Sponsored by Blighter Surveillance Systems
06 Apr 22. Textron drone deploys on US Navy destroyer as contractor-operated ISR node. Textron Systems has its Aerosonde Small Unmanned Aircraft System deployed on one U.S. Navy destroyer in the Pacific and will be operating on a second by the end of the year, a company official told Defense News. The Aerosonde system had been operating off the Navy expeditionary sea base Hershel “Woody” Williams for three years, with the system carrying an intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) payload and a wide-area search payload to support maritime operations in the Atlantic, Wayne Prender, Textron’s senior vice president for air systems, said in a March 31 interview.
In September, the Navy awarded the company a multi-year contract to integrate and operate the air system on two U.S. 7th Fleet-based destroyers. The first ship is now deployed following an integration period and operational evaluation.
After a first flight in March, the aircraft and destroyer “are now sailing in a full operational capacity in support of 7th Fleet and their real-world missions,” Prender said.
“We really believe that Aerosonde and its operations are setting conditions for future unmanned Navy programs by providing real-world operational deployable mission sets, really showcasing the value of organic air assets and unmanned aircraft assets to those ship captains,” he said, noting that the two ships involved are a Flight I and a Flight II Arleigh Burke-class destroyer that do not have a hangar and therefore don’t have a helicopter permanently onboard.
“Our small footprint and our streamlined logistics really enable a ship and that ship’s captain and its crew that would otherwise have no eye in the sky, we provide them that organic capability at a fraction of the cost of a manned system and utilizing common logistics that they already have on board,” he added.
Prender made clear that Textron isn’t trying to replace any manned helicopters on surface ships. But, he said, for those that do not have a hangar, the Aerosonde unmanned air vehicle can fold up and tuck away in small spaces in the destroyer, staying out of the way and then getting set up and in the air in less than an hour when needed.
For those ships that do have hangars and organic helicopters, Aerosonde could supplement the helos and do ISR and other missions at a much lower cost, he said, preserving the manned helicopters for more pressing missions only they can accomplish.
Textron employees are deployed on the destroyer today, operating the UAV as a contractor-owned/contractor-operated asset. The Navy essentially pays for the data the UAV obtains, which is piped directly into the combat information center on the ship and used by the crew to understand the environment and plan their missions.
Chief of Naval Research Rear Adm. Lorin Selby said in an April 5 speech at the Navy League’s Sea Air Space conference that he wanted to look more seriously at this CO/CO model in the future, saying the Navy didn’t need to buy hardware in some cases but rather needed to buy the ability to gather data. Whereas the Navy often falls in the trap of buying something with a lengthy service life, meaning the technology eventually becomes obsolete and the service has to pay to keep modernizing the system, the CO/CO model being used with Textron allows the Navy to get the data it needs while allowing Textron to appropriately balance upgrades and technology insertion.
Prender said there are several ways to expand today’s operations, if the Navy chooses to do so. First, he said, he hoped that the successful deployment on Pacific destroyers would encourage the Navy to expand to more ships and more ship classes. The contract could even be set up so that a certain number of Aerosonde UAVs and Textron teams move from one ship to another, based on mission needs.
Second, he said, Textron or third-party vendors could develop additional payloads. Textron today uses the ISR and wide area search payloads as well as an automatic identification system tracker payload off Navy ships. The Aerosonde also uses a lidar and a synthetic aperture radar payload in support of European Maritime Safety Agency missions. Others could be developed for areas including communications relay, allowing for an unmanned-unmanned teaming opportunity. (Source: Defense News)
04 Apr 22. US Army eyes thousands of IVAS systems with FY23 budget. The U.S. Army in fiscal year 2023 is seeking hundreds of ms of dollars for its Integrated Visual Augmentation System, a do-it-all headset that has faced challenges in the field and in the halls of Congress.
Some $400m is marked for procurement, Director of Force Development Brig. Gen. Michael McCurry told reporters March 29, enough for “just over 7,000 IVAS systems for” three brigade combat teams, pending successful testing. The sum is about half of a prior request.
The Army is also eyeing a newer version of the goggle using ms in research, development, testing and evaluation money.
“What we’re looking at there is to procure 270 of the next prototype,” McCurry said. “What we call the ‘1.2 version,’ which is the next version going forward on that.”
The Integrated Visual Augmentation System, a Microsoft HoloLens tailored specifically for the military, is meant to change how soldiers train, communicate and fight. The final product is expected to provide a wealth of new capabilities: a futuristic heads-up display, vision enhancements, smart crosshairs, 360-degree imaging and more.
Getting there hasn’t been easy, though. As is often the case with cutting-edge gear, “we run into issues with integrating new technologies into something that is hardened for combat,” Army acquisition chief Doug Bush said in March. “It’s not a small task.”
Congress withheld $349m for IVAS procurement in its fiscal year 2022 spending bundle — far from the first time appropriators docked the program. Lawmakers also asked for updates, including from the Program Executive Office Soldier, an Army agency that prototypes, procures and fields things like weapons and armor.
The Army on March 15 said it “continues to work with Microsoft,” which was awarded a multibn-dollar contract in 2021. PEO Soldier in an October 2021 announcement similarly said the service “is fully committed to its partnership with Microsoft to advance specific technologies to meet operational requirements and maximize warfighter impact.”
A key operational test is scheduled for May.
The Army’s budget request for fiscal year 2023 totaled $178bn, documents show, a 1.7% tick up from its $175bn fiscal year 2022 enacted funding. The request is level with its fiscal year 2021 enacted budget, as well.
The slight increase compared to fiscal year 2022 lets the Army “maintain the readiness, continue the transformation of our modernization efforts as well as take care of our people,” Maj. Gen. Mark Bennett, director of the Army budget, said March 25, according to Defense News. (Source: Defense News Early Bird/C4ISR & Networks)
05 Apr 22. Thales – SESO® Optics chosen for high-precision optics polishing on the European Advanced Virgo+ project.
- Thales – SESO® Optics has won a contract from the French National Scientific Research Center (CNRS) to polish critical optics for the European Advanced Virgo+ project.
- Advanced Virgo+ is designed to detect the gravitational waves that Albert Einstein predicted 105 years ago.
- These gravitational waves are caused by distant cosmic events that produce gravitational waves, such as black hole and neutron star mergers.
Thales – SESO® Optics, a French manufacturer of high-precision optics, has won a contract from the advanced materials laboratory (LMA) at the French Scientific Research Center (CNRS) to polish critical optics for the European Advanced Virgo+ project.
Advanced Virgo+ is the latest upgrade of the Virgo interferometer, designed to detect the gravitational waves that Albert Einstein predicted 105 years ago. It uses a very large-scale interferometer near Pisa, Italy, comprising two 3-km long arms and a very large vacuum chamber. A laser beam is injected and is reflected back and forth between the mirrored surfaces about 400 times. This interferometer is able to detect a difference in size between the two arms as small as 10-19 meter, caused by the space-time contraction induced by gravitational waves. Using this small contraction and the associated exceptional accuracy, the interferometer can detect and measure distant powerful cosmic events, such as black hole mergers, which are gravitational-wave emitting systems.
Thales – SESO® Optics, based in Aix-en-Provence, southern France, has been selected to polish the four mirrors, each 550 mm in diameter, needed to deliver this outstanding performance. To achieve this level of precision, Thales – SESO Optics has to master sub-nanometer scale structures, down to the size of an atom. The increase in the mirror sizes, from 350 mm to 550 mm for Advanced Virgo +, will improve the accuracy by a factor of 3 compared with Advanced Virgo, the actual version of the instrument. The technical challenge is to combine very high precision of polishing with an increase in the weight of the mirrors, which has increased from 40 kg to 100 kg. These mirrors will be the heaviest ever made for a gravitational wave detector.
This planned upgrade of the original Virgo Interferometer will allow astronomers to observe powerful cosmic events on a scale one order of magnitude larger than the previous version, and also observe less powerful cosmic events.
With more than 50 years of experience in the demanding field of high-precision mirror polishing, Thales – SESO® Optics has constantly developed and improved its technologies. Once polished, these mirrors will also be given a high-precision coating to a uniform thickness of better than 0.1%, a technology applied by the advanced materials lab at CNRS.
Gravitational waves were first detected in September 2015, making this one of the most cutting-edge fields in astronomy and a source of exciting new technologies.
05 Apr 22. The Czech Republic receives its first air-defence radar from IAI. The Czech Republic has received its first Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) ELM-2084 Multi-Mission Radar (MMR), the company announced on 5 April. IAI signed a deal with the Czech Republic in December 2019 for eight ELM-2084 MMR for USD125 m, IAI stated in December 2019. According to the Army of the Czech Republic (ACR), the first ELM-2084 MMR was delivered on 25 February 2022, with the final system expected to be handed over in April 2023. The MMR is a 3D active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar that can detect and classify threats simultaneously, the IAI announced. The ACR intends to equip its air-defence element with the ELM-2084 MMR as its primary surveillance and air-defence radar capable of tracking and intercepting airborne targets at 100–3,000 m. Five MMR radars will be situated at stationary military posts, while the remaining three will be utilised to protect strategic objectives and for training purposes, the ACR announced.
05 Apr 22. New Radar Flies on U.S. Army Gray Eagle UAS; Features New Video SAR Capability. General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI), a leader in Multi-mode Radar technology for Unmanned Aircraft Systems, introduces the Eagle Eye radar. The new MMR is installed and has flown on a U.S. Army-operated Gray Eagle Extended Range (GE-ER) UAS. Eagle Eye joins GA-ASI’s line of radar products, which includes the Lynx® MMR. Eagle Eye is a high-performance radar system that delivers high-resolution, photographic-quality imagery that can be captured through clouds, rain, dust, smoke and fog at multiple times the range of previous radars. It’s a “drop-in solution” for Gray Eagle ER and is designed to meet the range and accuracy to Detect, Identify, Locate & Report (DILR) stationary and moving targets relevant for Multi-Domain Operations (MDO) with Enhanced Range Cannon Artillery (ERCA). Eagle Eye radar can deliver precision air-to-surface targeting accuracy and superb wide-area search capabilities in support of Long-Range Precision Fires. Featuring Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR), Ground/Dismount Moving Target Indicator (GMTI/DMTI), and robust Maritime Wide Area Search (MWAS) modes, Eagle Eye’s search modes provide the wide-area coverage for any integrated sensor suite, allowing for cross-cue to a narrow Field-of-View (FOV) Electro-optical/Infrared (EO/IR) sensor. The Eagle Eye’s first flight on the Army GE-ER aircraft took place in December, incorporating the new Video SAR capability. Video SAR enables continuous collection and processing of radar data, allowing persistent observation of targets day or night and during inclement weather or atmospheric conditions. In addition, Eagle Eye’s processing techniques enables three modes – SAR Shadow Moving Detection, SAR Stationary Vehicle Detection and Moving Vehicle Detection as part of its Moving Target Indicator – to operate simultaneously.
“The Video SAR in Eagle Eye provides all-weather tracking and revolutionizes precision targeting of both moving and stationary targets at the same time,” said GA-ASI Vice President of Army Programs Don Cattell. “This is a critical capability in an MDO environment to ensure military aviation, ground force and artillery have constant situational awareness and targeting of enemy combatants.”
04 Apr 22. Teledyne FLIR, part of Teledyne Technologies Incorporated, today announced the Boson+ with thermal sensitivity of 20 millikelvin (mK) or less, making it the most sensitive longwave infrared (LWIR) camera in the market. It shares the industry-leading SWaP of the widely deployed and real-world-proven Boson thermal camera module. With identical mechanical, electrical, and optical interfaces, the Boson+ is a drop-in upgrade that also includes updated image processing to deliver enhanced sharpness and contrast for defense and commercial applications.
“Improved thermal sensitivity and automatic gain control (AGC) allows for more scene detail in the image for better detection, specifically in outdoor low-contrast scenes,” said Dan Walker, vice president, product management, OEM cores, Teledyne FLIR. “Improved thermal performance and proven market-leading reliability make it the ideal uncooled thermal module for integration in unmanned platforms, security applications, handhelds, wearables, and thermal sights.” Made in the USA, the Boson+ includes a redesigned 640 x 512 resolution, 12-micron pixel pitch detector with a noise equivalent differential temperature (NEDT) of 20 mK or less which offers significantly enhanced detection, recognition, and identification (DRI) performance. Improved video latency enhances tracking, seeker performance, and decision support. The shared Boson series interface and access to the US-based Teledyne FLIR Technical Services team reduce development risk and shorten time to market. Truly designed for integrators, the Boson+ is available with a variety of lens options, comprehensive product documentation, an easy-to-use SDK, and a userfriendly GUI. Boson+ is dual use and classified under US Department of Commerce jurisdiction as EAR 6A003.b.4.a. The Teledyne FLIR Boson+ is available for purchase globally from Teledyne FLIR and its authorized dealers. To learn more or to purchase, visit https://www.flir.com/bosonplus.
04 Apr 22. CS Group-Thales consortium “wins French military’s EUR 350m PARADE contract.” According to IntelligenceOnline, the CS Group-Thales consortium has won the competition to supply the French defence ministry with C-UAS equipment as part of the ministry’s strategic PARADE C-UAS programme. The consortium reportedly won the contract against rival bids from Indra and MBDA, following a series of tests in Toulon during late 2021. According to ForceOperations: “PARADE will have to ensure the permanent and 360° protection of military or civilian sites located in France or in theatres of external operations in all weathers, day and night. Each system will include at least a scalable C2 system, a radar, a goniometer, an optronic system and a jamming system. PARADE will ensure the automatic detection, characterization and identification, as well as the neutralization of micro and mini-drones, whether or not they emit electromagnetic waves. This system is expected to be moved from one site to another.”
The initial plan is to have ten C-UAS systems operations by the end of 2022 in time for deployment before the Rugby World Cup in 2023 and the Paris Olympics in 2024.
For more information
https://www.forcesoperations.com/amp/du-neuf-sur-parade-futur-solution-anti-drones-du-ministere-des-armees/ (Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)
04 Apr 22. Gigajot Announces the World’s Highest Resolution Photon Counting Sensor. Gigajot Technology, inventors and developers of Quanta Image Sensors (QIS), today announced the expansion of its groundbreaking QIS product portfolio with the GJ04122 sensor and associated QIS41 camera. With market leading low read noise, the GJ04122 sensor is capable of photon counting and photon number resolving at room temperature. The QIS41 camera, built around the GJ04122 sensor, pairs well with standard 4/3-inch microscopy optics, bringing unparalleled resolution and low light performance to scientific and industrial imaging applications.
“We are excited about the discoveries that our latest QIS will enable in the life sciences community,” said Gigajot’s CEO, Dr. Saleh Masoodian, “Additionally, this QIS device further validates that Gigajot has the world’s leading small pixel performance which will eventually be deployed to high volume consumer products that value high resolution, low light imaging performance and HDR.”
The 41 Megapixel GJ04122 sensor, which was funded in part by the National Science Foundation SBIR Program, utilizes a 2.2-micron pixel and has a read noise of only 0.35 electrons, which is significantly lower than state-of-the-art pixels of similar size. The sensor is capable of photon counting and photon number resolving up to its top speed of 30 frames per second at full resolution. The high resolution and the extremely low read noise provide flexibility for binning and additional post-processing, while maintaining a read noise that is still lower than native lower resolution sensors. While pushing the limits of low light imaging, the GJ04122 sensor also offers an impressive single-exposure dynamic range of 95 dB by utilizing Gigajot’s patented high dynamic range pixel.
The QIS41 is a fully featured scientific camera based on the GJ04122 sensor. The QIS41 camera has a SuperSpeed USB 3.0 interface and is capable of true photon counting at room temperature. For more information, or to schedule a virtual demonstration contact Gigajot Sales at www.gigajot.tech/order. The QIS41 camera can be pre-ordered now for Q4 2022 deliveries.
About Gigajot Technology, Inc.: Headquartered in Pasadena, CA, Gigajot is developing the next generation of image sensors. Gigajot’s mission is to develop innovative Quanta Image Sensor (QIS) devices and advance this technology for the next generation of image sensors, offering high-speed and high-resolution single-photon detection to realize new, unprecedented image capture capabilities for professionals, and consumers. At Gigajot, every photon counts. For more information, visit www.gigajot.tech.
(Source: PR Newswire)
04 Apr 22. RI&S’ HELWS taps NASAMS air defence system to destroy drones. The live-fire exercise demonstrated that HELWS can be paired with the National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System (NASAMS). Raytheon Intelligence & Space (RI&S) has conducted a capability demonstration of its High Energy Laser Weapon System (HELWS) at White Sands, in the US. The live-fire exercise demonstrated that HELWS can be paired with the National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System (NASAMS) to destroy a swarm of drone targets.
The laser weapon system obtained cues from the NASAMS Fire Distribution Centre, and then leveraged an array of sensors to track, identify, and engage drones at tactically relevant distances.
The HELWS destroyed nine Group one and Group two drones over the White Sands Missile Range.
Multiple US military and civilian agencies, as well as defence ministry officials of allied countries, attended the demonstration.
RI&S Electronic Warfare Systems president Annabel Flores said: “Drone threats are particularly dangerous in any environment, from soccer stadiums to battlefields, because they’re not easy to spot and take down.
“We’re showing the world that our defensive laser weapons can plug into existing air defences to find and drop drones in the blink of an eye.”
Jointly developed by Raytheon Missiles & Defense, and Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace, the NASAMS medium-range air defence solution includes the Sentinel radar, Fire Distribution Centre, and a suite of effectors.
Raytheon expects that the addition of NASAMS to the list of systems that HELWS already uses will enable the company to offer an air defence system that can protect against uncrewed aircraft threats.
According to a company statement, RI&S’ laser weapon systems are manufactured in Texas, and can work on land, in the air, and at sea. RI&S is a Raytheon Technologies business. It develops advanced sensors, cyber services, and software solutions. Last year, RI&S secured a contract for the mobile sensor operations and maintenance services of the Cobra King radar system. (Source: army-technology.com)
01 Apr 22. Japan expands counter drone capability with new electronic warfare unit. According to an article published by Kyodo News, Japan continues to expand it electronic warfare capabilities in response to military build-up by China and Russia. A new unit has been established to managed related divisions across the country, based at Saitama Prefecture. The unit is tasked with detecting and analysing potential adversaries’ communications and radar emissions. It will also be responsible for disrupting enemy communications and radar if called upon, says the report. According to information published by The Defense Post, the Japan Ground Self-Defence Force (JGSDF) has established the unit to “detect, analyse, and disrupt adversary electromagnetic communication and radar signals.” Military units are equipped with vehicle-mounted network electronic warfare systems (NEWS) to jam enemy radio waves in an integrated manner. The NEWS detects electromagnetic communication frequencies of aircraft and vessels around Japan during peacetime and is capable of detecting and jamming “enemy missiles, drones and other battlefield assets” during a conflict, says the newspaper. For more information visit: www.kyodonews.net; www.thedefensepost.com (Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)
04 Apr 22. AEC Skyline and ForcePro link to provide C-UAS equipment to Benelux. The CEOs of Dutch companies AEC Skyline and ForcePro, Stef Have and Theo Karafantis have signed a cooperation agreement aimed at developing counter unmanned aerial systems (C-UAS) capabilities within the Benelux countries, according to an AEC press release. AEC Skyline has been providing aerial services (close air support, electronic warfare, ISR) and critical data solutions (systems integration, IT networking) to the Netherlands and foreign armed forces, the defence industry and research institutes for many years. ForcePro is active in the C-UAS domain, representing DroneShield.
“It is the firm belief of both CEOs that the two parties will strengthen each other when it comes to delivering and maintaining solutions that cover the entire C-UAS chain, from detection, identification and classification to interception,” said the press release.
For more information: https://aec-skyline.com/news (Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)
31 Mar 22. ADW 2022: European security agencies developing common methodologies for C-UAS protection of U-space/critical infrastructure. INTERPOL will publish in June this year the results of its testing a range of counter-UAS systems at Oslo airport.(https://www.unmannedairspace.info/counter-uas-systems-and-policies/interpol-tests-counter-drone-systems-at-oslo-airport-plans-counter-drone-guide-in-early-2022/), as part of a wider strategy to develop a standardised testing methodology which will feed into European Union (EU) funded Project Courageous, which focuses on creating a European wide framework for the selection, testing and assessment of drone countermeasures for law enforcement.
“We are working with the Joint Research Centre (JRC) in Europe, the USA and Canada to make this happen. There have been hundreds of tests around the world but trying to get that information on what was tested, how it was tested and what the results were is very difficult,” said Christopher Church, Senior Forensics Specialist at INTERPOL.
Meanwhile, In its work to develop a risk analysis for counter-UAS protection of critical infrastructure the JRC is developing common criteria for aligning C-UAS solutions based on an analysis of risk, according to Paul Hansen, Project Manager, EC JRC Transport and Border Security. The risk will vary between a nuclear plant, a water purification centre and a Christmas market, “so we advise that infrastructure managers make their risk analysis depending on their needs, and not simply via an excel spreadsheet.” It will produce a handbook for C-UAS protection of critical infrastructure later this year.
Every geo-zone around a critical infrastructure (the wide “early warning” zone, the “action” zone where the risk is mitigated and the “protected” zone, the critical infrastructure itself) needs a counter UAS system, he said, and they will all need to be integrated. The placement of sensors is critical – the further apart the better the triangulation. “Typically in counter terrorism actions within 20 minutes the event is over. Bad actors are now sending up canary drones to see what happens and 2km is around 120 seconds for a drone flight. (Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)
04 Apr 22. Liteye Systems and ELAC Sonar Announce US Partnership. Liteye Systems, Inc. (USA) and ELAC Sonar (Germany), a Cohort plc company have announced a new partnership between the two companies. The agreement grants Liteye the right to market a portfolio of ELAC products and services in the United States. The partnership provides the largest selection of world-class sonars as well as underwater communications systems, navigation echo sounders, transducers, and hydrophones.
“Liteye is excited to offer these advanced technologies through our Naval and Maritime solutions group,” said Kenneth Geyer, CEO, and Co-Founder of Liteye Systems, Inc. “It’s fortuitous that we’re announcing this on the first day of Sea, Air, Space Expo 2022.”
04 Apr 22. Rheinmetall unveils its new AMMR: a state-of-the-art radar for C-UAS, SHORAD and VSHORAD applications. Rheinmetall has unveiled the Oerlikon AMMR, the Group’s latest radar system. The Oerlikon AESA Multi-Mission Radar (AMMR) was developed entirely at Rheinmetall Italia in Rome, underscoring once again the subsidiary’s role as Rheinmetall’s radar centre of excellence. The new radar is now ready for series production. Rheinmetall’s new radar responds to highly challenging current and emerging short- and very short-range aerial threats: the new radar successfully detects and processes mini- and micro-unmanned aerial vehicles; incoming rockets, artillery and mortars engaging in high angle attacks; as well as air/surface weapons and cruise missiles. Thanks to adaptive full digital beamforming techniques in the S-band, Oerlikon AMMR automatically detects, classifies and tracks the full spectrum of aerial threats.
Rheinmetall Italia’s Oerlikon AESA Multi-Mission Radar is a state-of-the-art modular radar offering superior performance and ease of operation as well as integration into a wide range of platforms. It can track and classify multiple threats simultaneously. Oerlikon AMMR is designed to operate in stationary mode or on the move, even under gruelling environmental and jamming conditions. Moreover, it features cutting-edge electronic counter-countermeasures. The radar is fully software defined, with a configuration capable of adapting to the specific operational scenario. It can be easily upgraded in future to keep pace with evolving threat scenarios.
In February 2022 Rheinmetall Italia held an Open Day event to demonstrate the new Oerlikon AMMR. The successful event was attended by representatives of all four branches of the Italian armed forces – Army, Air Force, Navy and Carabinieri – as well as representatives of the National Armaments Directorate, the Defence Staff, the Italian State Police, and the Presidency of the Council of Ministers.
31 Mar 22. BAE Breaks New Ground With Successful Test of its Multiple Object Tracking Radar. BAE Systems successfully completed prototype tests of its Multiple Object Tracking Radar (iMOTR), a mobile instrumentation radar that provides precise radar data on multiple objects.
The company demonstrated iMOTR’s ability to meet critical key performance parameters – range, transportability, accuracy, and beacon tracking – that other radars, with comparable cost, size, weight, and power, cannot.
“We successfully built and tested our breakthrough radar technology as demonstrated in our iMOTR prototype. During this test, we proved the calibration and software integration were accurate, operational, and able to scale for various sizes and requirements of the instrumentation market,” said Pete Trainer, vice president and general manager of BAE Systems Air & Space Force Solutions. “iMOTR positions us to provide the U.S. military and our allies a new, state of the art radar to support their varied missions.”
iMOTR is a new approach to radar, as it uses low-cost phased-array technology developed by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency to provide an affordable high-performance radar. The phased arrays are operated with an interferometry design that makes iMOTR more accurate than conventional tactical phased array radars. iMOTR is positioned to be the lowest cost choice for Department of Defense test instrumentation to measure performance at test ranges within and outside of the United States.
BAE Systems’ test in Fort Walton Beach, Fla. included gathering of time-space-position information data collected on airborne test vehicles. BAE Systems continues to invest in expanding iMOTR’s technical capabilities and to refine its requirements to support military weapons and protection systems development. BAE Systems Air & Space Force Solutions team, based in Fort Walton Beach, has more than four decades of experience delivering precision, high-accuracy radars to government test ranges across the globe. (Source: ASD Network)
01 Apr 22. USN to terminate DART sonar development with Raytheon. The U.S. Navy will end its work with Raytheon Technologies developing a sonar for littoral combat ships and frigates and will instead buy a sonar already in use by several navies around the globe.
Raytheon’s AN/SQS-62 Variable Depth Sonar, also called the Dual-mode Array Transmitter, was a key component of the LCS anti-submarine warfare mission package and was going to be carried into the Constellation-class frigate program to create commonality within the surface force.
But the sonar, though it had succeeded in tracking a submarine in test events, still had two remaining technical challenges: the hydrodynamic stability of the system that trails behind the ship, and the performance and reliability of the transducers.
Defense News previously reported the program office paused testing in September after realizing the hydrodynamic issues would require an active control system.
Program Executive Officer for Unmanned and Small Combatants Rear Adm. Casey Moton told Defense News on March 31 that around the same time the Navy became increasingly concerned about the risk this presented to the sonar development and whether the product would be a viable option for future ASW operations.
Coincidentally, the Navy was nearing a decision point with Fincantieri Marinette Marine on the final design of the frigate, as the ship’s critical design review and production readiness review are coming up.
“It really came down to our concern about the risk with the DART system … and risk to the design progress for frigate, and ultimately further on potentially down to if we got into production and had issues, production impact, performance impact,” Moton said in a phone interview.
At the same time, the Navy was considering cutting the number of LCS hulls in the fleet as part of cost-saving measures in the fiscal 2023 budget request. The service decided to nix the ASW mission package altogether, reducing the number of hulls needed to carry out the other two missions: surface warfare and mine countermeasures.
“As a result of increased risk and challenges experienced with the variable depth sonar,” the Navy released a sources sought notice in early February, Moton said.
After assessing the options, the service selected the CAPTAS-4, or Combined Active Passive Towed Array Sonar. The product is made by Advanced Acoustics Concepts, a joint venture between Leonardo DRS and Thales Defense & Security.
The rear admiral said CAPTAS-4 was chosen in part due to its proven performance in international navies and its high technical readiness, lowering the risk in integrating it into the Navy’s own undersea warfare combat system and frigate hull design.
Moton said that when shipbuilders were competing for the frigate design and construction contract Fincantieri won in 2020, they were allowed to pick between incorporating a hull-mounted sonar or the variable depth sonar towed along behind the ship.
While the shipbuilder could select the style of sonar they wanted — with Fincantieri electing the VDS — the Navy reserved the right to dictate the system the builder would use. Raytheon’s DART was previously the Navy’s VDS of choice so it could achieve the cost savings in production, training and sustainment associated with having common systems across multiple ship classes, Moton said.
But, he said, the Navy had worked with Raytheon to engineer, model and ultimately test several improvements to address the lingering technical problems with DART.
“In those tests, we did not see the improved performance that we had been anticipating, and so it became clear that it was going to be more complex to solve than our initial round of efforts,” he said.
Moton said Fincantieri supported the decision to move to a different sonar and helped look at the alternatives offered in responses to February’s sources sought notice.
Moton declined to say how many companies offered up sonar solutions, other than to say Raytheon’s DART was considered the incumbent and “several other” products were considered.
Thales’ website notes the CAPTAS-4 is fielded on the French and Italian FREMMS — the Fincantieri frigate design that serves as the parent design for the Constellation-class FFGs — as well as British Type 23 and Type 26 frigates, Chilean Type 23 frigates and Spanish F110 frigates.
Moton said the U.S. Navy had some familiarity with the system from working alongside these allies in Europe, as well as through using the related Thales Airborne Low Frequency Sonar as a dipping sonar for the MH-60 Sea Hawk helicopters.
He said the sources sought notice asked companies to explain the technical maturity of the sonar, its performance and reliability in past at-sea operations, its integration on other ship classes, its potential integration into the SQQ-89 undersea warfare combat system and how well its production schedule would match that of the Constellation frigate line, among other questions.
Moton said Advanced Acoustics Concepts and Fincantieri would still have to negotiate the price of the sonar, but he doesn’t expect the change to significantly affect the program cost. Similarly, he said the Navy would have to conduct integration work between the sonar and the combat system, but he didn’t expect that cost to be significantly different than planned.
Capt. Kevin Smith, the frigate program manager, said during the call that, with the new sonar selected to help reduce risk on the program, the frigate could move into its critical design review and production readiness review soon. Those milestones were previously expected to occur in the second quarter and third quarter, respectively, of FY22.
“We’re not going to start [production] unless we feel we have a mature design so we don’t relive some of the challenges we’ve had with lead ship construction. I expect we will still have challenges, because lead ships are very hard, but we’re trying to mitigate that as much as we can with a mature design,” he said. (Source: Defense News)
01 Apr 22. Immervision Launches UAV Low-Light Navigation Camera Module. Immervision, a global developer of advanced vision systems combining optics, image processing, and sensor fusion technology, has announced the availability of its UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) Low-Light Navigation Camera Module designed for autonomous and semi-autonomous navigation in all environments, with high performance in low-light conditions. Designed to satisfy the demanding requirements of total situational awareness (or 360° surround machine perception) operating in low-light conditions, this plug and play solution gives access to Immervision’s advanced wide-angle camera module and image processing software. Its compact design fits easily in different types of UAV/UAS/drones while its light weight has a small impact on power consumption. The rugged design is well suited for a wide range of applications, including robots, land vehicles, and water vessels.
“UAVs are becoming increasingly used in industrial inspection, remote sensing for mapping and surveying, rescuing and more,” explains Patrice Roulet, Vice President, Technology and Co-Founder at Immervision. “To conduct these operations properly, autonomous navigation capability is essential, especially in complex environments where other sensors are inefficient or battery hungry. Our camera module provides fast high precision input for navigation systems in various challenging outdoor and indoor environment.”
The camera module includes the lens assembly, a 5MP sensor, and a MIPI interface, weighing only 4.7 grams. Unlike a typical fisheye lens this camera module uses a panomorph lens combining an ultra wide-angle Field of View (190° FoV) with a unique distortion profile and a large aperture (F#1.8). It is crafted to maximize the light sensitivity of pixels and optimize the image quality from edge to edge, for use by human operators and/or artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) systems.
- Wide-angle panomorph lens with smart pixel management provides enhanced image quality.
- The lens small F# and high relative illumination, combined with the high sensitivity of the Sony sensor, ensures exceptional performances in a variety of low light conditions.
- IP67 rating and front lens element in glass for usage in various environments, outdoors and indoors.
- Small footprint and light weight.
- Off-the-shelf solution, available and ready for implementation.
- Easily customizable to various platforms and flight controllers.
(Source: UAS VISION)
Blighter Surveillance Systems is a world-leading designer and manufacturer of best-in-class electronic-scanning ground-based radars, surveillance solutions and Counter-UAS systems. Blighter’s solid-state micro-Doppler products are deployed in more than 35 countries across the globe, delivering consistent all-weather security protection and wide area surveillance along borders, coastlines, at military bases and across critical infrastructure such as airports, oil and gas facilities and palaces. Blighter radars are also used to protect manoeuvre force missions when deployed on military land vehicles and trailers, and its world-beating multi-mode radar represents a great leap in threat detection technology and affordability for use in a variety of scenarios.
The Blighter range of radar products are used for detecting a variety of threats, from individuals on foot to land vehicles, boats, drones and low-flying aircraft at ranges of up to 32 km. Blighter Surveillance Systems employs 40 people and is located near Cambridge, UK, where it designs, produces and markets its range of unique patented solid-state radars. Blighter prides itself on being an engineer-led business committed to providing cost-effective and flexible solutions across the defence, critical infrastructure and national security markets.