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RADAR, EO/IR, NIGHT VISION AND SURVEILLANCE UPDATE

Sponsored by Blighter Surveillance Systems

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27 Nov 19. The first two out of four P-72Bs ordered by Italy’s Guardia di Finanza have been handed over during an official ceremony held at Leonardo’s Caselle Torinese facility today. Deliveries will be completed by 2022.

  • Four ATR 72-600s in Maritime Patrol configuration have been ordered by the Guardia di Finanza;
  • Called P-72B, the aircraft will be integrated into the Guardia di Finanza’s naval airborne capabilities and it represents a new frontier for maritime patrol aircraft; equipped with the most modern security and surveillance systems developed by Leonardo.

Lucio Valerio Cioffi, Aircraft Division MD at Leonardo, said: “We are proud that Guardia di Finanza has chosen to integrate our ATR 72MP into its naval airborne capabilities. This aircraft fully represents Leonardo’s technological capabilities and it combines reliability, low operating costs in addition to the ATR 72-600 regional passenger transport benefits.”

Designated as P-72B, the aircraft will be integrated into the aeronautical capabilities of Guardia di Finanza (gdf.gov.it), within the framework of the multirole tasks assigned to the operator. The Guardia di Finanza is the only law enforcement agency with general jurisdiction capable of exercising incisive and constant supervisory activities along the entire nation’s coastal development and in international waters, carried out also due to the advanced technological equipment installed on its own aircraft.

Specific latest generation capabilities embedded for the first time into the ATR 72MP will be useful to support dedicated surveillance activities entrusted to the Guardia di Finanza. The ATR 72MP will operate in air-sea patrol and research missions, using on-board sensors to identify, even discreetly, sensitive objects, monitor their behaviour, acquire evidence, and lead the intervention of naval units and land patrols.

The ATR 72MP, already in service with the Italian Armed Forces in a military version called P-72A, is equipped with the modular Leonardo ATOS (Airborne Tactical Observation and Surveillance) mission system. The ATOS manages a wide range of aircraft sensors, combining the information received in an overall tactical situation and presenting the results to the operators of the mission system in the most suitable format, providing a high level and constantly updated scenario.

Thanks to its commercial derivation, the ATR 72MP delivers its crew levels of ergonomics that increase its efficiency and effectiveness during maritime patrol, search and identification missions, search and rescue operations, counter drug trafficking, piracy, smuggling and preventing any illegal action across the territorial waters, which can typically last more than 8 hours. (Source: Google/https://www.newswiretoday.com/)

28 Nov 19. Seven Technologies Group picks up prestigious award at the Department for International Trade Business Awards. Seven Technologies Group (7TG), a world leader in intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance systems (ISR), picked up the prestigious Export Growth award at the Department for International Trade (DIT) Business Awards in Lisbon, Portugal on the 19th November. The UK defence manufacturer, which has provided ISR for military operations, counter-terrorism and border control sectors across the globe for more than 40 years, almost doubled its sales in Europe over the past year.

Michael Yaxley, European sales manager, was in Lisbon to accept the award. Yaxley said: “We were humbled to receive the Export Growth award in recognition of our work in Portugal this year.

“This is an exciting time for us and developers of intelligent ISR systems. The market in Europe is growing at a rapid rate, providing developers opportunities to bring ground-breaking security systems to market when we know there’s an appetite for it.

“This award is a fantastic acknowledgement for us, and we will remain committed to providing quality solutions to Portugal, and the rest of Europe, in years to come.”

The company is developing i7ense, an intelligent autonomous system that combines AI, facial recognition capability and sophisticated algorithms and is designed to support police forces, border security and military operations. The software is unique for its extreme flexibility and its ability to paint the bigger picture in recognising individual elements of risk and calculating when the situation becomes critical.

Yaxley added: “We look forward to bringing i7ense to market soon; we believe our software will be a game-changer in keeping our soldiers and police officers safe, as they work tirelessly to protect us.”

Seven Technologies Group (7TG) is a UK defence manufacturer, specialising in the provision of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) systems.

With more than 40 years of industry experience and a combined legacy of 180 years of real-world operational experience, 7TG prides itself in offering its customers the right solution for the right environment.

7TG combines operational experience with world-class engineering to provide its customers with world-leading ISR capability.

7TG’s offerings can be split into two categories:

  • Electronic surveillance devices to provide advanced ISR capability.
  • Robust and practical global tracking solutions designed from 40-year legacy (following a merger with Datong UK Ltd).

27 Nov 19. Australia’s P-8A Poseidon aircraft completes Middle East mission. A P-8A Poseidon aircraft belonging to the Royal Australian Air Force has returned to Australia after completing its mission in the Middle East. The P-8 is an aircraft that is designed for long-range anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) missions.

Australia Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds said that the deployment of the P-8A Poseidon aircraft was part of a targeted and meaningful element of the country’s contribution to the International Maritime Security Construct (IMSC).

Minister Reynolds said: “Over the last month, the P-8A Poseidon aircraft has provided valuable maritime surveillance and reconnaissance to support the coalition partners in the IMSC.

“It is now time for the Poseidon to return home, having played a key role in supporting freedom of navigation and the free flow of shipping, which is crucial to regional security and stability.”

This was the first deployment of the P-8A Poseidon aircraft in the Middle East region. In a statement, Reynolds said that the P-8A Poseidon and its crew will contribute to maritime ISR duties in the region on return to Australia.

She said that a small team of personnel belonging to the Australian Defence Force will continue to provide liaison, planning and coordination support to the IMSC headquarters. The Defence Minister said that an Anzac-class frigate from the Royal Australian Navy will be deployed to the Middle East in January for around six months to support Australia’s contribution to the IMSC and the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF).

The CMF is a maritime coalition led by the US against terrorism, piracy and drug smuggling in the Middle East. The aircraft was deployed in the Middle East in October this year in support of the IMSC.

At the time of deployment, the Defence Minister said: “The P-8A will work alongside our coalition partners to ensure the safe passage of merchant vessels through the region, boost security and provide an advanced maritime patrol and surveillance capability.

“This is the first time the P-8A aircraft has operated in the Middle East and its deployment will support freedom of navigation in the region, which is a fundamental right of all states under international law.” (Source: airforce-technology.com)

26 Nov 19. USAF may have found new imagery it needs at a pitch day. The US Air Force awarded Capella Space a $750,000 base contract for high-resolution radar imagery during one of the service’s rapid acquisition events earlier this month.

Capella Space announced Nov. 20 that the Air Force plans to use the company’s sub 0.5 meter synthetic aperture radar imagery for virtual reality software, missile defense and developing predictive intelligence to foresee foreign threats.

“The U.S. Air Force is always working to maintain our leadership as a global technology innovator, and this contract is a testament to that commitment,” said Lt. Gen. John Thompson, head of the Air Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center.

SAR satellites are unique in their ability to collect imagery despite adverse weather or lighting conditions that make optical sensors useless. Unlike optical sensors, SAR sensors can pick up data on material properties, moisture content, elevation and precise changes and movements. In addition, SAR data can be used to make both 3D recreations or 2D images of 3D objects. Capella plans to launch its first SAR satellite in early 2020 as part of a constellation of 36 satellites that it expects to be operational in 2022.

“Capella will work alongside the U.S. Air Force to foster collaboration and deliver a product that best suits their mission needs,” Dan Brophy, vice president of government services at Capella Space, said in a statement. “Timely SAR data that presents changes on Earth holds tremendous military value, and we will make adaptations to meet unique military requirements. Together with the Air Force, we will define the applications for this data in its hybrid, military and commercial space architecture.”

The contract was awarded during the Air Force’s Space Pitch Days Nov. 5-6, where the Air Force invited small and nontraditional companies to make pitches for their products and solutions in an environment like the television show “Shark Tank.” The Air Force awarded Phase II Small Business Innovative Research contracts on the spot to several companies, including to Capella Space. At the conclusion of this base contract, Capella could win a Phase III contract in 2020. (Source: C4ISR & Networks)

23 Nov 19. AVT Australia Secures $5m Defence Innovation Hub Contract. AVT Australia has been awarded a Defence Innovation Hub contract worth $AUD 5.2m to design and develop a revolutionary system that will improve the quality of images captured by drones. The contract was announced last week by Minister for Defence Industry, the Hons Melissa Price MP at the Defence Innovation Hub Industry Conference in Canberra.

AVT Australia intends to combine multiple sensor configurations, smart features and a range of autonomous tracking algorithms in a small, lightweight and compact system.

Minister Price said “AVT Australia is committed to developing the world’s best micro gimbal system, which could provide a significant capability edge in a future battlefield environment”.

CEO at AVT Australia, Tim Sheehy, said “We are delighted to have been selected by the Morrison Government to provide a new imaging system that will improve the Australian Army’s imaging capabilities. AVT Australia has been developing world-leading multi sensor imaging systems since 2006. I am confident our talented team of engineers will deliver a superior system that will meet the requirements set out under the Defence Innovation Hub contract.”

This is the second Defence Innovation Hub contract awarded to AVT Australia for innovating multi sensor imaging systems. In 2017, AVT Australia was selected to design and manufacture a miniature, gyro-stabilised imaging system for the Australian Defence Force. More information on the Micro Gimbal, can be found here.

AVT Australia specialises in gyro-stabilised imaging systems, fully integrated solutions and innovative software for ISR (intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance), target acquisition, air defence and counter drone operations for the defence, aerospace and unmanned systems industries. AVT Australia manages regional sales, support, R&D and in-house system development for customers. AVT Australia’s pioneering systems are supporting airborne, ground and maritime missions in over 50 countries. (Source: ASD Network)

26 Nov 19. During the past 20 years Terma has supplied multiple advanced radar systems to ports and waterways authorities and coast guards in Belgium and the Netherlands. At present, a total of 130 SCANTER radars are deployed in Belgian and Dutch ports, along rivers and coastlines to protect installations and to prevent accidents at sea. The deliveries include coastal surveillance radars installed on the Dutch Antilles.

On top of this the busy international airport of Brussels also selected Surface Movement Radar from Terma.

COASTAL SURVEILLANCE

Our Coastal Surveillance solutions help protect coastlines and the maritime domain. Our SCANTER radar can separate multiple, non-cooperative, surface and air targets in close proximity to each other in all weather conditions and sea states, which is important for SAR missions in low visibility, but also to safeguard offshore installations, protect your natural resources from illegal fishing, track and monitor unidentified vessels, and assist in combatting criminal activity in your territorial waters or illicit access to your shores or critical infrastructure.

VTS

We have delivered and installed thousands of vessel traffic service radar systems worldwide since the early 1990s in ports and waterways where the increased vessel traffic in congested areas called for improved monitoring and surveillance – essentially for economic and safety reasons. Later, port authorities have been forced to tighten up surveillance requirements to encompass security requirements as well.

WORLD LEADER IN RADAR TECHNOLOGY

We have been a world leader in radar technology for 70 years. Our 3,000+ Terma radar systems are protecting borders, airports, ports, coastlines, and wind farms worldwide. More than 85% of all major airports around the world, 65% of all coastal surveillance radar systems and 14 out of the top-15 ports rely on our SCANTER radar sensor technology.

TERMA AT NEDS

Meet us at this year’s Netherland Industries for Defence and Security (NIDV) Exhibition Defence & Security on 28 November 2019 in Ahoy Rotterdam. We look forward to presenting our Aeronautic, Space and Naval solutions.

25 Nov 19. Report calls out US Navy for surveillance and targeting shortfalls. The U.S. Navy lacks the necessary intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance assets to support a force plans to operate more spread out and fight at longer ranges, according to a new report by the conservative Hudson Institute think tank.

The service has relied for years on its F/A-18 Hornets and E/A-18 Growlers, as well as using satellite surveillance data, to find targets to kill. But with ranges extending out beyond the reach of the carrier air wing due to Chinese investments in very long-range anti-ship missiles, the Navy has to develop more organic capabilities, according to the report.

The needs is exacerbated by the reality that satellites will likely be down or degraded by Chinese attacks on the network, meaning that the fleet will be relying on a relatively few number of drones coming into the service to provide targeting, the report said.

“The US currently lacks ISR platforms, manned or unmanned, that can remain on station for long enough, cover enough ground, and feedback enough information to an American fleet to allow US commanders to shape the combat environment,” the report reads

“In the worst case, America’s adversaries may outpace the US in a conflict’s opening phases, forcing Washington to decide between accepting high casualties or ceding an operational region. Less catastrophically, if the US lacks information on China’s movements in the Pacific, this can allow Beijing to manipulate the time and place of potential confrontations, forcing US commanders to choose between unsavory escalation scenarios.”

The report was written by Seth Cropsey, director of Hudson’s Center for American Seapower, and Bryan McGrath, head of the consultancy The Ferrybridge Group and a former destroyer captain.

More coverage needed

The Navy plans to buy 68 of the land-based MQ-4C Triton, a naval variant of the high altitude, long endurance surveillance drone Global Hawk, which, when fully operational, will be enough to keep five in the air globally at any given time, the study says. But even with a 24-hour endurance and a range of 2,000 miles, five drones to cover the whole world of U.S. Navy operations will not likely be enough to offer complete coverage within the first island chain (the region off China’s coast that encompasses most of the East and South China seas), the report said.

“China’s threat to the US Navy’s sea control abilities within the first island chain is increasing,” The report reads. “Reasonable operational goals for the Navy’s response should include maintaining fire-control quality tracking on all PLAN combatants out of their home ports within the first island chain, and suitable weapons pairings capable of acting upon the tracks maintained.”

The study recommends, among other things, increasing the total buy of Triton drones, modifying and repurposing U.S. Air Force MQ-9 Reaper aircraft for maritime uses, reconfiguring the MQ-25 Stingray aerial refueling drone now in development for ISR purposes, and encouraging allies in the region to boost their own ISR capabilities.

Another suggestion in the study is to develop a medium altitude, long endurance drone that can be launched from the flight decks of surface ships, go out over the horizon and act as a targeting relay for the shooter. The Navy has recently invested in longer-range options for killing targets at sea, including a surface mode for the SM-6 missile and the Naval Strike Missile for the littoral combat ship.

“Dispersed surface combatants armed with long-range antiship missiles require organic targeting, especially in comms/satellite denied or degraded environments. Continuing to rely on inorganic targeting ([satellites], land-based UAVs) presents significant operational risk to the surface force, risk that could be mitigated by a UAV capable of sustained operations at range with reconfigurable sensor packages,” the report reads.

The Defense Advance Research Projects Agency has done some work on such a drone known as the tactically exploited reconnaissance node, or TERN, which was supposed to provide coverage up to 600 miles. The study also cites a Bell Aviation project V-247 Vigilant as being another option for surface fleet targeting.

The report commends the Navy for investing in longer-range missiles but says that without the targeting, those efforts are for naught.

“Maritime power, like a complex machine, is composed of many parts,” the report concludes. “Among the most important is the ability to out-range an adversary, for which the range of weapons is as critical as the ability to target the adversary effectively. The ability to target a potential adversary’s naval power deserves far more attention than it has received.” (Source: glstrade.com/Defense News)

26 Nov 19. Night Vision/Heat Image Goggles. The U.S. Marine Corps has en-gaged Theon Sensors, in collaboration with its strategic partner HARRIS Night Vision USA – recently acquired by Elbit Systems of America / ESA – to supply up to 14,000 binocular night vision goggles. The framework agreement has a term of five years and is endowed with 226 million euros. The U.S. Marine Corps will be equipped as part of the Squad Binocular Night Vision Goggle (SBNVG) program.

The new eyewear is a further development of the “Fusion-Goggle-Enhanced” eyewear, which was recently procured for the spe-cial forces of the German Armed Forces.

The Enhanced Night Vision Goggle-Binocular (ENVG-B) contains L3’s powerful white phosphor image intensification technology in a pair of glasses with two tubes as well as a separate heat channel for image fusion and thermal target acquisition. This technology increases the ability to locate and combat threats and access images from the common operating environment. The system can be wire-lessly combined with thermal imaging targets mounted on handheld weapons, and the target image generated there can be transferred directly into the ENVG-B’s eye-piece display, thus into the user‘s field of vision.

The U.S. Army received its first ENVG-B in September 2019 and intends to procure a total of over 100,000 systems to equip the entire infantry and close combat units. (Source: ESD Spotlight)

26 Nov 19. Sensors for the Wiesel.  Germany has placed an order with TELEFUNKEN RACOMS for the supply of EOPTRIS LR electro-optical fire control and observation systems. The compact and lightweight devices are part of the vehicle-based sensor equipment of the Wiesel weapon carrier, which will be modernised as part of the extension of its service life, which has just been approved by the German Bundestag.

The EOPTRIS LR sensor configuration consists of a cooled thermal imaging camera, a CMOS daylight channel and a laser range finder. The weapon ballistics are configured in the software and can be adapted to different weapon systems. Thanks to its modular architectural concept, the EOPTRIS LR can be individually adapted for observation and weapon stations for medium to long distances. EOPTRIS LR is operated via a special display and control unit or alternatively integrated with vehicle systems.

EOPTRIS is used by several NATO partners and has proven itself under extreme environmental and operating conditions. (Source: ESD Spotlight)

25 Nov 19. US Navy Awards MUX Prize Challenges. The US Navy awarded four prize challenges for the Marine Air Ground Task Force (MAGTF) Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) Expeditionary (MUX) November 21 to multiple vendors for their mission payload design concepts.

A team from the Multi-Mission Tactical UAS program office (PMA-266) coordinated these four mission payload prize challenges, each totaling $1m, to obtain information, performance capabilities, and technical data on mission system payload technologies that will inform the development and acquisition strategy for the MUX program, the Marines future ship-based UAS.

The following companies received awards in the amounts of $700,000 for first place, $200,000 for second place and $100,000 for third place:

MUX Data Relay Payload Prize Challenge:

1st: The Boeing Company, Mesa, Arizona

2nd: Northrop Grumman Systems Corporation, Rolling Meadows, Illinois

3rd: Cubic Defense Applications Inc., San Diego, California

MUX Airborne Early Warning (AEW) Payload Prize Challenge:

1st: Telephonics Corporation, Farmingdale, New York

2nd: Piasecki Aircraft Corporation, Essington, Pennsylvania

3rd: Bell Textron Inc. / Sierra Nevada Corporation, Fort Worth, Texas

MUX Electronic Warfare (EW) Payload Prize Challenge:

1st: L3Harris Technologies, Inc., Herndon, Virginia

2nd:General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc., San Diego, California

3rd: Piasecki Aircraft Corporation, Essington, Pennsylvania. (Source: UAS VISION)

25 Nov 19. New cameras put air base crashes in high resolution.  A plurality of fatal plane crashes occur right where people expect them to: at takeoff or landing. The knowledge of where a crash is likely to happen can be used to find flaws and risks, as well as make aircraft safer in the future. On Nov. 15, Motorola Solutions announced the installation of special security cameras at Offutt Air Force Base in Bellevue, Nebraska, the home of U.S. Strategic Command. The goal is for information provided by the cameras to provide crash data, beyond the black box. The system uses Avigilon H4 Pro cameras, which can provide an image quality of up to 30 megapixels. To ensure that the high resolution doesn’t overload base bandwidth or memory capacity, the system sends a low-resolution stream to the viewing workstation until the person operating it zooms in. Once zoomed in, the person can see the area in full resolution. Of particular note, too, is that the camera is designed to work in low-light conditions, allowing it to record better detail and information on fires and hard landings at all hours.

“At this point, the system is being used to view incoming and outbound aircrafts as well as activity on the flight line,” said John Kedzierski, senior vice president of video security solutions at Motorola Solutions. “The goal was to get enough detail of an aircraft to recreate a mishap and analyze the flight path of the aircraft.”

Inspiration for using the high-resolution camera system to record flights at air bases came from a crash in 2010 at Elmendorf Air Force Base in Alaska. In that accident, low-resolution video helped officials understand parts of the cause of the incident, but left some questions unanswered. As designed, the Avigilon system can provide more information for when crashes happen in the future.

“Details such as flap position, landing gear being retracted or extended are all easily discerned several miles away from the runway,” Kedzierski said.

Information captured by the cameras can also be used for training pilots on everything from hazards during taxiing, long landings, hard landings, or landings and takeoffs at unusual angles, allowing pilots to learn from the mistakes and errors of others. With the camera system in place at Offutt, the U.S. Air Force is interested in turning captured information into better analytics for flight paths. Additionally, the information recorded could be adapted to purposes like automated drone detection, or identifying objects in paths to which they don’t belong. (Source: Defense News)

21 Nov 19. USAF continues X-MADIS field testing. Counter drone supplier Ascent Vision Technologies has completed the latest phase of its eXpeditionary Mobile Air Defense Integrated System (X-MADIS) field testing with the US Air Force according to a report published in sUAS news. Another phase of testing will take place in late November to further refine the specific mission parameters. AVT is supplying multiple counter UAS systems (CUAS) to the US Air Force under a USD23m contract awarded in mid-2019 after months of testing, trials and evaluation across multiple military services and operational spectrums. The first X-MADIS system is scheduled to be delivered to the Air Force in December. The mission of the X-MADIS is to detect, locate, track, identify and defeat sUAS by combining the capabilities of radar, optics, radio frequency detection and electronic command and control mitigation of the aircraft. It operates as part of a static or mobile system. (Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)

19 Nov 19. Context introduces lightweight drone detection system. Context Information Security has developed a lightweight, low-cost drone detection system capable of detecting drones being used for surveillance, smuggling and drone enabled cyber-attacks against wireless networks. COPTHORNE is a solar-powered passive, cloud-based sensor network, capable of detecting drones and their controllers within or around restricted areas. The solution is designed to help smaller organisations and individuals to detect unwanted drone activity in and around their premises and even on the move, due to its low size, weight and power (SWaP) requirements.

The COPTHORNE scanner looks for radio frequency signals in bands used by drones. The hardware-accelerated processing helps it to discriminate a drone from benign wireless signals at a range up to two kilometres, even in noisy radio environments. Geo-location is performed once the signal is within range of two or more radios with the accuracy determined by the number of radios and local environment. Signal metadata is reported to a cloud-based server via a secure cellular VPN where it is analysed and the results checked against user defined rules. Alerts are then sent in real-time via a variety of channels. For a public area, for example, that could be as simple as messaging an on-site police officer so the pilot can be quickly located and the drone threat neutralised.

A proprietary profiling algorithm enables precision fingerprinting as to the type of signal and any known hardware associated with it. The system is designed to distinguish between different models of drones and controllers from the same manufacturer and recognise frequency-agile encrypted video downlinks.

A post-incident forensics interface enables the sharing of signal metadata for incident forensics to confirm or deny the presence of a recovered device based upon its radio footprint.

System integration is enabled via a plugin framework with support for SMS, Telegram, Google Earth, XML, CSV and KML. With very low bandwidth requirements, the system can be deployed over IP radio, PoE/LAN or cellular.  The server and interface also have a lightweight footprint and can be deployed on a single laptop for mobile events.

Following a successful two month field trial in inclement weather, COPTHORNE is scheduled for standards-based testing and is forecast to be available early in early 2020 via channel partners.

For more information visit:

www.contextis.com (Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)

20 Nov 19. US Coast Guard to test counter drone technology. The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has authorised the US Coast Guard to conduct an operational pilot to test and evaluate Counter-Unmanned Aircraft Systems(C-UAS) capabilities used to detect, identify, and mitigate UAS that pose a credible threat. The Coast Guard will conduct the pilot testing during 2020, followed by operational deployment. The Coast Guard is authorised to mitigate threats from UAS where they impact special events or public safety under the Preventing Emerging Threats Act of 2018.

The one-year pilot aims to develop and field systems which will protect Coast Guard activities. It includes coordination with other agencies, deployment of C-UAS capability, detection, tracking, identification, and mitigation of threats from UAS. The technology can include RF detection, radar, and electro-optical/infrared cameras. The DHS issues a privacy impact statement on 28 October setting out the conditions of the pilot programme.

The privacy impact assessment DHS/USCH/PIA-030 C-UAS can be found at:

https://www.dhs.gov/publication/dhsuscgpia-030-us-coast-guard-counter-unmanned-aircraft-systems-pilot?topics=all (Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)

22 Nov 19. Dedrone “is now the sole producer of the DroneDefender C-UAS.” Dedrone has announced it is now the sole producer of the DroneDefender counter-UAS system and has set up a new company to market its portfolio of C-UAS systems and services.

According to the company:  “DroneDefender, which was developed by Battelle Memorial Institute, is a non-kinetic, radio frequency sUAS countermeasure. Dedrone and Battelle have been testing and integrating our technologies since 2017. Dedrone is now the sole owner and manufacturer of DroneDefender. This technology is currently only available for U.S. customers with authorization to use active counter systems against sUAS….Our acquisition of DroneDefender drives the establishment of Dedrone’s new counter-sUAS solutions provider and consultancy called Dedrone Defense, and allows us to continue delivering industry leading counter-sUAS solutions to the U.S. federal market.

“Dedrone Defense will be based in our Sterling, VA office and will provide essential tools for all federal agencies, including the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), to assess their airspace activity, understand the severity of sUAS threats, protect assets, and eliminate unauthorized sUAS-based threats.”

For more information

https://www.dedronedefense.com/

(Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)

22 Nov 19. Echodyne Radars Anchor DARPA’s Urban Drone Testing. Active radars on aerostats and at multiple fixed sites provide real-time airspace situational awareness.

Echodyne, the manufacturer of innovative, high-performance radars for government and commercial markets, announced today that its radars were key active sensors deployed by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) for its Aerial Dragnet program in San Diego during the week of October 21, 2019. In conjunction with the Applied Physics Laboratory at the University of Washington (APL-UW), Echodyne’s EchoGuard and EchoFlight radars provided comprehensive surveillance of drone activity in San Diego’s urban airspace.

The DARPA testing involved radar sensors on two large tethered aerostat balloons flying at up to 400 feet above ground level (AGL) over San Diego and National City, as well as fixed building-top and tower mounted locations providing large-area coverage. The sensors were tuned to detect and track small drones and distinguish them from background objects such as buildings, vehicles, and birds. The testing assessed how well the system could detect, track and identify over 150 sorties of drones including various commercial off-the-shelf models, similar to those available at electronics stores or online retailers, which simulated unauthorized / unidentified drones flying in the city.

Drone sales into the consumer and commercial segments will result in nearly 2 million unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in the US in 2020, and the global market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 20.5% to reach nearly $43bn in 2024, per the FAA Aerospace Forecast and a separate industry report, Drone Analytics – Market Analysis, Trends, and Forecasts. With this volume of drones in the airspace, dense urban areas will need to evolve from point security deployments to full urban airspace situational awareness.

San Diego was a natural choice to test this system given the city’s participation in the FAA’s Unmanned Aircraft System Integration Pilot Program (IPP). While DARPA’s focus is on protecting U.S. troops from drone attacks in urban settings overseas, the system under development could ultimately help protect U.S. metropolitan areas from potential drone-enabled terrorist threats.

“The DARPA requirement to create full urban airspace situational awareness has been challenging yet rewarding,” said Tom Driscoll, CTO of Echodyne. “In conjunction with APL-UW, we operated more than a dozen radars on aerostats and rooftops to detect and track urban drone flights. Our performance demonstrated that Echodyne’s innovative, beam-steering, electronically scanning radars have unique operational, sensitivity, and intelligence characteristics necessary to conduct networked airspace surveillance over a major US city like San Diego.” (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)

21 Nov 19. A ‘mixed reality’ goggle with target ID, tracking and weapon link could field by 2021. On the heels on the fielding of night vision goggles with options for thermal and rapid target acquisition software earlier this year, the Army is on track to field a “mixed reality” headset that would add a host data options into the view of every grunt.

The Integrated Visual Augmentation System recently hit its second soldier touchpoint, which has soldiers and Marines from both the conventional and special operations forces running through controlled scenarios with the goggle. And a recent release announced that the goggle could be fielded as soon as late 2021.

Working with a team of technicians from Microsoft and using the HoloLens 2 platform that the company produces, the system pairs with the Nett Warrior navigation and communications tool currently housed on an Android smartphone device.

That link up gives IVAS users Heads Up Display navigation tools and ways to mark friendly and enemy positions and see a soldier-level tracker for their own unit members.

But other efforts would also use Aided Target Recognition, a feature that allows users to identify anything or anyone in their view.

“When terms like ‘situational awareness’ get thrown around time after time, it’s easy to lose sight of what it really means,” Maj. Brad Winn, IVAS lead action officer, said in a release.

The program is a major priority of the Army’s Cross Functional Team-Soldier Lethality. It partners that team with entities such as Program Executive Office-Soldier, the Combat Capabilities Development Command Research Lab and Soldier Center.

Military Times interviewed testers at the first touch-point event in April at Fort Pickett, Virginia. At that stage, soldiers and Marines ran through a limited “shoot house” scenario with the device, focused mostly on navigation, wayfinding and tracking the location of other fire team members.

The IVAS will eventually be paired with the fire control system on the Next Generation Squad Weapon automatic rifle and rifle, which is under development. That program is in the prototype phase, building a 6.8mm caliber weapon to replace both the M4 and Squad Automatic Weapon.

Earlier this year, weapons and ammunition experts for the Army’s small-arms programs laid out current and future capabilities that developers want to fold into the fire control and link to IVAS.

The recently fielded Enhanced Night Vision Goggle-Binocular has Rapid Target Acquisition software and a wireless link to a weapon-mounted camera. That allows users to toggle between the goggle view, weapon-mounted camera view or a picture-in-picture option to see both.

The RTA feature allows for soldiers to shoot from the hip by lining up the view in the goggle and even poke the weapon over barriers or around corners to hit targets without exposing themselves.

The IVAS will link into those existing features but also could feature facial recognition software, target tracking so that the goggle could keep track of multiple threats and even algorithms that would identify threatening postures or behaviors in view. (Source: Defense News Early Bird/Army Times)

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