Sponsored by Blighter Surveillance Systems
23 Apr 20. Sensor solution provider HENSOLDT has developed a modular airborne electronic combat system: Kalætron Attack. By neutralising enemy fire control radars at different distances, it preserves freedom of movement for the air forces that deploy it and their allies, even when faced with state-of-the-art air defence systems. Kalætron Attack is a new addition to the Kalætron electronic warfare product family, which uses fully digitalised hardware and artificial intelligence to detect radar-based threats to air forces in record time and neutralise them with targeted electronic countermeasures (ECM).
“Our Kalætron Integral uses the latest sensor technology to detect radar-based threats early on,” explained Celia Pelaz, Head of HENSOLDT’s Spectrum Dominance & Airborne Solutions Division. “Kalætron Attack now adds an active electronic jamming component, which either dazzles or deceives threatening systems using accurately replicated jamming signals. In this way, Kalætron Attack expands the operational options of fighter aircraft, which can now also operate in anti-access/area denial (A2/AD) zones.”
Due to its fully digital design, Kalætron Attack detects and identifies air defence positions very quickly over a wide frequency range. The unit uses artificial intelligence (AI) techniques to recognise new threat patterns from a huge amount of collected pulses. This is especially important for identifying the latest air defence radar systems which cover an extremely wide frequency range or hop between particular frequencies in fractions of a second.
Kalætron Attack can be flexibly adjusted to changing threats using innovative antenna designs with active electronically scanned array (AESA) technology, fully digital signal processing and AI algorithms. The Kalætron product family thus forms the basis for enabling fighter aircraft to not only take on an electronic combat role (ECR) and perform escort jamming for aircraft units, but also to protect them from a great distance away through stand-off jamming. Experience from recent conflicts has shown that such equipment designed to counter the threat posed by the latest air defence systems will be essential for aircraft deployed in the future. With ‘Kalaetron Attack’ HENSOLDT as the German Sensor House would like to provide a national answer to the luWES programme (luWES = luftgestützte Wirkung im elektromagnetischen Spektrum) and contribute substantially to future European defence cooperation programmes such as FCAS.
23 Apr 20. Aerostat for Enhanced Electronic Payload Testing. Carolina Unmanned Vehicles, Inc. has announced the availability of its in-house Lightweight Aerostat System (LAS) to support testing of various electronic payloads. Suitable payloads may include EO/IR Surveillance, Networked Communications Relays and Signal Intelligence collection.
CUV has upgraded their capability to test payloads up to approximately 40 pounds and altitudes up to 3000 feet. The aerostat is an ideal platform for electronic testing as it has extended endurance, to days if necessary. It is also electronically silent, with no control links, electronic noise from engines, etc. to minimize interference.
Lightweight Aerostat System (LAS) Test Unit Features
- Persistent 24/7 EO/IR Surveillance Payloads
- Long Range Communications C3 Relays (Line of Sight To 50 Nm)
- Positioning, Navigation and Timing (PNT) Pseudolite Payloads
- Electronic Intelligence, Signal Intelligence, Communication Intelligence (ELINT / SIGINT / COMINT) Payloads
Testing services are available near Raleigh North Carolina, or since the LAS is trailer mounted it can be brought to a customer selected location. (Source: UAS VISION)
23 Apr 20. New Compact Airborne EO/IR Surveillance System from Octopus ISR Systems. Octopus ISR Systems has announced the release of the new Epsilon 140LC compact airborne electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) surveillance system. Featuring industry-leading size, weight, power and cost (SWAP-c) specifications, the Epsilon 140LC combines cutting-edge sensor technology with high precision geo-location to provide true next-generation performance for Small Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and similar platforms.
The Epsilon 140LC integrates a high-definition 30x zoom EO sensor and a top-of-the-line LWIR sensor with 25mm / F 1.0 lens into a single compact system weighing less than 1.3 kilograms. This high level of integration enables smaller UAV platform producers to use professional high performance surveillance systems without sacrificing endurance at an affordable price.
The Epsilon 140LC’s completely sealed, nitrogen-filled design enables the system to operate in any weather conditions, and its robust magnesium structure is optimized to handle demanding applications including shock and rapid acceleration. The payload can be installed in either nose- or belly-mounted positions, offering installation design flexibility for the end user. These features, together with the system’s compact design, makes the Epsilon 140LC an ideal choice for UAVs with limited payload capacity.
Presentation of MWIR capability of Epsilon 175 installed on Penguin C UAV
According to publicly available information, the Epsilon 140LC delivers positive identification from significantly longer distances than other systems of this size and weight, making it an invaluable surveillance and intelligence-gathering tool for the small UAV market. As with previous Epsilon gimbals, the Epsilon 140LC offers superior image quality with outstanding stabilization performance, making it an ideal solution for locating and identifying targets at maximum range.
“UAV platform producers are always seeking ISR payloads offering new capabilities at the smallest size, weight, power and cost, and the Epsilon 140LC raises the bar for performance in a uniquely compact product,” said Konstantins Krivovs, Business Development Manager of Octopus ISR Systems. “This innovative new product is designed to address the need in the smaller UAV market for professional payloads with top functionality that stay within significant cost and weight constraints.. At the same time, the Epsilon 140LC offers new benefits to manufacturers of larger UAVs: the small weight and reliable performance of the payload enhances platform endurance, allowing for longer missions or the capacity to carry additional equipment.” (Source: UAS VISION)
21 Apr 20. Keeping Constant Cohesion and Awareness. US SOF continue to evaluate the L3 Harris Technologies F-Pano ground panoramic night vision goggles which include AR capabilities.
SOF small units must be fed real-time and accurate situation awareness, particularly when operating in anti-access area denied (A2AD) environments.
Describing how command and control (C2) and connectivity could be effected by the physical environment, distance from support and infrastructure or enemy activity, Systematic product manager, Jesper Annexgaard warned that near peer adversaries now possessed advanced technologies that could be disruptive to such capabilities across the battlespace.
“Resilience and the ability to function with a variety of communications systems are essential if effective C2 and situation awareness are to be maintained. We have developed our systems to deliver these capabilities via SATCOM and even low-bandwidth RF communications, such as personal radios,” he highlighted.
Systematic’s SitaWare Tactical Communications
Annexgaard described how Systematic’s SitaWare Tactical Communications optimises the use of bandwidth, recognising when it is not possible to transmit the requisite information and waiting for windows of opportunity to do so.
SOF operators conducting missions in A2AD environments particularly require up-to-date situation awareness and command and control. Many SOF entities around the World are adopting USSOCOM’s ATAK. (Systematic)
“In the tactical environment this can frequently be the case, such as when SOF take cover behind obstacles that restrict communications or enter buildings, it is also likely to be a factor in anti-access area denial (A2AD) scenarios.
“We also consider human factors to be of paramount importance in system design, and for the high intensity operating conditions in which SOF are typically employed the potential for cognitive overload is very real. That is why we have designed our Frontline and Edge systems – for the mounted and dismounted commanders respectively – to have intuitive interfaces and the ability to create information overlays that can be quickly added and removed.
“Our core technology is more than capable of presenting C2 and SA information on a range of device types and sizes, however, this is only useful it is done in a manner that does not introduce cognitive burden.”
Speaking to Armada International, product manager at Thermoteknix, Alistair Brown, who has been involved in the “development, promotion and evaluation of multiple products with various SOF organisations”, described how SOF units continued to demand the highest maturity in C4I (Command, Control, Communications, Intelligence) technology.
“The increasing use of portable C4I and Android Tactical Assault Kits (ATAKs) by special forces in a number of countries increases the power and data systems on the head, including night vision, to be fully integrated,” Brown explained.
“As always, size, weight and power [SWAP] is valued by any highly mobile force. Increasing use of mobile C4I and AR [Augmented Reality] technologies increases the need for the ability to view this data both during day and night operations,” he said referencing Thermoteknix’s latest solutions including the ClipIR XD Thermal Imager; CoVid Video Injection Unit; and ConnectIR Android Image and Data Sharing App.
Thermoteknix’s CoVid Video Injection Unit allows SOF operators to maintain eyes on target while simultaneously remaining hidden and observing situation awareness data. (Thermoteknix)
“Cross training between SOF forces from many countries leads to a uniformity of equipment fit and operating procedures. But the US still lead the way with new initiatives,” Brown confirmed before adding that “the speed at which these flow down from US to other NATO and friendly forces is increasing.”
“Both our ClipIR XD and CoVid, launched at DSEI 2019, allow users to have a covert feed of C4I data from ATAK systems without any loss of situation awareness,” Brown said that Thermoteknix had supplied units to a number of undisclosed SOF organisations in both Europe and South East Asia.
Thermoteknix’s ClipIR XD provides SOF operators with a fusion upgrade to legacy I2 night vision goggles with the infection of a thermal image while maintaining 40-degree fields of view.
The unit can be supplied without an internal battery requirement, allowing it to draw power from an integrated helmet system in order to reduce overall weight and optimise helmet balance. The ClipIR XD also has an option for video input, allowing users to view video overlays such as symbology directly through night vision goggles and other end user devices, Brown added.
“The ClipIR XD already has a video input and the format and connector are common to the free standing CoVid heads up display. CoVid has been trialled in conjunction with Applied Research Associates’ ARC4 Recon system by specialist user groups in the US and Europe”, Brown explained before concluding: “The SOF community perform a wide range of activities ranging from HALO parachute operations, land and sea. The ClipIR XD is fully qualified to cover all these diverse operating environments.”
CoVid Video Injection Unit
Additionally, Thermoteknix has made available its CoVid Video Injection Unit which enables the use of HUDs for combat operations in complete darkness, allowing SOF operators to maintain eyes on target while simultaneously remaining hidden and observing SA data.
The CoVid unit is powered by its host system and weighs less than 50g when attached to a night vision device, company literature added.
Finally, Thermoteknix’s ConnectIR Android Image and Data Sharing App networks images and data between TiCAM 1000 cameras (TiCAM 1000A, 1000B and 1000C) and other devices including smartphones, tablets and computers.
“ConnectIR is indispensable for surveillance, homeland security, CT, military and police forces, providing near real-time sharing of thermal and visible images with operators and target location data using commercial or military networks,” Brown continued.
L3Harris Technologies’ F-Pano
US SOF units continue to evaluate L3Harris Technologies’ latest range in fused intelligence products. This includes the Fused-Ground Panoramic Night Vision Goggles (F-Pano) which comprises an upgrade of the GPNVGs currently in service with USSOCOM as well as numbers SOF entities around the world including KSK.
The F-Pano comprises a next-generation capability upgrade to end users seeking to enhance their situation awareness through the fusion of Infrared and I2 sight pictures as well as AR and wireless communications.
Designed to be integrated with any software defined radio, including L3Harris Technologies’ own AN/PRC-163 Next Generation Tactical Communications handheld SDR (recently selected by USSOCOM), the F-Pano is designed to provide end users with enhanced levels in situation awareness to support “improved mobility, targeting and lethality”, according to the company.
Providing operators with a 97-degree field-of-view and white phosphor technology in a quad-tube goggle design, the F-Pano also allows end users to access common operating environment imagery and digitally communicate position information across the battlefield, as well as determine the location and identity blue, red and green forces and other items of interest.
“The F-Pano ensures hyper-enabled special forces customers maintain operational overmatch against ongoing threats,” explained vice president and general manager of L3’s Warrior Mission Solutions business, Lynn Bollengier.
“The F-Pano also incorporates a high-resolution display and an embedded wireless personal area network that uses augmented reality algorithms to interface with the operator’s end user device. The complete system facilitates a hyper-enabled operator with the ability to interface with multiple sensors throughout the battlespace, providing enhanced interoperability and data sharing,” a company statement added.
L3Harris Technologies delivered a total of three technology demonstrators to force elements within USSOCOM in March 2019, with Bollengier explaining to Armada International how the company’s customer base remains “very specific about what they wanted in terms of mission pre-sets and information displayed on board the GPNVGs”.
Elsewhere, Spanish company NVLS is also marketing its own set of QuadEye panoramic NVGs following their unveiling at the SOF Innovation Network Seminar in France on 3 April 2019.
Featuring a similar quad-IR tube design to L3Harris’ GPNVG, the QuadEye continues to be evaluated by SOF organisations in Europe, according to Martin Snijders, marketing communication manager at NVLS’s distributor Photonis.
Providing end users with a 104-degree FOV, QuadEyes operate in the 350-1,100nm spectral range. (Source: Armada)
22 Apr 20. Iranian military unveils long-range surveillance radars. The Iranian military unveiled two air surveillance radars on 19 April that included a long-range, low frequency station that appears to be a development of an existing system. The Iranian media identified the radars as the Khalij Fars (Persian Gulf) and the Moraqeb (Vigilant). Amir Samad Aghamohammadi, head of the Army’s Air Defence Research and Self-Sufficiency Jihad Organisation, was cited as saying the Khalij Fars is a bi-static (where the transmitters and receivers are not co-located) radar that operates in a very low frequency band and can detect any type of aircraft or ballistic missile out to a range of 800km. The Moraqeb is a three-dimensional phased array radar that was claimed to have range of 400 km and the ability to detect small aircraft and missiles at low and medium altitudes. (Source: Jane’s)
22 Apr 20. PCO S.A. and RAFAEL sign Memorandum Of Understandings for co-production of TOPLITE electro-optical systems in Poland. PCO S.A. of Poland and RAFAEL Advanced Defense Systems of Israel have signed a Memorandum Of Understandings for co-production of TOPLITE electro-optical systems (EOS) in Poland. The main purpose of this cooperation is the modernization of Polish Mi-24 helicopters.
The two companies have been cooperating since 2007 for supply of optoelectronic heads for Poland’s Głuszec helicopters.
Under the MOU, PCO S.A. will be the only supplier of TOPLITE systems for recipients from Poland. Under this agreement, PCO S.A. will become part of the supplier chain under other RAFAEL programs.
The Toplite EOS family is an advanced multi-sensor, multi-purpose, highly stabilized EO/ISR solution for homeland security and defense applications. It is used for a variety of applications on different platforms for intelligence/data collection, surveillance, reconnaissance and weapon direction.
TOPLITE is mature, proven and fielded in more than 20 countries in all branches of the armed forces. It incorporates up to seven sensors for detection, tracking, identification, and targeting. Toplite EOS enables automatic or manual monitoring and investigation using its advanced control unit, Situational Awareness (SAW) and Image processing package. Toplite EOS is derived from the Litening targeting and navigation pod, of which RAFAEL has sold and supplied over 1600 units. It therefore enjoys all the latest developments made for the world’s leading targeting system. Toplite EOS features an extensive growth potential, enabling its utilization for many years in a changing operational environment. This growth potential will be realized in advanced sensor integration and unique image enhancement techniques.
Toplite is an integral part of Rafael’s air defence systems and naval systems, and is fully integrated with SPIKE missile family on Helicopters and other platforms.
21 Apr 20. Citadel Defense Launches New AI and Machine Learning Software to Detect and Defeat Drones. Citadel Defense, a supplier of combat-proven counter drone technology to militaries, governments, and commercial organizations, has expanded its AI solution to detect, identify, and defeat unmanned systems in the air, on land, or at sea.
Where other C-UAS sensing modalities using radar or cyber takeover tactics are limited by ground clutter or responsiveness to new threats, Citadel’s Titan enhances those technologies to deliver necessary force protection when all sensors are fused together.
“Unmanned systems have changed the landscape of military, intelligence, and security operations. We must think beyond aerial threats when protecting personnel and sensitive critical infrastructure. If our military is using RC-controlled platforms across each domain, we must expect that our adversaries will too,” says Christopher Williams, CEO of Citadel Defense.
As small unmanned systems become a more popular weapon of choice, Citadel has remained agile with their AI and machine learning algorithms to address surface-based threats and robotic platforms. These threats are creating challenges for military and security teams that legacy electronic warfare and most C-UAS systems fail to address.
Citadel’s software will be rolled out to over 100+ Titan systems in the field. Titan’s open architecture ensures that the breadth of capability and protection offered by the Titan can be integrated into any layered system purchased by U.S. military, government, or commercial customers.
“We used cognitive technologies including robotic process automation, AI, and deep learning from the very beginning of our development two years ago. End user and environmental feedback refined our models allowing us to deliver a nimble system with immediate software patches to stay ahead of our adversaries. Having this capability effective across fixed, mobile, and dismounted operations is a disruptive technology that meets the doctrinal needs of our military” explained Williams.
Titan offers an industry-leading radiofrequency and electronic countermeasure capability that addresses the counter unmanned system mission set across the full spectrum of operations within a standalone system. Citadel’s commercially available and combat proven technology was the first to apply AI and machine learning to the counter unmanned system problem. These technological advancements, coupled with the systems autonomous operation, highlight the company’s disruptive approach that puts the priorities of the warfighter, national security, and taxpayers first. (Source: UAS VISION)
20 Apr 20. DroneShield Ltd (ASX:DRO) (“DroneShield” or the “Company”) announced the release of the next generation version of its body-worn drone detection device, RfPatrol MKIITM. The original RfPatrolTM was released in May 2019, having proven to be a well-regarded product, with purchases by a number of high profile customers around the world. The device is completely passive (non-emitting), substantially broadening the range of customers to whom the product is lawfully available, and also appealing to use cases where the device cannot be detectable to the enermy forces due to having no emissions. The next generation of the product is approximately 40% smaller in size, with a reduced weight of 800g (including battery), further ruddedization, as well as a range of further enhancements requested by the end users following last 12 months of in-field deployments.
15 Apr 20. US Justice Department gives new guidance to federal agencies on intercepting rogue drones. A statement by the US Attorney General directed at official US agencies says they can intercept drone communications and seek approval to use counter drone technologies for asset protection. The new guidance issued by the Department of Justice guidance to its agencies relates to the use of counter-unmanned aircraft systems (C-UAS). In the Preventing Emerging Threats Acts of 2018, Congress provided the DOJ and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) with the necessary legal authorities to detect, track, and mitigate threats from small UAS, according to a report published by the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI). The latest guidance, which DOJ released on 13 April 2020, outlines the process to request designation of facilities or assets to protect with the technology.
In addition, agencies need to coordinate with the US Department of Transportation and the FAA when any C-UAS action might affect aviation safety, operations, aircraft airworthiness and the use of the airspace. They are also required to provide personnel with training on privacy and civil liberty matters, as well as testing and procurement processes. The guidance applies to DOJ agencies such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Drug Enforcement Agency and the US Marshals services.
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15 Apr 20. Germany issues technical support tender for national drone detection system appraisal. Germany’s air navigation service provider Deutsche Flugicherung GmbH (DFS) has issued a tender for support services in evaluating its nationwide Drone Detection Systems (DDS) network
DFS was tasked by the government to research counter UAS equipment purchases and integration of a DDS into the national UTM system to protect the airspace up to 4,000ft and 18km around the country’s 16 largest airports, according to Ralf Heidger of the DFS, speaking at the U-space ConOps and research dissemination conference, Eurocontrol, September 30-October 1. The agency has developed a concept which integrates the DDS with the national UTM and ATM systems.
Under the original concept each DDS will comprise phased array and other bespoke radars, radio frequency detectors fused with primary trackers to ensure the system can distinguish between drones, commercial aircraft and other flying objects. The system will be fully integrated within the UTM, which will be able to tell which of these tracks are being cooperatively tracked, or not.
According to the latest DFS procurement text:
“The procurement relates to the provision of services to carry out technical and scientific evaluations of test positions for various DDS. DFS is looking for independent manufacturers with proven experience in the field of drone detection and multi-sensor data fusion. The evaluation includes the creation of tools and evaluation concepts and related administrative requirements. Evaluation activities will include activities such as testing the probability of detection, range, the detection range, total detections, position accuracy, track continuity and stability, and additional global DDS performance measures.
Tender documents are available at: https://www.subreport.de/E82142937
Date of issue: 16 April 2020
Deadline for receipt of offers or requests to participate: 18 May 2020
Selection date: 8 June 2020
Point of contact: email@example.com
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17 Apr 20. Mercury Systems Receives $30m Video Display Contract Award for Mobile Ground Vehicles. Mercury Systems, Inc., a leader in trusted, secure mission-critical technologies for aerospace and defense, announced it received a $30m multi-year award from a leading defense prime contractor to provide video display technology for integration into mobile ground vehicles. The award has a 36-month planned performance and shipment period.
Mercury displays are purpose-built to provide the highest performance, durability and longevity available to meet the rigorous environmental demands of military and commercial customers,” said Ike Song, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Mercury’s Mission Systems group. “Our ability to configure every characteristic of the display such as resolution, operational temperature and night vision compatibility is a great example of our commitment to Innovation that Matters, providing the superior clarity needed to positively identify objects more quickly, without the use of additional personnel or assets.”
Mercury is accelerating innovation for its customers as the Company bridges the gap between commercial technology and defense applications to meet the industry’s current and emerging needs. (Source: ASD Network)
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.