Sponsored by Blighter Surveillance Systems
12 May 22. Teledyne FLIR Introduces Hadron 640R Dual Thermal-Visible Camera for Unmanned Systems. Teledyne FLIR, part of Teledyne Technologies Incorporated, today announced the release of its high-performance Hadron 640R combined radiometric thermal and visible dual camera module. The Hadron 640R design is optimized for integration into unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), unmanned ground vehicles (UGV), robotic platforms, and emerging AI-ready applications where battery life and run time are mission critical.
Pairs a 640×512 Resolution Radiometric Boson® Thermal Camera and a 64 MP Visible Camera in a Size, Weight, and Power (SWaP) Optimized Design for Out-of-the-Box Integration
The 640 x 512 resolution Boson longwave infrared (LWIR) thermal camera inside the Hadron 640R can see through total darkness, smoke, most fog, glare, and provide temperature measurements for every pixel in the scene. The addition of the high definition 64 MP visible camera enables the Hadron 640R to provide both thermal and visible imagery compatible with today’s on-device processors for AI and machine-learning applications at the edge.
11 May 22. Pentagon tests high-power microwave systems against drones. The Pentagon’s Joint Counter-Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems Office has wrapped up a demonstration of high-power microwave technology capable of taking out multiple drone threats at once.
Army officials running the effort said the vendors that came with high-power microwave capabilities were successful in defeating incoming drone threats, including two at a time.
The threat of drone swarms is increasing, and the Pentagon is racing to ensure it can to defeat them. The Army is the service tasked to lead the JCO, which was established in late 2019. The office has now conducted three demonstrations — two last year in the spring and fall, and one this spring. The plan is to continue demonstrations twice a year to fix capability gaps identified by the armed services in countering small UAVs.
The most recent demonstration took place April 4-22 at Yuma Proving Ground, Arizona. Three industry teams — Epirus, Raytheon Technologies and Leonardo DRS — brought ground-based, aerial-denial systems with high-power microwave capabilities. Such systems are “defined as a solution utilizing focused Electromagnetic Pulses from a fixed ground location at range with energy sufficient to destroy or defeat sUAS over the air,” the JCO said in a statement.
“What we primarily focused on in that first week for high-power microwave was how well the effector emitted,” Michael DiGennaro, the test team lead for JCO’s acquisition and resourcing division, said during a May 11 media roundtable.
“We were looking at range to engage the targets that were inbound and the amount of time it took to either deter or defeat the target,” he added. The targets ranged among UAS groups 1, 2 and 3 and were used either one at a time or two simultaneously. (Group 1 drones weigh up to 20 pounds; Group 2 from 21 to 55 pounds; and Group 3 more than 55 pounds but less than 1,320 pounds.)
How’d the counter-drone systems perform?
The Leonardo DRS system — called a “vector inversion generator” — “was hindered in that it did not have an antenna to radiate,” DiGennaro said.
But the JCO was able to assess the technology through its ability to hand off a detected threat from the government-owned command-and-control system, and then generate the power necessary to defeat the threat. “With that, we were able to capture power output and the amount of time that the electromagnetic pulse was on the target just with instrumentation,” DiGennaro explained.
The Epirus system “was able to defeat targets in the range that is normally associated with what is currently in the field,” DiGennaro said, “and has the promise to be a little bit more effective in the future.”
Raytheon’s capability “was very much in development, shows some promise for future development,” he said, but “the ranges were somewhat shorter in their ability to defeat the incoming targets.”
The office also assessed countering small UAS as a service, or CaaS, through contractor-owned, government-operated capability at fixed locations.
The office received a total of 25 whitepapers for CaaS and selected five to demonstrate their capabilities because they met specific requirements. Those five were Anduril Industries, Black Sage, CACI, Rafael Systems Global Sustainment and SAIC.
“We had five very complex architectures out there,” DiGennaro said. “Each of them brought a host of different components for detection, identification, tracking and defeat, and we tested against each of those components both individually and then as a system, culminating in a ‘defend the forward-operating base’ scenario.”
The data collected is still being analyzed, he added, and a report will be published for limited distribution within the Defense Department next week.
“This was as much a learning exercise for us as it was for the companies,” DiGennaro said of CaaS. “We had architectures out there that had not previously been working together, components in particular, architectures that were coming out there for the first time.”
The JCO was able to form new industry partnerships as well as get companies with different elements of the engagement chain together that had not worked together before, he said. “They’re trying new combinations. They’re developing things as we go.”
Last year, in the first demonstration, the office looked at low-collateral interceptors for C-sUAS; in the second demonstration, it examined cheap, ground-launched and hand-held capabilities.
The office and some services are in the process of finalizing contracts with vendors that demonstrated technology last year to incorporate into an enduring architecture, but the JCO said it could not get into specifics until those contracts are finalized.
The JCO is in the final stages of developing what concepts and capabilities it wants to demonstrate in its next round of experimentation in the fall. The capability gaps the office wants to address will be finalized within a month, the office indicated.
(Source: Defense News Early Bird/Defense News)
10 May 22. Teledyne FLIR Defense, part of Teledyne Technologies Incorporated (NYSE:TDY), has announced the launch of an innovative and first-of-its-kind small Unmanned Aerial System (sUAS) payload that can be used to provide NATO Standard laser target designation for laser-guided weapons.
The Teledyne FLIR StormCaster™-DX is an advanced, multi-role laser designator payload built especially for use on the FLIR R80D SkyRaider™ UAS platform. StormCaster-DX is uniquely designed to manage target areas using a Laser Spot Tracker while affecting the terminal guidance of laser guided munitions. Until now, this capability was only possible with larger UAS platforms or ground-based systems.
Potential applications for the technology range from manned or unmanned air strikes to precision-guided mortars, naval gunfire, or air-launched effects.
“StormCaster-DX is an absolute gamechanger for small unit operations and represents a significant force multiplier,” said Dr. JihFen Lei, executive vice president and general manager of Teledyne FLIR Defense. “For the first time, warfighters will be able to survey and manage the battlefield while performing laser designation with standoff from a rucksack-portable drone, allowing faster decision-making and targeting that help ensure mission success.
“We believe customers will embrace what StormCaster-DX can mean for troops in harm’s way: When seconds weigh heavily on an operation’s outcome, DX saves minutes,” Lei added.
User-defined target tracking on StormCaster-DX captures accurate coordinates, heading and speed of moving objects and vehicles, enabling clandestine monitoring and marking. Two FLIR Boson® 640 longwave infrared thermal cameras support missions day or night. The DX payload delivers unmatched stability in all-weather conditions and leverages class-leading payload capacity, plus multi-modal operations – tethered or untethered, mounted or dismounted – as well as Artificial Intelligence/Computer Vision-based targeting features.
Other key features of the StormCaster-DX include:
- Low Size, Weight and Power (SWaP) – Coded and compacted laser target designation from a 1250g payload using a rucksack-portable Vertical Takeoff and Landing UAS
- Non-Cooperative Laser Spot Tracking – Detect, decode, and geolocate the source or termination of off-board lasers
- Highly Accurate Coordinate Generation – Gimbal stability, laser range finder, and ATAK integration enables precise tracking, placement, and coordinate accuracy; NATO STANAG-compliant. (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)
10 May 22. BAE Systems Propels Major Upgrade to Compass Call With Open System Architecture. BAE Systems successfully flight tested three third-party software applications on its Scalable Adaptive Bank of Electronic Resources (SABER) technology. SABER is the backbone of Compass Call, a next-generation electromagnetic attack weapon system that disrupts enemy command and control communications, radar, and navigation systems. The test flights demonstrated the technology’s agility in delivering advanced electromagnetic warfare capabilities to Compass Call.
“BAE Systems has been keeping Compass Call ahead of the curve as its prime mission system contractor for more than 20 years,” said Jared Belinsky, director of Electronic Attack Solutions at BAE Systems. “We’re continuously developing technology to help dominate the electromagnetic spectrum and keep our military service members safe.”
The hallmark of SABER is its open system architecture that enables the rapid integration of new technology through software updates instead of hardware reconfiguration. It also allows for multiple system upgrades to counter emerging threats.
The U.S. Air Force Compass Call Test Team, with support from BAE Systems, tested the new applications. BAE Systems integrated the applications with a non-proprietary SABER software development kit. The successful flight test is leading to fielding of the SABER capability on the EC-130H.
The EC-130H Compass Call mission system is currently being transferred to the Gulfstream G550 business jet, designated the EC-37B.
Work on SABER is being conducted at BAE Systems’ state-of-the-art facility in Hudson, N.H. (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)
09 May 22. US Naval Sea Systems Command publishes tender for DRAKE C-UAS programme. The Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) Program Executive Office Unmanned and Small Combatants (PEO USC), Expeditionary Missions Program Office (PMS 408) is issuing a competitive Request for Proposal (RFP) for the Joint Counter Radio-Controlled Improvised Explosive Device Electronic Warfare (JCREW) Increment One Block One (I1B1) and DRAKE. The deadline is May 19, 2022.
The JCREW I1B1 system, which includes three different form factors (mounted, dismounted, and fixed site), provides long term protection to U.S. forces against Radio Controlled IEDs, and a variant referred to as DRAKE provides a Counter–Unmanned Aircraft System (C-UAS) capability to afloat and ashore forces. JCREW utilizes an open architecture System of Systems design, with common hardware and software. JCREW fulfills the Navy Expeditionary Combat Command (NECC), Naval Beach Group (NBG), United States Air Force (USAF), Foreign Military Sales (FMS), and other agency requirements to replace legacy CREW systems that lack worldwide applicability.
DRAKE expands the Navy’s C-UAS capability to high priority Navy installations and ships under U.S. Fleet Forces Command, Military Sealift Command and Strategic Systems Programs. Due to the nature of this requirement, the prospective Offeror will need to demonstrate the required level of technical expertise.
Information regarding this requirement was previously posted on sam.gov under presolicitation “JCREW and DRAKE RFP” numbered N00024-22-R-6427. Please refer to solicitation “Request for Proposal: JCREW and DRAKE Program” with the solicitation number N00024-22-R-6427 on sam.gov for the most current documents and information.
The JCREW FRP solicitation documents and communications with industry will contain controlled and classified information. Offerors are required to have Defense Security Service (DSS) issued SECRET facility clearance, SECRET personnel clearances and SECRET safeguarding capability to gain access to this controlled information.
For more information
https://sam.gov/opp/792a4f52de4d4e0daf15baaac12132da/view (Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)
04 May 22. Nocturne Drones, Dedrone partnership establishes special drone defence unit. Nocturne Drones has partnered with Dedrone to establish a special unit for drone defense called Nocturne Drone Defense Systems. Drone show specialist Nocturne partnered with Dedrone to expand its portfolio and protect shows around the world from unauthorised drones, says the company press release. Dedrone’s aviation security system is designed to detect, identify, locate and mitigate nearly 300 different types of drones, including homemade drones.
In addition to firmly integrated drone detection systems inside the control vehicles of Nocturne Drone Shows, further systems are available for the airspace surveillance of events, including espionage protection and defusing possible attack risks. Engineers at Nocturne Drones are currently developing additional counterintelligence solutions for various applications.
“Safety is our top priority. Since we often work in sensitive areas, it is our aim to make our shows even safer and to offer our customers complete protection against drones from a single source. In view of the ever-increasing danger posed by drones at events we chose to partner with Dedrone, the world’s leading provider of airspace security,” explained Jens Hillenkötter, Managing Director of Nocturne Drones.
For more information visit: www.dedrone.com; www.nocturne-drones.aero (Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)
07 Mar 22. Vislink Announces Launch of AeroLink, World’s First COFDM/5G/Mesh. Vislink (Nasdaq: VISL), a global technology leader in the capture, delivery and management of high quality, live video and associated data in the media & entertainment, law enforcement and defense markets, announced today the release of the AeroLink Transceiver, an entirely new product addition to its next-generation Airborne Video Downlink System (AVDS). Vislink is displaying AeroLink for the first time to members of the public safety and broadcast/ENG sectors at HAI HELI-EXPO 2022 in Dallas, TX, March 7-10th. Vislink team members will be onsite at the event in booth #10160. AeroLink is available now for pre-ordering directly from Vislink and through its integration partners.
“We are excited to announce the debut of AeroLink,” said Mickey Miller, Vislink CEO. “We designed it from the ground up to deliver the immediate, clear and reliable video communications that are essential requirements of public safety organizations, military & government agencies and news & sports broadcasters. AeroLink is truly a first-of-its-kind solution to provide outstanding video quality, secure, full-duplex, real-time connectivity, extensive operating ranges, and flexible support for COFDM, MESH and bonded cellular/5G networks.”
He continued, “The combination of secure COFDM with public 5G or FirstNet connectivity enables the greatest agility for all first responders, newsgathering organizations and defense and first responder agencies. We are confident that it will set the standard in air-to-ground communications in demanding operating environments.”
AeroLink is an aircraft-based unit that features an agile IP-based, fully bi-directional workflow and tight integration with other elements of the Vislink AVDS, including the Quantum Receiver. It is a lightweight, full-featured 4K or 2 x 1080p 60 HEVC digital dual encoding video downlink solution built to address the demanding requirements of airborne operations. The gains from the HEVC technology enable superior quality video with reduced bandwidth for seamless, extended geographical coverage. Vislink’s Dual Encode HEVC system allows the transmission of multiple video services over the same signal. It provides bi-directional data transmission and includes an optional MANET (MESH) component as a node in an ad-hoc system. Notably, it incorporates a 5G transceiver that may be used as part of the 5G public infrastructure to ensure low-latency, broadcast-quality transmissions. AeroLink also includes key security features such as advanced AES encryption and FIPS 140-2 and complies with all aircraft regulations.
09 May 22. Sentient Vision Systems’ roll out of award- winning sensor software products and announcements of contract awards across the maritime domain place the company in an enviable position to dominate the SAR (Search and Rescue) and the passive ISR (Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance) market. INDO PACIFIC has been chosen by Sentient to launch Artificial Intelligence (AI) enabled ViDAR Surface – a next generation surface lookout providing a day and night autonomous ocean surface surveillance.
Using advanced AI, ViDAR Surface can autonomously and efficiently detect, track, classify, and filter hundreds of objects and assists the operator to focus on the targets of interest, both during normal and high threat scenarios. This scalable and cost-effective solution is available in a self-contained pod. ViDAR Surface is designed for real-time situational awareness and has the ability to detect ships, stealthy boats, small boat swarms, buoys, persons in the water, and aircraft. It can be deployed with a range of shore-based and maritime surface platforms, either crewed or uncrewed.
According to Paul Harris, Director of Business Development, Sentient Vision Systems, “the unrelenting line up of contract awards, customer demonstrations, backed by our heavyweight investment in R&D, exemplified by ViDAR Surface” places the Melbourne- headquartered innovator in pole position to grow markets as well as its share of these markets.
“We are determined to remain the key driver of this technology set and its various applications across civilian and defence markets,” adds Harris.
The flagship products include Kestrel software for land and maritime surveillance and ViDAR (Visual Detection and Ranging), which is the world’s first passive Optical Radar .
Key recent ViDAR milestones include:
- Selected for a $2.1m Australian government grant to establish a sovereign in-house manufacturing facility for its world-leading ViDAR search and surveillance pods. Sentient grant was selected under the Australian government’s Department of Industry Science Energy and Resources’ (DISER) Modern Manufacturing Initiative (MMI) Translation Stream. Once implemented, it will enable volume manufacture in Australia of the company’s ViDAR pods for Australian and export customers. “Winning this grant is an important step for Sentient Vision Systems,” said Sentient Vision Systems Managing Director and founder, Dr Paul Boxer. “We’ve been developing software-based AI surveillance systems for nearly two decades. We’ll soon be able to manufacture our own hardware in larger quantities as well whilst maintaining control over their quality and supply for critical surveillance and safety missions.”
- Dutch Caribbean territories Coast Guard: ViDAR will be integrated on new lease helicopters and current patrol aircraft for aerial reconnaissance duties and search and rescue. Canadian Company PAL Aerospace Ltd and the Dutch Jet Support B.V., will carry forward the extended contract for the Dash-8 patrol aircraft. The two new SAR helicopters will be delivered by the UK’s Bristow Helicopters Limited. With both contracts, the Coast Guard will future proof for the coming ten years of aircraft with high-quality sensors and means of communication with Sentient solutions at the core.
- Sentient Vision Systems has been selected for a Foreign Comparative Technology (FCT) test by the U.S. Department of Defense to provide ViDAR Maritime systems for integration and evaluation for the U.S. Marine Corps (USMC). The ViDAR systems will be used for Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) missions, integrated into a medium-altitude long range unmanned aerial system operated by the USMC. It will be used to gather intelligence and enhance situational awareness during amphibious operations.
- Announced at the Dubai Airshow, the UAE was showcased as the world launchpad for the ViDAR SCAR (Self Contained Aerial Reconnaissance) Pod debuting the AW-139 day/night pod. The UAE was selected as the airborne AI sensor centre of excellence for aircraft integration in collaboration with Austrian-based Airborne Technologies GmbH and UAE and UK Aircraft Integration Specialist company Phoenix Aerospace.
- In Q4 2021, the Special Mission Aircraft Division of Austrian aircraft manufacturer Diamond Aircraft undertook a series of demonstrations of a new surveillance and Search and Rescue (SAR) capability, based on its DA42 twin-engine light aircraft, the DA42 MPP. In a remarkable turn of events, during its demonstration program off the Belgian coast, this aircraft was tasked at very short notice with a live SAR mission over the North Sea to rescue 24 migrants who were adrift for 48 hours, which it completed successfully and very quickly. Its success was due largely to its sensor payload including the ViDAR VMS-5 surveillance pod.
Helicopter prime contractor and mission system integrator Lockheed Martin has integrated some top-level aspects of ViDAR in an MH-60R as a prototype fit to demonstrate this cutting-edge Australian capability. Lockheed Martin will work with Sentient to explore and further evolve the capability of the ViDAR system. A successful trial could see this Australian ISR system integrated with the sensor suite on the MH-60R Seahawk, which is also operated by the Royal Australian Navy (RAN).
“Backed by the recent $2.1 Australian Sovereign MMI grant funding, Sentient has substantial capabilities in the domestic manufacturing space, augmented by strong relationships including integration and MRO across North America, Europe and the Middle East with international aviation partners,” added Paul Harris.
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.