Sponsored by Blighter Surveillance Systems
06 Mar 19. Is it a Bird? Is it a Drone? Robin Radar has the Solution. BATTLESPACE Editor Julian nettlefold met up with Bill Haraka of Robin Radar at the Counter Terror Expo in London this week. Robin Radar, the Amsterdam, Netherlands specialist radar company, with around 40 staff has developed a new C-UAV radar. Robin Radar uses highly specialised radar to track small targets that traditional radar can’t see— differentiating it from military detection, which is designed to locate larger military drones, and can’t differentiate drones from birds. Smaller drones, as at the Gatwick incident, are increasingly a threat, while bird strikes (when large flocks fly across flight paths) pose a danger to flights, both military and commercial.
Robin Radar has 33 years’ experience in this area and uses highly specialised radar, acoustic sensors and cameras for comprehensive detection, tracking and identification of foreign objects. Alongside its partners, it can also work to neutralise detected drones using a sophisticated drone jamming system that can detect multiple targets simultaneously.
“Robin Radar’s tech can also distinguish drones from other moving objects, like birds, to avoid false alarms, and is also deployed by wind farms to shut down turbines when needed in order to mitigate mortality of birds, as well as at airports to protect planes from bird strikes.” Haraka said.
Robin started in the eighties as a project within the well-respected Dutch Research Institute for Applied Science (TNO). The project name was an acronym for Radar Observation of Bird INtensity. The goal was to prevent collisions between birds and planes from the Royal Netherlands Air Force. In conjunction with the FlySafe initiative of the European Space Agency (ESA), TNO developed software algorithms to process raw radar images from air defence radars to visualise bird intensity.
“How was Robin Radar formed?” The Editor asked.
“In 2010 high-tech entrepreneur Siete Hamminga spun out the technology from TNO to make it commercially available. In 2014 the Dutch government challenged the industry to come up with solutions against small drones. Thirty-eight companies responded. Robin Radar became number one and won the tender to develop a purpose-built drone detection radar. The radar was first operational in June 2015 to protect the G7 Summit in Germany.
In 2016 Robin Radar was recognised by the Dutch government as one of the top 3 most innovative SME companies of the Netherlands. The Royal Netherlands Air Force was their first customer way back in the eighties, and still is one today.”
“Does your radar automatically classify drones?”
“You want to detect and track drones – small objects which traditional radar can’t see. And even if you’ve managed to find a radar which can see small objects, it’s unlikely it can tell birds apart from drones.
At Robin Radar Systems, we’ve specialised in detecting and tracking small objects for 33 years. Birds actually. And even though we started with tracking birds, we validated our data with drones, in order to prove our radar tracking accuracy. Where most other radars don’t provide classification of birds and drones, providing a high operator-workload, ELVIRA® does that for you, automatically.
So you can concentrate on what action to take about the unauthorised drone in your airspace.”
Robin Radar has developed the Elvira C-UAV radar. ELVIRA® covers a full 360 degrees and comes with a standard instrumented range of five kilometres. It can detect larger fixed-wing targets at a range of up to five kilometres, with smaller multi-rotor drones detected at up to three kilometres.
Completely securing an area though, relies on more than just range detection. It requires flexibility and reliability.
ELVIRA® provides unlimited coverage by combining multiple radar devices into an integrated sensor network. The output from multiple radars is incorporated into one unambiguous picture, meaning a single drone causes a single alarm.
You won’t have numerous confusing alarms being created for a single drone being tracked by several radars.
In October 2017, the Royal Netherlands Air Force has signed a €7M deal with Robin Radar Systems to provide bird radars for bird strike avoidance at all its air bases in the Netherlands. Bird strikes on aircraft is a recognised problem in civil aviation. A well-known example is the socalled ‘Miracle on the Hudson’, where a passenger aircraft had to ditch into the Hudson River in New York. In military aviation, the problem is even more serious. Especially fighter jets, fly fast, low, and usually have a single engine. More than ten aircraft have been lost to bird strikes in Dutch airspace since 1950. A dramatic example is the ‘Hercules Disaster’ in 1996, in which a Belgian Air Force Hercules crashed after ingesting birds into two engines, killing 34 occupants. “The Royal Netherlands Air Force has been looking at reducing bird strikes for decades. Air Bases are made unattractive for birds through both passive (terrain management) and active (bird monitoring) methods. The bird radars will now act as a third pillar.” Hans van Gasteren, Head of Nature Bureau at the Royal Netherlands Air Force One of the driving forces behind the purchase is the coming of the Joint Strike Fighter (F35). Dutch company, Robin Radar Systems, won the European Tender, and is supplying their bird radar systems to the Air Force. The contract was signed today (Friday 20 October) by Commodore Brummelaar, Director of Projects with the Defence Material Organisation, and entrepreneur, Siete Hamminga, founder and CEO of Robin Radar Systems. The Hague based company was named in the top three most innovative SMEs and is well on its way to becoming an international success story. Following in the footsteps of Schiphol Airport, the airports of Berlin, Frankfurt and Copenhagen have all ordered bird radars to help prevent bird strikes. In 2016, Robin Radar Systems saw its revenue quadruple, and with this new contract, that upward trajectory seems set to continue. The contract signed today is worth €7m.
05 Mar 19. Streamlight®, Inc., a leading provider of high-performance lighting and weapon light/laser sighting devices, introduced the TLR-VIR® II, a lightweight, compact rail-mounted tactical light with a high intensity white LED, an integrated infrared (IR) LED illuminator, and Class 1 “Eye Safe” IR aiming laser with windage and elevation adjustment controls. The new light securely fits all long guns with MIL-STD-1913 rails and M17/M18 pistols. The TLR-VIR II enables users to easily toggle easily between bright light and the IR illuminator/laser. This feature allows military and law enforcement personnel to remain in a proper firing position when making the transition from IR mode to white light, and vice versa. The light features a three-position mode rear selector switch, including IR illumination/IR laser, Safe Off (to prevent accidental turn-on), and visible illumination, that enables users to keep hands away from the muzzle during mode selection.
“The TLR-VIR II gives soldiers and first responders the ultimate in tactical lighting flexibility,” said Streamlight President Ray Sharrah. “With its high intensity white light and a long-running IR illuminator and Eye Safe IR laser for optimizing night vision, it’s an essential tool for those deploying with weapon lights.”
The new light, which is powered by a single CR123A lithium battery, uses the latest in LED technology for ultra-bright visible light, providing 5,000 candela, 300 lumens and a 1.5 hour run time. For IR lighting, the TLR-VIR II uses an 850-nanometer LED emitter with 600mW/sr radiant intensity, providing optimum illumination when using night vision equipment; it delivers a run time of 12 hours. Its IR aiming laser has fully adjustable windage and elevation settings.
The TLR-VIR II has an ambidextrous momentary/steady on-off switch. Like other TLR® models, the light has a rail clamp that can be easily attached and tightened with one hand, without the use of tools. The IR illumination/laser mode selection also features a tactile indicator on the light housing for switching modes with ease.
The TLR-VIR II is constructed from machined aircraft aluminum, with an anodized finish body and a high-impact, chemically resistant polymer black switch housing. The compact light weighs only 3.82 ounces and measures 3.30 inches long and 1.40 inches high. It uses a high temperature, shock-mounted, impact-resistant Borofloat glass lens. It is available in black and coyote.
Featuring extensively live-fire tested construction, the TLR-VIR II has an IPX7 rated design for waterproof operation to 1 meter for 30 minutes. It has an MSRP of $600.00.
05 Mar 19. Turkey and South Korea consider procuring IDS electromagnetic measurement radar. Turkey and South Korea have shown interest in buying the Flying Aircraft Radar signature Acquisition and Determination (FARAD), an electromagnetic measurement radar system produced by IDS Ingegneria Dei Sistemi SpA, the company told Jane’s. FARAD is designed to perform dynamic Radar Cross Section (RCS) measurements of flying targets, with sensitivity suitable for measuring stealth platforms. The Italian Air Force Test Center is using this system through a service co-operation with IDS to assess the RCS of some of its aircraft. The system is designed to perform dynamic RCS measurements of high-speed low observable flying targets from aircraft and helicopters to small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). It features an embedded target tracking capability optimised for flying targets’ short-range RCS dynamic measurement that helps the radar to automatically track the planned trajectories of a target. The system also provides integrated post processing capabilities in a single software tool.
The FARAD combines a fast waveform generation (Direct Digital Synthesizer chirp) with the use of coherent and non-coherent integration to enhance the radar’s sensitivity and obtain an optimal signal-to-noise ratio. The radar can perform a RCS checking for aircraft and it does not need a dedicated flight mission or test range preparation at the site.
“Measuring in flight means in operational attitude, thus allowing for RCS acquisition in quasi-real mission conditions,” said Mauro Bandinelli, ElectroMagnetic Engineering Division Director at IDS. “The following aspects can be accounted for: [Firstly] steady-state and maneuvering flight by deflecting control surfaces. [Secondly] both aerodynamic and inertial loads, which deform the airframe structures according to the actual flight conditions. It’s worth noting that even small and uncontrolled deformations in structural junctions – like gaps, steps, discontinuities between two adjacent surface panels – can impact on the overall aircraft RCS, especially for low observable and stealth aircraft. [Thirdly] the FARAD can measure the RCS of an aircraft when its engine and power system are on, a condition almost impossible in a ground static measurement,” Bandinelli said. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
05 Mar 19. At this year’s Enforce Tac trade fair in Nuremberg, HENSOLDT is presenting a new telescopic sight with a magnification of up to eight times. The ZF 1-8×24 offers an integrated red dot and a reticle that can each be separately illuminated.
Frank Topp, Head of Handheld Sight Systems at HENSOLDT, explains the background: “The ZF 1-8×24 offers the smallest variable magnification in the HENSOLDT portfolio. It was developed for short to medium ranges and is thus perfectly suited for the designated marksman and police forces.”
In this system, one-time magnification works like a red spot sight with a wide field of view. The shooter fires with both eyes open. In the ZF 1-8×24, the reticle is in the first image level, while the red spot is in the second image level and does not grow as the magnification is increased, so it does not conceal the target. “As soon as the shooter chooses a magnification from 1.3, the red spot is switched off and the reticle is illuminated. The illumination setting can be fixed at any desired position but the illumination does not increase,” added Topp. The new telescopic sight from HENSOLDT also offers a detent that can be locked at the null position for the elevation and lateral sight adjustment turrets. Series production could begin as early as the third quarter of 2019.
05 Mar 19. Korea’s Hanwha Develops Integrated C-UAV System. Korean defense contractor Hanwha Systems has begun development of an anti- drone system, and development has proceeded to prototyping of the radar. Research and development of the counter-UAV (C-UAV) technology is being conducted at the Hanwha Systems Research Center located in Yongin, Gyeonggi Province. There, researchers are conducting integration tests on the first prototype, which consists of a two-paneled radar system, each panel measuring 52 cm x 60 cm (20.5 in x 23.6 in) and designed to detect an apple-sized object at a distance of 3 kilometers (1.6 N mi) under a coverage radius of 200 degrees. The radar is designed to be interoperable with the company’s Quantum Eye electro-optic system.
Lee Yong-Wook, head of the Research and Development Department at Hanwha Systems, is quoted as saying that the product being developed is designed to be lightweight, transportable by two people, and less power-consumptive than a military system. Chosun Biz states that KRW12bn ($10.7m) will be invested in the program by 2021, under the supervision of the Korean government’s Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI). The amount is not large, but if Hanwha Systems can be one of the first in the Pacific region to market a C-UAV system as a commercial product, the company may be able to recoup its own most likely significant development costs. (Source: UAS VISION/Defense & Security Mirror; Chosun Biz)
04 Mar 19. BATTLESPACE Editor Julian Nettlefold met up Eben Frankenberg and Leo McCloskey of Echodyne Radar at the Security Counter & Terror Expo in London on March 5.
““We are excited to demonstrate how Echodyne is reinventing radar at SCTX. Echodyne Radars Offer Unprecedented Detection on the Ground and in the Air, Bolstering Advancements in Perimeter Security. Echodyne, the manufacturer of innovative, high-performance small electronically scanned array (ESA) radars for government and commercial markets.” Eben Frankenberg told the Editor.
Echodyne Radar, showcased its groundbreaking Metamaterial Electronically Scanning Array (MESA™) radar, which is a lightweight radar based on MESA technology, EchoGuard brings next-generation 3D sensor performance and software-defined customization to the security market. Ruggedized hardware supports long-range detection, and the onboard Acuity software optimizes radar performance for specific installations and threats. A hierarchy of output data types support everything from track-based camera cueing to deep sensor fusion or machine learning using the radar’s raw range-velocity data-cubes.
Breakthrough radar performance for modern security needs, now available at commercial price points of circa $35,000 for the first time. Echodyne radars offer an unprecedented degree of 3-D situational awareness by accurately detecting and tracking ground and air intrusions. Echodyne is the first to offer a high-performance ESA radar in a compact size, making it commercially affordable and scalable for the largest facilities.
Echodyne radars have received international recognition for deployments in government and base security, public safety, and border applications. Recently, the US Department of Homeland Security transitioned Echodyne’s radar technology to U.S. Customs and Border Protection operations.
Echodyne’s Metamaterial Electronically Scanning Array (MESA) technology realizes high-performance phased-array radar performance at breakthrough cost levels, offering imaging radar to commercial markets for the first time.
Echodyne is offering its systems for a number of applications such as C-UAV systems thru border protection to hard kill systems for armoured vehicles. Bill Sundermeir, formerly head of Government Systems for FLIR Systems Inc,. has taken Bill Gates position on the Board. Bill Gates is a major investor in Echodyne.
“Our radars offer a low cost AESA solution for many applications.” Leo McCloskey told the Editor. “We have developed very advanced technology which not only gives 120 degree azimuth but also 80 degree elevation, a unique property for a radar of this size. We have a number of key US defense majors beating a path to our door!”
04 Mar 19. Eyes on the sea: companies compete for Australian maritime surveillance contract. Major global defense contractors want to sell Australia on cutting-edge technology such as high-altitude, solar-electric powered drones and optionally manned aircraft to keep an eye on the oceans. Airbus SE, Italy’s Leonardo SpA, Northrop Grumman Corp and Lockheed Martin Corp are among the companies that have expressed interest in providing Australia’s Department of Home Affairs with such equipment, showcased at the Australian International Airshow last week.
The four companies said they have responded to a request for information issued late last year; the next step, after the government responds, would be to submit proposals.
The final contracts could be worth several hundred millions dollars depending on the scope, according to two industry sources who declined to be named because they were not authorized to speak to the media.
The country is looking to replace 10 Bombardier Inc Dash 8 maritime patrol turboprops that began service more than a decade ago.
Australia has the world’s third-largest economic exclusion zone behind France and the United States, and the world’s largest maritime search and rescue region, covering about 10 percent of the Earth’s surface.
Australia faces smuggling of people, drugs and weapons; illegal fishing; and search and rescue at sea, making it an ideal market for sophisticated aerial surveillance technology.
“What works for large merchant ships or naval formations may not work for a tiny wooden vessel moving at slow speed with no electronic signature,” said James Goldrick, a retired rear admiral in the Royal Australian Navy and former border protection commander.
The government aims to have all of the new equipment operating by 2024, the department said when it announced the request for information in late October.
A Home Affairs spokesman said on Friday that the government got 67 responses from industry by the end of November, and that no decision had been made on next steps.
Minister for Home Affairs Peter Dutton, who oversees the Australian Border Force, said in October the contract would be a “very significant investment” without providing further details.
An election is due to be held by May and the opposition Labor Party is favored in polls, but Goldrick said he expected any incoming government would issue requests for proposals.
RANGE OF OPTIONS
The Home Affairs contract would build on Australia’s military capabilities, including seven Boeing Co P-8A Poseidon submarine-hunting jets. Five more P-8As have been ordered.
Last year, Australia ordered six Northrop Grumman Triton maritime surveillance drones, which will cost A$6.9bn ($4.90bn) in total, according to a person familiar with the transaction.
Northrop Grumman is marketing its medium altitude, long-endurance, optionally manned Firebird aircraft as a way to compliment the larger and costlier Triton for the border security contract.
“(Firebird) could be tasked to go to very specific things if you want to keep an eye on a certain target of interest for a long period of time while Triton goes off and goes after the broader surveillance,” Doug Shaffer, the manager of the Triton program, told Reuters.
Airbus and Leonardo are both marketing solutions based on the large amount of maritime surveillance equipment each company already has operating in their home markets of France and Italy.
At the air show last week, Airbus’ showed off its Zephyr, a solar-electric pseudo-satellite drone designed to linger at an altitude of around 70,000 feet (21 kilometers) for months at a time to track ships or even provide a temporary boost to communications.
Airbus has built its first Zephyr global operations site in a remote part of Australia’s northwest that has ideal launch weather. The first launch is expected within the next month, Airbus executives told reporters at a briefing.
“Zephyr can provide persistent surveillance and can cover wide areas because it flies very high. That is definitely one element of future solutions on maritime,” said Airbus Defense and Space Head of Marketing Ioannis Papachristofilou.
He added his company would propose a network of many technologies – vessel traffic systems, sensors, helicopters, fixed-wing planes and satellites connected to a local operations center – for a country like Australia.
Leonardo already supplies Australia with maritime surveillance radar and mission systems, and is looking to provide a wide range of products such as helicopters, turboprops and drones fitted with its own sensors, said Michael Lenton, the head of Leonardo Australia. (Source: Reuters)
01 Mar 19. Australia’s JORN enhancement proceeds on track. A major 10-year upgrade to Australia’s Jindalee Over the Horizon Radar Network (JORN) is proceeding on schedule, and the first of the network’s three far-flung radar sites is due to be taken offline in 2022. The AUD1.2bn (US806m) upgrade under Project Air 2025 Phase 6, headed by BAE Systems Australia (BAES), is in essence a mid-life upgrade that will move JORN into a new era with digital waveform transmitters and receivers, enhanced frequency management, communications and information systems, and better supportability.
Speaking at the Avalon Airshow near Melbourne on 28 February, Steve Wynd, BAES’s JORN programme manager, said the radar upgrades were being undertaken sequentially, starting with the Longreach facility in Queensland. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
01 Mar 19. Poseidons for South Korea and New Zealand placed under contract. The US Department of Defense (DoD) has awarded Boeing an advanced acquisition award for the P-8A Poseidon maritime multimission mission aircraft (MMA) that includes the complete orders for South Korea and New Zealand. The USD428.9m award, which was announced on 28 February, covers long-lead material and activities in support of four aircraft for New Zealand and six for South Korea. It also covers six further aircraft for the US Navy, meaning 117 out of its programme-of-record of 120 will be under contract once the final production award is granted. Work on this initial long-lead contract is due to be complete by June 2020.
The sale of four P-8As to New Zealand was approved by the US government in May 2017. The Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) is procuring the aircraft to replace its ageing Lockheed Martin P-3K2 Orion maritime patrol aircraft. The country’s Defence Capability Plan (DCP) 2016, which outlined military requirements over the following 15 years, indicated a retirement date for the Orions in the mid-2020s.
South Korea’s procurement was approved in September 2018, with the Republic of South Korea Air Force (RoKAF) also looking to replace its fleet of ageing P-3 Orions. The State Department approval for the procurement followed an earlier decision by South Korea’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) to purchase the P-8A through the US Foreign Military Sales (FMS) programme.
Derived from the Boeing 737-800 commercial airliner (but with 737-900 wings), the P-8A Poseidon has been built by a Boeing-led industry team that includes CFM International, GE Aviation, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, and Spirit AeroSystems. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
01 Mar 19. Quanergy Partners With Athena to Offer LiDAR Technology to Indian Market. LiDAR manufacturer expands global availability to meet demand for innovative smart sensing solutions. smart sensing solutions, today announced a partnership with Athena Security Solutions, a Hyderabad-based provider of specialized intelligent solutions from industry-leading global technology providers for the protection of critical assets. Athena will now be offering the entire range of Quanergy’s solutions, including the Solid State S3-X series sensors and QORTEX for Security™ to its many corporate and government clients across India.
QORTEX for Security™ is Quanergy’s innovative LiDAR-based 3D perimeter fencing and intrusion detection system. The platform integrates innovative hardware and software technology by combining Quanergy’s M8 LiDAR sensor with its proprietary QORTEX perception software. The platform is fully integrated into existing VMS (Video Management System) and PSIM (Physical Security Information Management) infrastructure and offers surveillance automation with real-time detection, tracking and classification.
“Athena aims to provide our clients with the highest performing and most comprehensive solutions available,” said Vishnu Choudhary, CEO of Athena Security Solutions. “Partnering with Quanergy will give us the ability to follow through on that goal by providing the Indian market with increased access to industry-leading LiDAR technology, offering customized solutions specifically designed and tested for Indian conditions and industry-specific applications.”
Athena works with Corporate and Governmental organizations across India. It has successfully secured several prestigious projects working with its partners including the Comprehensive Integrated Border Management System (CIBMS) for the Border Security Force and, most recently, the protection of key defense facilities in India. In addition, Athena has secured and executed projects for Refineries, Ports, Pipelines, Police, Educational institutions, Manufacturing Plants and Power Plants.
“Quanergy’s LiDAR-based security solutions have wide-ranging potential applications across all industries and geographies,” said Dr. Louay Eldada, CEO and co-founder of Quanergy. “Partnering with Athena gives us the ability to expand our global footprint to offer our innovative technology to Indian companies and organizations in need of smarter, more secure systems.” (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)
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.