Sponsored by Blighter Surveillance Systems
23 June 22. Meprolight details Tigon hybrid weapon sight features. Meprolight, part of the SK Group, provided further details of its recently unveiled Tigon hybrid sight at Eurosatory 2022 in Paris. The Tigon combines a standard red-dot-type sight with a thermal sight in a single unit, with the ability to seamlessly transition from the red dot to the thermal channel. The day sight is similar to the company’s existing Mepro M5, offering a wide field-of-view (FOV) window used to display the sight’s reticle. The model shown at Eurosatory used an outer interrupted ring with an inner aiming dot. Four brightness settings are available on the sight, which can be manually adjusted using the push buttons on the left-hand side of the sight housing. Alternatively, the sight features a sensor that can automatically adjust the brightness of the reticle based on ambient light levels. (Source: Janes)
21 Jun 22. U.S. Government designates Northrop Grumman radar AN/TPY-5(V)1. Northrop Grumman’s long-range radar, an advanced digital radar available in the market today, has been officially recognized by the U.S. government as the AN/TPY-5(V)1 making it the newest multi-mission air-surveillance radar available to the U.S. military and its international partners.
“The AN/TPY-5(V)1 provides enhanced surveillance and a robust multifunction capability,” said Mike Meaney, vice president, land and maritime sensors, Northrop Grumman. “This S-band system features advanced electronic protection combined with a high degree of mobility that will help ensure survivability in today’s complex battlespace.”
Strategic Mobility Provides Key Advantage in Today’s Complex Battlespace
The United States continuously seeks to acquire a strategic cross-domain military arsenal to ensure that trusted, versatile solutions are always readily available to protect warfighters – domestically and internationally – during any mission.
A military force that can move more quickly across both familiar and hostile terrain will prevail over adversaries. As the military operating environment becomes more lethal, strategic mobility can help transform modern warfare.
AN/TPY-5(V)1’s size and form factor have been optimized for expeditionary operation on a modern, global battlefield, making its intrinsic capability to self-deploy, emplace and displace in minutes – a key discriminator compared to other systems.
Similarly, advanced digital AESA architecture and C2 integration have come together in the AN/TPY-5(V)1 S-band radar to enable protection and situational understanding for warfighters.
Delivering Performance Today, Designed for Growth Tomorrow
Facing the challenges of fifth-generation fighters, hypersonic weapons, unmanned systems and ballistic missiles, the AN/TPY-5(V)1’s proven performance has been demonstrated in multiple test events, with each one further establishing and verifying the system’s advanced technical capability.
Designed for growth, it can provide the performance expected in today’s highly contested and congested battlespace, while its advanced software-defined architecture allows for rapid updates to counter new and emerging threats. Updates can be completed via software in hours or even minutes with this system, compared to weeks or months required for traditional ground-based radars.
To learn more about the AN/TPY-5(V)1, visit www.northropgrumman.com/TPY5
21 Jun 22. Teledyne FLIR helps to keep airspace surrounding Swedish critical infrastructure free of drones. Teledyne FLIR successfully completed an installation of a long-range drone detection system for a critical infrastructure site in Sweden. A smart slew-to-cue system, combining radar, thermal imaging and visual sensors, makes sure no unmanned aircraft system goes undetected.
As drones are becoming commercially available to a wider audience, effective drone detection and monitoring has become increasingly important, especially for critical infrastructures and sites, such as power plants, utility centers and airports.
However, effective and accurate drone detection is challenging. In contrast to land-based monitoring and detection, aerial detection has a much wider, dome-shaped area to cover, with no real reference points. In addition, today’s drones are fast and small, and they can demonstrate erratic flying behavior. Visual detection systems have an additional challenge, in that they need to detect objects in variable sky and weather conditions.
Drone detection for critical infrastructures
Teledyne FLIR recently provided a robust drone detection system for a Swedish critical infrastructure customer. The project – completed early 2022 – was also made possible by Teledyne FLIR’s longtime distributor and integration partner CCTV-Systems AB, a company which has been in the video surveillance systems business since 1982. Just like Teledyne FLIR, CCTV-Systems AB has vast experience in providing threat detection systems for industrial and security sectors all over the world.
Teledyne FLIR offered an integrated drone detection system based on radar and a combination of thermal and visible sensors. The system uses a so-called slew-to-cue feature, where a radar will continuously scan the sky, detect the drones from a long distance and automatically point the FLIR PTZ camera to the exact position of the detected drone, whereupon the camera will continue to track the moving object using its pan/tilt mechanism.
Integrated drone detection system
“Today, Teledyne FLIR is the only company that can provide a total, integrated solution for this application,” says Johan Eklund, Managing Director at CCTV-Systems AB. “The company’s radar, dual thermal and visible PTZ system, and software platform are all seamlessly integrated to provide a high-performance surveillance system. And what’s more, all of the system’s components have been thoroughly tested and proven in the field. We are very fortunate to have such a dedicated and skilful partner in CCTV Systems AB,” says William Turner, Northern European Sales Manager at Teledyne FLIR. “In order to satisfy the complex requirements of a demanding client, this project cut new ground and called for high levels of technical expertise and customer commitment from Johan and his team.”
The system includes the FLIR Ranger R8SS-3D radar, which can detect objects within a three-kilometer range and track up to 500 drone targets simultaneously, while effectively filtering bird detections. The R8SS-3D provides complete hemispherical detection and is able to monitor the coverage area four times per second, run 24/7, and detect all ground and aerial threats in virtually any climate, day and night.
Radar detections are continuously tracked with the FLIR Ranger HDC MR, a high-definition mid-range surveillance system which uses thermal imaging technology to detect threats, even in conditions where visibility is poor, at night or in degraded weather conditions, such as fog, rain and clouds. Everything the system picks up is monitored through FLIR’s Cameleon software platform. This software enables operators to control the surveillance system and share all detector information with other agencies.
Maximum detection accuracy
From the project onset the end-user’s minimum requirement was to obtain 100% accurate classification at 500 meters. Teledyne FLIR was able to far exceed this requirement thanks to thorough tuning and calibration, and to the system’s superior optics and high-performance radar capability.
Teledyne FLIR also ensures that the system can operate with maximum uptime, not considered a luxury for a critical infrastructure where 24/7 situational awareness is always needed. The system makes use of an uncooled thermal sensor, which requires minimal maintenance leading to practically zero downtime. On the other hand, a cooled camera would require periodic replacement of the cooling elements.
“This system is an ideal configuration for any critical infrastructure site that wants to keep its airspace free from threats and that needs 24/7 decision-making support,” says Eklund. “The system we installed in Sweden could also be used as a reliable, mid-range drone detection system for airports, refineries, nuclear plants, utilities and more.”
20 Jun 22. Tactical Heron eyes manoeuvring forces, awaits launch customer. Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) is targeting its Tactical Heron (also known as T-Heron) unmanned aircraft system (UAS) for use with manoeuvring forces who face constraints not experienced by operators of larger platforms.
Speaking to Janes at Eurosatory 2022 in Paris, Orna Shemesh, director of marketing and sales for IAI’s military aircraft group, described T-Heron as offering operators “around two-thirds of the capability” of the Heron medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) UAS, pointing to the T-Heron’s service ceiling of 23,000 ft compared with 30,000 ft in the Heron, and that the smaller aircraft has around half of the payload capacity.
The T-Heron was unveiled in June 2019 ahead of the Paris Air Show and is the newest and smallest member of the Heron family.
Shemesh said the aircraft benefits from the architecture and development work that has gone into the Heron family, including advanced capabilities that are not expected in a tactical platform, such as automatic take-off and landing (ATOL) and point-and-click flight control rather than piloting via a stick. (Source: Janes)
21 Jun 22. Airbus delivers third radar for Copernicus´ Sentinel-1 mission with a world premiere. New separation mechanism will help to avoid space debris. Sentinel-1 radars scan our planet and its environment for Europe’s citizens. Airbus has finished the third instrument for the Sentinel-1 satellite series. It features a world premiere of a new separation mechanism which will help avoid space debris. The C-band radar for the Copernicus Sentinel-1C satellite, is now on its way to “meet” its spacecraft at Thales Alenia Space facilities in Rome, Italy, where it will undergo integration and testing. The satellite is scheduled for launch in the first half of 2023.
The C-band radar beam the instrument produces can determine changes in the Earth’s surface with an accuracy of a few millimetres, supplying imagery for maritime and land monitoring, emergency response, climate change and security. Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) has the advantage of operating at wavelengths not impeded by cloud cover or a lack of illumination and can acquire data over a site during the day or night in all weather conditions . Having a primary operational mode over land and another over open ocean allows pre-programmed operation. Typically a radar image is acquired over a wide swath (250 km) with high geometric (typically 5m by 20m) resolution.
Largely identical to its two predecessors, the new radar instrument for Sentinel-1C has one special feature, an invention patented by Airbus that is being used for the first time. It features soldered joints installed at the main connection points to the satellite, which melt when exposed to strong heating and separate the radar antenna from the satellite platform. Both parts are then separately exposed to the full frictional heat and burn up earlier and faster, on re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere at the end of the satellite´s 7.25 years lifetime. As a result the Airbus invention makes a contribution to avoiding space debris and protecting the environment in orbit.
The T/R modules (Transmit & Receive) and the Front End Electronics were developed and produced by Thales Alenia Space to Airbus specifications.
Since April 2014 the Sentinel-1 mission has been providing all-weather, round-the-clock imagery for Copernicus, the world largest environment programme, led by Europe. Copernicus is a joint programme of the European Commission (EC) and the European Space Agency (ESA).
Up to the end of May 2022, more than 620,000 users had more than 39 m Sentinel-1 products equivalent to 48 m gigabytes of data.
The 12.3 m x 0.9 m radar was built and tested at Friedrichshafen (Germany), with the Electronics Subsystem made in Portsmouth (UK).
17 June 22. Amsterdam police force registers over 2000 illegal drone flights every month, within the airport CTR. “Every month we register more than 2000 illegal flights,” says Peter Holla, deputy police chief and head of operations at the Amsterdam police. “Amsterdam is located within the CTR of Schiphol Airport, so in fact the entire city is a no-fly zone for drones. Many of those 2000 illegal flights are children’s toys by the way. But there are also those who have other intentions. And that is why we are very interested in counter drone technology.” Royal Netherlands Aerospace Centre (NLR) is helping Amsterdam police with this challenge, according to a report by Amsterdam Drone Week.
Peter Holla says there is another more important challenge: “The first challenge is how we can best deploy drones ourselves,” he explains. “There are many incidents where a drone can prove its worth: demonstrations, traffic accidents, crime-scene investigation. That is why we also have a dedicated drone team at the Amsterdam police. In many cases, I prefer a drone over a helicopter. ”
Gerald Poppinga, R&D manager at Royal NLR explains about the National Counter Drone Program that is financed by the Ministries of Justice and Security and of Defence. “They see this as part of the strategic cooperation between the two ministries. NLR and TNO are participating in the program to exchange knowledge and expertise in the field of counter drone techniques.”
According to Gerald Poppinga, there are several solutions to keep unwanted drones out of the air. But it remains a kind of race: for every solution, there is also a counter solution. At the moment we haven’t found the silver bullet yet. That will probably take a while.”
One of those ways is the use of directed energy. “You can use a laser to shoot a drone out of the sky, but that is not without risk. It might be better to disrupt the communication between the drone and the operator. However, each type of intervention might lead to its specific type of collateral damage, additional damage you are not waiting for. That makes it very difficult to find a solution that works and satisfies under all circumstances.”
There is still a lot of room technological development, operational procedures, awareness and tools. Gerald Poppinga adds: “I see a drone as a way to transport something from A to B. But also as a means of transport that can get to places you had no access to before. You can now deploy a camera in a place that has been made inaccessible by fences. But it could also drop something over that fence. The challenging thing about a drone is that you don’t immediately know who is controlling the device and therefore who you are dealing with.”
According to Gerald Poppinga “A drone can be a very useful piece of equipment and I also see wonderful applications, but a small percentage also carries all kinds of dangers and we have to be able to recognize those dangers and counteract them, so that we only use drones in a safe way.”
He is applauded by the police chief. Although Peter Holla monitors all drone flights over the city, it is impossible to actually ban all 2000 illegal drones. “We are therefore very interested in techniques that allow us to determine which drones pose a potential danger in order to tackle them in a targeted manner. For more information contact: www.amsterdamdroneweek.com (Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)
16 June 22. “CILAS C-UAS HELMA-P laser planned for deployment at 2024 Olympic Games. According to a YouTube video from France’s Direction Générale de l’Armement (DGA) and a Linkedin post from C-UAS expert Tiago M. Lança, the DGA has ordered a first operational prototype of the HELMA-P anti-drone laser weapon from CILAS, within the framework of the EUR 10 m L2AD contract [Laser for Combating Drones].
The reports say the HELMA-P prototype is expected to be deployed during the 2024 Olympic Games and will be available in two operational versions: on a battlefield platform and a naval vessel. Feasibility tests at sea should also take place this year.
The HELMA-P system comprises a two kilowatt laser, to detect and shoot down, with precision and in a handful of seconds, a hostile drone at a distance of one kilometre.
HELMA-P is being developed in parallel with the French Army’s other kinetic C-UAS programme, the ARLAD project [Adaptation Réactive de Lutte Anti-Drone] which aims to equip an armoured vehicle with a C-UAS radar and an “airbust” capability via a grenade launcher.
For more information: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uaquu6FMpB8; https://www.linkedin.com/in/tiagolanca/; https://cilas.ariane.group/wp-content/uploads/sites/5/2021/05/HELMA-P_ENG.pdf (Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)
17 June 22. Hornet adds C-UAS capability to its RCWS, integrated with Milrem UGV. According to a social media post, Hornet launched yesterday its Hornet Air Guard solution to offer anti-drone detection & neutralization capabilities to the HORNET remote controlled weapon station (RCWS).
“The HORNET Air Guard adds a Gonio RF (CERBAIR HYDRA 300) and a radar which are fitted on the Hornet’s independent smoke grenade launcher ring,” says a report from the show. “Both systems constantly scan the area while the RCWS can still be used normally for observation or combat missions. Upon detection of a hostile drone, the operator is automatically warned of the threat and can validate an RCWS rally with identification via optronics. The drone can then be neutralized with the automatic 40mm grenade launcher and an air-burst grenade.”
“The system retains the independent GALIX smoke grenade launcher, effectively protecting the vehicle during combat operations. The Battlenet system coordinates all these functions together.”
The Hornet RCWS was shown integrated with the robotics and autonomous systems Milrem Robotics THeMIS Combat unmanned ground vehicle (UGV). According to Milrem: “The Hornet RCWS was developed for the new French 4×4 and 6×6 armoured vehicle program “Scorpion”, however, it offers unique features for UGV applications. One of these is a specific cleaning system for the optronics as well as the option to flip down the sensors to protect them from dirt and damage. The second is a protected ammunition feed.
“These are crucial aspects for an unmanned vehicle operated from a distance,” explained Jean Boy, Managing Director of Hornet, adding that the Hornet was developed keeping in mind the French Army’s high standards for firing accuracy. THeMIS Combat UGVs provide direct fire support for manoeuvre forces and act as a force multiplier increasing stand-off distance, force protection and situational awareness.”
“Hornet is a new generation remote weapon system which has exceptional features making it especially suitable for unmanned operations. The autonomous THeMIS is a very stable and extremely capable mobility platform that makes this combination a valuable asset for different military operations,” said Kuldar Väärsi, CEO of Milrem Robotics. “Adding this THeMIS Combat to even small military units, increases their firepower and capabilities tremendously.”
The THeMIS Combat is on display at Milrem Robotics’ stand in Hall 6 K 253. For more information: https://www.hornet-defense.com/
20 Jun 22. Marduk to focus on Shark C-UAV gimbal, secures customer.
Marduk will focus development efforts on the gimbal and target detection and tracking capabilities of its Shark counter-unmanned aerial vehicle (C-UAV) system, company representatives told Janes.
Speaking at Eurosatory 2022 in Paris, Leet Rauno Lember, Marduk’s chief operating officer, said that the company has recognised that the Shark system’s gimbal provides a precise and fast target tracking capability, and that they will focus on developing the unit – with the potential to scale the system. They will also work to enhance its target acquisition, recognition, and tracking capabilities, which had proven to be effective in trials and on deployment, he added.
The current configuration features the Shark gimbal equipped with mid- and long-range electro-optical cameras, an infrared camera, and a laser rangefinder.
According to Lember, the system has demonstrated the ability to detect a DJI Mavic air vehicle at 2.7 km, and to track the same target at 4.5 km.
Lember said that Marduk has developed its software to filter the air picture, removing clutter that might otherwise provide a false track, such as birds. (Source: Janes)
16 June 22. Elbit Systems Introduces COAPS-L, Converting the Acclaimed Sight into a Lightweight ISTAR Payload.
- COAPS-L provides light platforms with the ISTAR capabilities and situational awareness of Armored Fighting Vehicles
Elbit Systems unveils COPAS-L, a new Electro-Optical (EO) payload for Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance (ISTAR). COAPS-L is a miniaturized configuration of the Company’s Commander Open Architecture Panoramic Sight (COAPS) that is in service onboard Main Battle Tanks and Armored Fighting Vehicles (AFV) around the world.
The new payload will be showcased for the first time during the Eurosatory 2022 as part of the Elbit Systems’ display (Hall 6, D567) and integrated onboard an Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV) as part of the Roboteam presentation (Hall 5B, A-35B).
With small dimensions and weighing only 40kg, COPAS-L provides light platforms such as light tactical vehicles, UGVs and surface vessels with AFV-level ISTAR capabilities. The COPAS-L payload operates either as an independent ISTAR payload or combined with the platform’s weapon station.
The highly stabilized COAPS-L includes a Medium Wave Infra-Red (MWIR) or a Long Wave Infra-Red (LWIR) channel, thermal channel, High Definition (HD) color day camera, eye-safe laser range finder, and an automated target tracker, providing 360-degrees, long-range ISTAR capabilities, day and night, on-the-move or stationary. In addition, COAPS-L features Artificial Intelligence video analytics enabling Automatic Target Recognition and classification, Video Motion Detection and enhanced image processing. The COAPS-L open architecture supports integration with command and control systems and with other onboard sub-systems. (Source: ASD Network)
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.