Sponsored by Blighter Surveillance Systems
10 Jan 19. Russian Army receives SNAR-10 M1 radar. The Russian Army’s Central Military District has been equipped with the SNAR-10 M1 self-propelled anti-tank radar, the Russian Ministry of Defence announced on 8 January. The SNAR-10 M1 radar is designed for reconnaissance of moving ground, air and surface targets and is capable of detecting tanks and other vehicles at ranges of 200m to 40km. The radar is equipped with an internal and external communication system with automated data transmission, and satellite navigation. The system can be deployed for combat in 5.5 minutes and can operate autonomously for three days at a time. (Source: Shephard)
10 Jan 19. UK Defence secretary calls for more anti-drone technology at airports. Gavin Williamson demands increased investment after sightings shut Gatwick and Heathrow. Drone sightings at Gatwick in December disrupted the travel plans of 140,000 passengers after 1,000 flights were cancelled. UK Defence secretary Gavin Williamson has called for airports to significantly increase their investment in anti-drone technology in the wake of unmanned aerial vehicle sightings shutting down the UK’s two busiest airports. Mr Williamson called the technology “a prudent thing for them to be investing in”. “What everyone will be expecting is quite a significant change and uptick in terms of investment that all airports are making in terms of this technology because it wouldn’t be right to expect the RAF to be the people that are constantly stepping in on this,” he said. “I will be expecting and [transport secretary] Chris Grayling will also be expecting to see all airports to be making that investment.” Airport chiefs were scheduled to meet aviation minister Liz Sugg and security minister Ben Wallace on Thursday to discuss the drone threat and how to respond to it. After drone sightings shut down Gatwick over three days in December, causing 1,000 flights to be cancelled and disrupting 140,000 people’s travel plans, the airport confirmed it had spent about £5m on anti-drone technology. The military provided assistance to Gatwick to stop the drone. Heathrow was shut down for an hour after a drone sighting on Tuesday. It too has bought anti-drone equipment. Mr Williamson said: “The RAF, like all the armed forces, stands ready to serve and step in when there is a problem or a crisis . . . that’s what the British people expect and that’s what they always deliver.”
Julian Lewis, chair of the Commons defence select committee, wrote to Mr Williamson on Wednesday to ask him to explain whether the Ministry of Defence had “an adequate contingency plan for unauthorised, and potentially threatening, drone activity” at the UK’s airports. Mr Lewis also asked Mr Williamson to explain why there had been “breakdowns in implementation at Gatwick” and what lessons had been learned. The head of the Royal Air Force, Air Chief Marshal Stephen Hillier, welcomed the decision by the airports to invest in drone defence equipment but added that the events at Gatwick and Heathrow had shown how easy it was to bring infrastructure to a halt. “What we have seen is a demonstration of how relatively cheap technologies can disrupt things which are important in our day-to-day lives,” Sir Stephen said. He added that although the recent drone disruption was not apparently intended to be destructive, “we have certainly seen in overseas operations people are using that cheap drone technology for malign intent”. (Source: FT.com)
09 Jan 19. This new tool lets Army leaders see the battlefield from anywhere in the world. Soldiers recently tested software that would allow commanders to plug into the battlefield picture being seen by their soldiers in remote locations from across the globe, providing mission command from home station. Units in the 82nd Airborne Division, 4th Infantry Division, 62nd Expeditionary Signal Battalion and 2nd Cavalry Regiment have all tested the software, which remains in beta, or testing mode, according to an Army release. Soldiers with the 4th Infantry Division’s 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team used the Tactical Interface Tracking Node during a November rotation at the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, California.
“TITAN users can pull up maps, view multiple global locations, and color-code their soldiers’ locations,” said Flora Marshall, product lead for the Mission Command Support Center. “It enables chat, messaging, sending attachments, filing situation reports, and creating distribution lists.”
It enables detailed communications while sharing a common operational picture for one or more areas of operations.
TITAN uses the existing Blue Force Tracking network infrastructure that enables friendly force tracking for tens of thousands of Army and Marine Corps vehicles with Joint Battle Command-Platform hardware and software. It requires only a secure computer and no additional equipment beyond what is being used in the field now. Much of what soldiers are using mirrors software and interfaces they see in civilian life.
“It’s bringing communications capabilities and tools — similar to what soldiers use in the commercial world — directly to the tactical edge,” Marshall said.
On the other end of the mission command chain, developers with the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command’s Communications-Electronics Center at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, have found ways to make field mission command equipment more robust, mobile and smaller.
Some of the advances include the Expeditionary Command Post shelter, a 20-foot box with integrated power outlets, air conditioning, network cabling and video distribution system. It’s containerized so that it can be hauled on a truck or sling-loaded under a helicopter.
Another mobile option researchers built is the Light-Mobile Command Post, a pull-out table and tent combination that is installed in the back of a Humvee. It includes fixed TV monitors, built-in radio networks, cabling and computers.
Beyond a structure or tent solution, researchers have also outfitted small and mid-size all-terrain vehicles, specifically the Polaris MRZR. The focus of these is to provide airborne or air assault operations with a full-fledged command post in a smaller package. Those types of field solutions give the soldiers on site ways to move, grab a picture of what’s going on and direct forces in rapidly-evolving engagements. The new TITAN software lets those at home station or at other levels of command peer into that field picture and better direct the complex movements of fast-paced operations. Developers began the pilot program in August and are expected to conclude testing in February. They will then add capabilities and determine when to field the capability. (Source: Defense News)
09 Jan 19. xG’s IMT Vislink wins USAF airborne video downlink system contract. xG Technology’s IMT Vislink business has received a contract from the US Air Force (USAF) to supply airborne video downlink systems (AVDS). Under the contract, IMT Vislink will deliver transmit and receive systems, and ground-based units designed to display real-time video imagery taken by aerial assets, in addition to related component and accessories with the required training services. The $900,000 order is a follow-on to an award that was signed in May and similar to a contract the company received from the US Army in November 2017.
IMT Vislink president and chief operating officer John Payne said: “IMT Vislink remains a trusted partner to our armed forces, owing to our reliable, high-performance, rapidly deployable video communications systems.
“Our ability to provide solutions that meet stringent requirements and can support the most demanding applications and deployment scenarios underscores our leadership in customisable, mission-critical video technology.”
The IMT Vislink downlink technology supports the collection, distribution, and management of real-time video across all deployed assets. The AVDS is an aerial-based video transmission solution that provides real-time surveillance to enhance law enforcement, emergency and critical infrastructure operations. AVDS consists of downlink transmitters, receivers and antennas that capture real-time high-definition video from drones, helicopters and other aircraft.
The video can be viewed at command centres, mobile units and on video management systems. The system provides safety and security to ground-based missions and supports surveillance, assessment and deployment operations. It can be used to improve situational awareness by offering forces on the ground a clear view of what is being captured from airborne units. (Source: airforce-technology.com)
08 Jan 19. US Army moves IBCS closer to deployment. The US Army’s effort to network ‘shooters and sensors’ on the battlefield will continue its developmental testing through 2019 with testing of production representative hardware and software, which will lead to operational testing in 2020. The Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) Battle Command System (IBCS) is a common integrated fire control capability across a single, integrated fire control network providing a high-fidelity Single Integrated Air Picture (SIAP). IBCS provides the functional capabilities to control and manage the IAMD sensors and shooters. Although IBCS initial operational capability (IOC) is not expected until fiscal year 2022 (FY 2022), the army has said it will evaluate early fielding opportunities based upon system performance in near-term developmental and operational testing in 2020. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
08 Jan 19. Blackmore Announces the World’s First Doppler Lidar for Autonomous Fleets.
- Blackmore’s AFDL and LDP product lines deliver interference-free operation with range extent beyond 450 meters
- Blackmore’s systems measure instantaneous velocity on every data point, which enhances AI perception and informs safer autonomous systems
Blackmore Sensors and Analytics, Inc., the pioneers behind Doppler lidar for automotive applications, today announced two new product lines. The Blackmore AFDL is a Doppler lidar system specifically designed for autonomous fleet deployment. And the flexible Blackmore LDP is a development platform for early deployment into emerging autonomous markets such as long-haul trucking and air taxi systems. These two products address the massive demand for smarter, interference-free lidar solutions across the automotive market and beyond.
The Doppler Lidar Difference: Instantaneous Velocity Without Interference
With more than $1bn invested in the lidar space since 2015, it’s increasingly difficult for end users to identify a solution that delivers as promised. This is because the majority of lidar vendors focus on using amplitude modulation (AM) pulse-based lidar technologies. As a result, OEMs and suppliers are struggling with the inadequate data created by these power-hungry AM lidar sensors. And as lidar use becomes more prevalent, interference-prone AM systems are less effective and unsafe.
To address this, in 2015 Blackmore introduced the world’s first frequency-modulation (FM) lidar systems for autonomous vehicles, which measure both range and velocity simultaneously. For context, chipset-driven industries – including cell phones, automotive radars and GPS systems – also migrated from AM to FM modulation in order to deliver interference-free data at long range, using less power. “The reality is that physics ultimately wins, no matter how much funding chases inferior alternatives,” said Dr. Randy Reibel, CEO and co-founder of Blackmore. “But more importantly, FM-based Doppler lidar sensors are safer for self-driving applications.”
Blackmore’s team has spent more than 10 years refining FM techniques and has been shipping high-performance lidar systems that are easy to use for automotive applications since 2017. Blackmore continues to propel this advanced technology forward with its two new products.
Blackmore’s Autonomous Fleet Doppler Lidar (AFDL)
Developers building autonomous fleets have long craved Doppler lidar, in order to access the tremendous benefits provided by its velocity-enabled point clouds. Blackmore’s AFDL resolves the challenges that stymied AM lidar. As a result, fleets will see a dramatic increase in reliability and lower operating costs by reducing time-to-perception and data-annotation overhead.
Specifically, the multi-beam Doppler lidar sensor delivers instantaneous velocity and range data beyond 450 meters, with power consumption and size similar to a small laptop. The system supports a 120 x 30-degree field of view, software defined operation, precise velocity measurements with accuracy down to 0.1 meters/second on objects moving up to 150m/s (335mph), and measurement rates in excess of 2.4 million points/second. Blackmore’s AFDL is available for pre-order and will ship to customers in Q2 for less than $20,000. Samples are shipping to strategic partners now.
Blackmore’s Lidar Development Platform (LDP)
From air taxis and long-haul trucking to airport operations and industrial warehouse robotics, a number of industries want access to Blackmore’s precise, velocity-informed lidar. To address this demand and support expansion into new markets, Blackmore is now shipping its Lidar Development Platform (LDP). The highly flexible platform pairs Blackmore’s powerful lidar engine with interchangeable optical sensor heads to make it easy for companies to explore, test and adapt Doppler lidar for their specific needs. “Development partners want to be part of the design process, and this new lidar platform helps our customers efficiently hone their spec requests and better understand the advantages that Doppler lidar brings to their applications,” said Jim Curry, co-founder and vice president of analytics at Blackmore.
Because Blackmore uses software-defined lidar data, customers can tailor the operational parameters – including field of view, range, point density and scan speed – on the fly with its flexible API. The long-range forward-look optical head covers a 40 x 40-degree field of view, provides two beams to increase point throughput to greater than 1.2 million points/second, and can reach out well beyond 500 meters of range extent. Additional sensor heads will be introduced over time, and prices will vary depending upon configuration. Blackmore’s LDP is available for order immediately.
About Blackmore Sensors and Analytics, Inc.
Blackmore is pioneering the development of compact and robust Doppler lidar sensors, and supporting analytic tools and software, for a variety of rigorous, mission critical, automotive, industrial and military environments. Where cost and performance specifications limit more traditional sensors, Blackmore’s technology brings the advanced tool sets of modern radar into the optical domain, enabling a new era of unprecedented lidar system performance. Blackmore is based in Bozeman, Montana. (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)
07 Jan 19. FLIR Launches Second Generation Thermal Camera for Self-Driving Cars and New Thermal Handheld for Automotive Repair. Company Unveils Self-Driving Test Vehicle Featuring Automatic Emergency Breaking Enabled by FLIR Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: FLIR) today announced two thermal imaging cameras for the automotive industry, its next-generation thermal vision Automotive Development Kit (ADK™) for the development of self-driving cars and a handheld diagnostic thermal camera for auto enthusiasts and professionals, the FLIR TG275.
FLIR’s second generation all-weather thermal-vision automotive development kit (ADK) augments other autonomous vehicle sensors and offers the redundancy needed to improve safety. (Photo: Business Wire)
FLIR also unveiled a thermal enhanced self-driving test vehicle that demonstrates how thermal cameras improve the safety of advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) and fill performance gaps in the autonomous vehicles (AV) of tomorrow.
The next-generation thermal-vision ADK featuring the high-resolution FLIR Boson® thermal camera core is designed to help automakers, tier-one automotive suppliers, and automotive innovators improve the safety of ADAS and self-driving vehicles. Paired with machine-learning algorithms for object classification, the ADK provides critical data from the far infrared portion of the electromagnetic spectrum to improve the decision making of AVs in common environments where other sensors experience challenges, such as darkness, shadows, sun glare, fog, smoke, or haze. The thermal-vision ADK augments the entire sensor suite and offers the redundancy needed to improve safety in AVs.
The new ADK is IP67 rated and now includes an integrated heated window for improved performance in all-weather testing. It also features Gigabit Multimedia Serial Link (GMSL), USB, and Ethernet connection for easier integration. The FLIR ADK is available for purchase at www.flir.com/adk.
FLIR’s Autonomous Test Vehicle
FLIR is also showing the industry’s first thermal camera-equipped commercial test vehicle featuring multiple FLIR ADK cameras that will provide a 360-degree street view. The car demonstrates the ADK’s integration capabilities with radar, LIDAR, and visible cameras found on autonomous test vehicles today. With thermal camera-enhanced automatic emergency braking (AEB), the car helps validate how thermal imaging with machine learning classification improves the functionality of AEB.
“For automated decision making on the roadway, thermal imaging cameras coupled with machine-learning capabilities provide the most effective method for pedestrian detection to save lives, particularly in cluttered environments or in poor visibility,” said Jim Cannon, President and CEO at FLIR. “Furthermore, the FLIR thermal-enhanced autonomous test vehicle demonstrates how thermal cameras can significantly improve urban, highway, and AEB performance and the overall safety of self-driving cars.”
Autonomous car developers interested in more information on the thermal-enhanced test vehicle may visit www.flir.com/adas.
The TG275 is FLIR’s first dedicated thermal camera for automotive technicians and home mechanics. In automobile repair, heat can often mean a potential issue, and the TG275 helps technicians spot problems before they lead to failures, and ultimately a roadside breakdown. Equipped with the FLIR Lepton® thermal microcamera, FLIR’s patented MSX® technology extracts high-contrast details from the images taken by an onboard visible light camera and superimposes them onto the thermal images. Also, the TG275 allows auto repair technicians to reduce diagnostic time and show customers evidence of the problem through before and after images of potential issues. The TG275 will be available this spring.
07 Jan 19. Verus delivers mobile SkyView C-UAS units to US Special Operations Command. Verus Technology Group has announced that it has received its first individual multi-million-dollar purchase order from U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) for its next-generation SkyView-MP Counter Unmanned Aircraft System (CUAS). VERUS has delivered a small number of its SkyView-MP V2 systems to other customers and has already started shipments for this significant order.
The SkyView-MP (Mobile Platform) is a small, lightweight, mobile drone detection system that provides 360° detection capability for long range “fact of” detection of the presence of a drone. The SkyView-MP is delivered with the necessary accessories to be powered via MILSPEC battery, shore power or vehicle power as well as a quickly deployable magnetic mount to transition the antenna to a vehicle/mobile application.
SkyView CUAS systems provide operators with long-range detection and tracking of small unmanned aircraft systems. The first production unit was delivered in 2017 and since then, more than 60 SkyView systems have been purchased and deployed globally by multiple U.S. Government entities. (Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)
07 Jan 19. RADA Electronic Industries Ltd. (NASDAQ: RADA) A leader in the development, production and sale of tactical land radar for force and border protection – announced that following the recent announcement by General Dynamics (Link to GD-OTS News Release) of a positive Army Requirements’ Oversight Council (AROC) decision, Phase II of the Iron Fist Light (IFL) Active Protection System (APS) for the Bradley Fighting Vehicle is moving forward.
The project is a joint venture between General Dynamics’ (NASDAQ: GD) subsidiary, General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems, together with Israel Military Industries (IMI), which was recently acquired by Elbit Systems (NASDAQ: ESLT). RADA is the provider of the radars to the Elbit/IMI IFL system.
The IFL system is a lightweight APS, providing enhanced survivability for armored and tactical platforms. RADA’s software defined radars identify and precisely track incoming threats, from any direction, in real time. The system then intercepts the threat by launching a small warhead and activating it at a safe distance from the protected platform at a precisely calculated moment, defeating the threat through a shock-wave effect.
In phase II of the IFL for Bradley project, RADA expects to receive near-term orders for the supply of radars for qualification testing, and the current potential is to equip one US army brigade of Bradley armored vehicles. This phase is expected to continue into the years 2020 and 2021.
Commented Mr. Dubi Sela, CEO of RADA, “The IFL is the ideal candidate for protecting the Bradley Fighting Vehicle, as the US Army continues its upgrade program for its primary troop carrier. Fielding Active Protection capabilities has been identified as a current and urgent need by the US Army. The APS market potential for RADA in the coming years is estimated at a few thousand vehicles of various types, just in the United States, while the total global potential is significantly greater. We are very proud to be a key technology provider for the Active Protection market, a new and emerging market which is heading mainstream in the USA and globally.”
06 Jan 19. China’s SZMID highlights handheld C-UAV system. Shen Zhou Ming Da High Technology Co Ltd (SZMID), a Beijing-based company specialising in radio frequency (RF) detection and jamming technology for counter unmanned aerial vehicle (C-UAV) applications, is eyeing export opportunities for its indigenously developed DZ-02 Pro Portable Jammer Gun. The DZ-02 Pro is intended to counter commercial multirotor and small fixed-wing UAVs, and can disrupt satellite navigation signals – BeiDou Galileo, GLONASS, and GPS systems – as well as RF communications in the 1.56 Mhz-1.62 GHz, 2.4-2.483 GHz, and 5.725-5.85 GHz wavelengths up to a maximum range of 1km.
The system weighs 4.8kg including the battery and has an overall length of 750 mm with its adjustable stock retracted, a height of 300mm including the optical sight, and a thickness of 60mm. It comprises a single RF antenna featuring a vertical and horizontal V-plane of 60° and a total power output of 15 W with this distributed evenly among its three RF channels. According to SZMID, the DZ-02 Pro is designed to cause a target to hover in place until its power is depleted or activate its return-home protocol. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
07 Jan 19. Dronekiller Demo to NATO Countries at NNTEX-18C. DRONEKILLER, a handheld Software Defined Radio created by IXI EW that can be used anywhere in the counter UAS kill-chain, participated in a NATO non-lethal technology exercise of counter-UAS at the Marine Corps Base Quantico. Over ten countries and United States Marine officials including Commandant Neller attended NNTEX-18C. During this week-long event, the DRONEKILLER showcased its abilities to defeat multiple drones in various scenarios. It was successful in disabling drones out to one thousand meters away. Because of the results of this event, the Ukraine has invited IXI EW to demonstrate the DRONEKILLER in front of its Ministry of Defense in support of its efforts against Russia. Headquartered in Yorba Linda, California, IXI EW is a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business that excels in the design, manufacture and support of Counter UAS solutions for military and government. (Source: UAS VISION)
07 Jan 19. Saab demonstrates capabilities of GlobalEye AEW&C aircraft. Saab’s second GlobalEye airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft has successfully completed a series of flight tests, including operational testing of the platform’s advanced sensor suites. The second GlobalEye aircraft took off for the first time at 11:00am on 3 January from Saab’s airfield in Linköping, Sweden. GlobalEye, which is based on a modified Bombardier Global 6000 aircraft with a suite of advanced sensors, including the Erieye ER airborne radar, undertook a test flight collecting data.
Anders Carp, head of Saab’s business area surveillance, said, “Today’s successful first flight is another major step for GlobalEye. We received the initial contract in late 2015, completed the maiden flight with the first aircraft in March 2018 and now we have the second aircraft in the air just over nine months later.”
GlobalEye AEW&C provides air, maritime and ground surveillance in a single solution. It combines an extended range radar with the ultra-long range Global 6000 jet aircraft.
Incorporating Saab’s AEW&C sensor suite technology into an existing aircraft provides a solution that maximises operational performance – both in terms of detection capability and mission endurance – while at the same time offering outstanding crew comfort.
The GlobalEye AEW&C platform provides a range of capabilities across the full spectrum of domains, including:
- Air surveillance:
o New Erieye ER (extended range) radar to reclaim the detection distance for small and future targets;
o Detection and tracking range highly increased;
o Designed to work in severe clutter and jamming conditions; and
o Adaptive AESA radar – energy is focused on areas or targets of interest.
- Maritime surveillance:
o Detects sea targets out to the elevated horizon;
o Detects small boats, like jet-skis, at long distances;
o The unique combination of Erieye ER and maritime surveillance radar allows for detection of objects down to the size of a periscope; and
o AIS, EOS and ISAR for identifying objects.
- Ground surveillance:
o Detects moving objects through long-range wide area ground moving target indicator radar; and
o Radar images, weather independent, with a dedicated radar.
GlobalEye brings extended detection range, endurance and the ability to perform multiple roles, including tasks such as search and rescue, border surveillance and military operations. The launch customer for GlobalEye is United Arab Emirates, where the solution is known as the Swing Role Surveillance System. (Source: Defence Connect)
03 Jan 19. Lockheed Upgrading Radar Systems for Hypersonic Threats. Lockheed Martin is working to upgrade its radar systems to detect emerging threats such as hypersonic weapons and swarms of unmanned aerial vehicles, executives recently said.
The U.S. military faces not only asymmetric threats — as characterized by warfare fought in Afghanistan and Iraq — but those from near-peer competitors such as Russia and China, said Paul Lemmo, vice president and general manager of Lockheed Martin’s integrated warfare systems and sensors division.
“We’re really working throughout our portfolio to help our customers deal with all of those,” he said during a media briefing at Lockheed’s Moorestown, New Jersey, facility.
The company is currently working on upgrades to its Aegis advanced combat system, which is used extensively by the U.S. Navy as well as international partners. They include a powerful radar system to track and counter hypersonic missiles, he noted.
Jim Sheridan, Lockheed’s director of Aegis U.S. Navy programs, said the company recently conducted an experiment focusing on hypersonics. “The results were very promising,” he said, while keeping specific details close to the vest. The company focused on defensive capabilities, Sheridan added.
Tony DeSimone, chief engineer at Lockheed’s integrated warfare systems and sensors division, said the company writ large is making big investments in hypersonics technology.
“We’re looking at multiple opportunities from both the defensive posture and then … the offensive posture,” he said.
Lockheed is also exploring ways to better detect swarms of unmanned aerial systems, said Tish Rourke, who works with the company’s radar systems business development division.
The AN/TPQ-53 radar system — which is currently used by the Army — can detect rockets, artillery and mortars. The company has so far delivered 100 systems to the service in addition to its international customers, she noted.
“The architecture of that radar was designed such that we could …. [integrate] additional capability to the radar through software upgrades,” she said.
Lockheed is under contract with the Army under a joint urgent operational need to incorporate that capability, she noted. It is currently working alongside the service to test and validate that, Rourke added. (Source: glstrade.com/National Defense)
03 Jan 19. New in 2019: US Soldiers, Marines will start getting these advanced night vision goggles this year. Night vision advances have been delivered to soldiers and Marines in a steady drip over recent decades, but a new device being fielded to units in both services this coming year will provide troops with a clearer vision of both the real and virtual battlefield. The Enhanced Night Vision Goggle-Binocular and advanced targeting and data display technologies expected to complement the gear will allow troops to do much more than “own the night.”
Primarily an Army program, it will also benefit Marines. Brig. Gen. Anthony Potts, head of Program Executive Office-Soldier, said this fall that 10,000 pairs will field to Army units beginning late 2019 through 2021. At the same time, the Marines will receive 3,100 systems.
The ENVG-B gives users two tubes, which solves age-old depth perception problems and widens the user’s view.
There’s an interim advancement that still uses the monocular design but includes enhancements such as clearer vision and quicker tracking — that’s the ENVG-III, which began fielding this past year to select special operations units and will hit some regular Army units in early 2019.
Not one to wait long, the Marines have posted a requirement for an interim night vision binocular capability. The notice, posted in recent weeks, wants an off-the-shelf option for Marines to use in the coming months.
More than lighting up dark places, the new system also helps see through smoke, fog and concealment better than any device previously fielded.
But it’s the integration with another program, the Family of Weapon Sights-Individual, or FWS-I, that will advance close combat capabilities in ways that seemed, until recently, to exist only in science fiction.
The FWS-I simultaneously permits the shooter to see a 40-degree view while also seeing an 18-degree view from the weapon sight. This enables shooters to fire from multiple positions, around and above obstacles, without exposing themselves.
The technology is known as Rapid Target Acquisition. RTO speeds up sighting the target and putting rounds downrange, a key obstacle in tense, close combat firing situations when the enemy is moving in covered locations and may only present a seconds-long window to fire.
There’s a “picture-in-picture” mode that lets the shooter see two different directions at once. For example, if an infantryman were on foot patrol in a tight wedge formation, the soldier or Marine could patrol while observing their left flank, turn to give hand signals from their squad leader, and still watch the flank from the camera on the rifle.
The devices can withstand high illumination, which foiled early-stage night vision systems. They have also been successfully tested against other technologies that would try to disable them.
The new system is compatible with the M16, M4 and M249 Squad Automatic Weapon.
The program was developing variants for crew-served weapons last year, including the M240 machine gun and sniper rifle systems.
The ENVG-B and FWS-I technologies are a base component of Next Generation Squad Weapon efforts on the Army side. That next-gen weapon is expected to be put through test fires this summer. (Source: Defense News Early Bird/Army Times)
31 Dec 18. Australia to introduce C-UAS equipment to protect airports, public buildings. The UK’s BBC News service reports that Australia is installing drone detection systems around sensitive airspace areas such as airports and prominent public buildings.
“Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) said it would install the equipment at the nation’s airports starting next month,” said the news service. “The monitors have been planned for some time, but come in the wake of 72 hours of drone-related disruption at the UK’s Gatwick airport last week. In 2019, Australia will also start a scheme to register drone owners. The UK is also due to introduce a scheme in November that will require recreational drones weighing 250g (0.55lb) or more to be registered.
CASA spokesman Peter Gibson told the news agency Agence France-Presse. that the surveillance system would be able to spot the types of drone being flown, read their serial numbers and work out where the pilot was located. “2019 will be a drone safety crackdown,” said Mr Gibson.
“As well as airports and other sensitive locations, the drone-spotting systems will be installed in other places known to be popular with drone owners such as the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Authorities in Australia have expressed worries about the number of drones being flown in restricted areas in recent months. Anyone breaking rules could face fines of up to 10,000 Australian dollars (USD7,058) as well as checks on the safety of their craft.” (Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)
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.