day’s training and operated the systems by themselves, commenting on its intuitiveness the difference it would make in combat. The soldiers also explained and demonstrated the system to senior leaders that were in attendance from across the force, Army Futures Command, DEVCOM, TRADOC, HQDA, and FORSCOM.
Leading the team at RSGS is LTG (Ret.) Joe Anderson who stated at AEWE: “Fire Weaver provides the US Army infantry a marked advantage in overmatch. This proven and capable technology is available today for high maneuverability, survivability and lethality. We appreciated the opportunity to demonstrate Fire Weaver at AEWE 21 and look ahead to work with the Army on modernization challenges against our future and peer threat adversaries.” The demonstration was part of a larger demonstration of Rafael technologies, including BNET cognitive broadband IP Software Defined Radio and SPIKE SR Precision Strike Shoulder-fired missile.
Following AEWE 21 demonstration and assessment, Army senior leaders discussed Fire Weaver and other Rafael enabling technologies for inclusion in future Army Live Prototype Assessments under the Joint Modernization Command such as AEWE 22 next January, the Maneuver Fires Integration Experiment and Project Convergence 22. In early 2020, Rafael received a contract from the Israeli Ministry of Defense to supply Fire Weaver to Israeli Defense Force (IDF) ground divisions.
05 Feb 21. DroneShield partners with Trakka Systems to offer an integrated counter drone solution. Trakka Systems has announced a partnership with DroneShield designed to better serve the counter unmanned aerial systems (CUAS), inspection and security markets. The strategic partnership has developed a suite of integrated UAS detection and mapping solutions designed to be flexible, responsive and economic. TIPS-C provides a covert early detect and neutralising counter-solution against malicious drones. TIPS-C integrates Trakka’s TrakkaCam technology with DroneShield’s DroneSentry-C2 command and control platform to provides a common operating picture for drone detection and tracking, supported by and DroneShield’s RadarZero sensors and DroneOptID optical AI/ML software.
A demonstration to Tampa Police Department in January 2021 showed ‘the capability of detection, identification and neutralisation with the ability to record UAS incidents for evidence collection’ reports a Trakka news release.
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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.