Sponsored by Blighter Surveillance Systems
20 Dec 19. Plextek Partners with Griff Aviation on Heavy Lift Autonomous Drones. UK engineering and design consultancy Plextek is partnering with unmanned aerial systems (UAS) specialist, Griff Aviation, to put micro radars and sensors on its innovative heavy lifting drones. Griff is developing UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) designed to carry payloads up to 250kg for a wide range of applications including moving building equipment and materials across harsh terrains including mountainous and forested landscapes.
The Plextek electronic-scanning (e-scan) micro radar and advanced software have been optimised for use on drones and other UAVs. Operating in the 60 GHz mm-waveband, the e-scan radar is capable of detecting hazards such as power lines from up to 60 metres as well as buildings, bridges, vegetation and other objects both in front of and beneath the drone, with good range out to 300m and angular resolution. It also provides day and night, all-weather sensing. And because the 60GHz band is licence exempt in most territories, the micro radar can be freely used and is unlikely to cause interference with other equipment on board the UAV or in close proximity.
The Plextek micro radar will enable the drones to fly at a pre-defined height when integrated with the Micro Pilot flight controller. A software shim layer converts the distance and azimuth information into MAVLINK commands used by the flight controller to navigate with speed and safety.
Plextek is currently working with Griff Aviation with on-site trials in Norway ahead of putting the drones through their paces with a leading energy provider in Japan and a power line company in Australia.
“Plextek has established internationally recognised expertise in mm-wave radar over the last six years and is now applying its technology for the ‘sense and avoid’ navigation of drones and other UAVs,” said Peter Doig, Business Development Director at Plextek. “The Griff Aviation project is particularly challenging and exciting as up until now, most drones have been used for light weight payloads and heavy lift drones require very precise and reliable flight control.”
Hans Petter Forde, Technical Lead at Griff Aviation adds,
“Innovation is needed to develop heavy lifting UAVs with robust systems for navigation and sensing. Plextek’s micro radar technology is ahead of the field and is ideal to fit our needs. We believe firmly that working together, Plextek and Griff Aviation will develop a system that will set the standards for the future of UAS navigation.” (Source: UAS VISION)
19 Dec 19. FLIR Announces Multiple Cameras for Critical Infrastructure and Safe City Security. FLIR Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: FLIR) announced today three dome-shaped, Pan-Tilt-Zoom (PTZ) security cameras, including two dual-sensor camera series for critical infrastructure locations, the FLIR Elara™ DX-Series and the FLIR Saros™ DM-Series, and a high-resolution visible camera for safe city deployments, the FLIR Quasar™ 4K IR PTZ. The latest FLIR security products offer multiple lens options for long- and short-range needs to enable accurate perimeter protection of critical infrastructure, remote facilities, and in urban city environments, day or night.
The FLIR Elara DX-Series, one of three new Pan-Tilt-Zoom security cameras FLIR announced today, includes a premium thermal camera and 4K visible camera for imaging day or night, longer viewing range capabilities, and a wiper blade that can be remotely operated for use in harsh weather conditions. (Photo: Business Wire)
Given the enhanced security requirements of critical infrastructure sites such as utility substations and transportation centers, the latest FLIR cameras featuring both thermal imaging and 4K high-resolution sensors, the Elara DX-Series and Saros DM-Series, deliver superior perimeter security protection in nearly all weather and light conditions. The FLIR Elara DX-Series features longer viewing range capabilities, infrared illumination, and a wiper blade that can be remotely operated for use in harsh conditions to ensure a clear view. The more compact Saros DM-Series provides shorter viewing range capabilities in a weatherized housing. Both series offer eight lens options to enable tailoring for the customer application and environment.
For the growing metropolitan city safety and security market, the Quasar 4K IR PTZ delivers high-resolution visible video quality with excellent low light capabilities to give operators high-fidelity monitoring in large and crowded coverage areas.
All three new FLIR security cameras provide a comprehensive end-to-end experience with seamless integration to FLIR Systems’ video management system (VMS) platform, United VMS, or can serve as a complementary solution integrated with other major VMS platforms.
“With our latest products, FLIR is delivering advanced cameras purpose-built for perimeter protection and the evolving security needs of critical infrastructure sites and cities,” said Travis Merrill, President of the Commercial Business Unit at FLIR. “For situational awareness in diverse environments including utility substations, data centers, oil and gas fields, airports, or cities, these perimeter protection cameras are designed to withstand harsh environments to help keep sites secure and people safe.”
The Saros DM-Series is available for purchase immediately while both the Elara DX and Quasar 4K IR PTZ will be available in the first half of 2020, all through FLIR Systems’ network of established dealers and integrators.
18 Dec 19. Elbit of America to Develop Next Generation Hand-Held Targeting System. The Marine Corps Systems Command (MCSC) selected Elbit Systems of America to develop a prototype of the Next Generation Hand-Held Targeting System (NGHTS). Elbit Systems of America’s solution merges multiple capabilities into a single, lightweight device that delivers superior performance for the forward deployed, foot mobile Marine.
Elbit Systems of America’s NGHTS solution includes rugged laser designators, precision azimuth sensors, high performance day and night imaging systems and more. The concept is built on Elbit Systems of America’s legacy in developing successful hand-held targeting systems, such as the Common Laser Range Finder – Integrated Capability (CLRF-IC) and the Joint Terminal Attack Controller – Laser Target Designator (JTAC-LTD), while addressing the needs of today’s Marines.
“Our NGHTS solution is the product of Elbit Systems of America’s deep understanding of this technology and more than 10 years of working with the Marines,” said Ridge Sower, vice president of Ground Combat & Precision Targeting Solutions at Elbit Systems of America. “We’re excited to develop this solution, so U.S. Marines are equipped with a robust, dependable and lightweight targeting system in the field.”
The company’s NGHTS prototype solution consolidates the components of previous USMC targeting systems into a single, ergonomic package that is manufactured within the company’s electro-optics and targeting Center of Excellence in Merrimack, New Hampshire.
From lightweight, hand-held technology for ground forces to sophisticated airborne solutions, Elbit Systems of America is a leading supplier of systems employed by the U.S. military. The company is dedicated to providing innovative solutions that protect and save lives. (Source: ASD Network)
19 Dec 19. Leonardo demos radar sensing concept for Tempest fighter. Leonardo UK has demonstrated a new radar sensing technology for the UK’s Tempest next-generation fighter aircraft programme. The company showcased the capabilities of the radar receiver / warner technology in a laboratory demonstration for the UK and other partners in Team Tempest.
Tempest is a future combat jet being developed jointly by the UK, Sweden and Italy. The aircraft is expected to enter operational service in 2035 and will provide sixth-generation combat capabilities to the airforces of the three countries.
Team Tempest is a group of industry partners, including BAE Systems, Leonardo, Rolls-Royce and MBDA, working with the UK Ministry of Defence on the project.
Leonardo is leading the effort to develop radar warning technology for the future fighter. The demonstration is part of the development work for the sensor suite to be integrated into the sixth-generation jet. Leonardo noted that the size of the new sensor is about 1/10th of a standard radar warning receiver. The technology demonstrated four times the accuracy provided by the sensors that are currently in use. It can sense radiofrequency (RF) signals from hostile radars and send a warning to the operator about enemy attempts to ‘lock on’ to the aircraft, the company said.
The sensor technology can also be used for combat identification and intelligence gathering. Leonardo is focusing its efforts on developing an advanced technology that can keep pace with future threats.
In a press statement, the company said: “In future, threat radars are likely to use a range of technologies and software techniques to make it harder to identify their signals, meaning that Tempest’s sensors will need to be sophisticated enough to be able to counter such techniques and flexible enough to be updated in response to new technologies as they emerge on the battlefield.”
In addition to reduced size and weight, the solution offers low power requirements. These features will enable the sensor to support potential integration into a multi-function array. The idea is to develop several multi-purpose sensors that can detect and track a range of threats including incoming missiles, hostile aircraft, approaching the aircraft from all directions. (Source: airforce-technology.com)
18 Dec 19. Indra to work with Boeing on Nato AWACS aircraft upgrade. Spanish firm Indra will support the Nato’s E-3A Airborne Warning & Control System (AWACS) aircraft fleet upgrade programme. The company will work with Boeing and other firms on the AWACS Final Lifetime Extension Programme (FLEP) to extend the service life of the early warning, surveillance and command and control aircraft.
The modernisation will equip the strategic aircraft with the capability to maintain advantage in future digitised scenarios.
Nato uses the AWACS aircraft to support an array of missions including command and control, aerial surveillance, battlespace management and communications.
The organisation has 14 Boeing E-3 AWACS aircraft that operate from Nato Air Base (NAB) Geilenkirchen in Germany.
Equipped with radar and passive sensors, the surveillance aircraft is capable of detecting air and ground targets over large areas.
The AWACS is derived from Boeing 707 platform and can detect low-flying aircraft that seek to avoid detection from air defence systems, Indra said.
The company also stated that the aircraft provides improved command and control capability for land, air and sea operations.
Last month, Nato signed a $1bn contract with Boeing for the AWACS FLEP programme, which will be funded by 16 Nato allies.
The upgrade is intended to keep the aircraft in operational service until 2035. Enhancements will include improved networking and communications.
The project will also include other companies from Europe and North America. Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg revealed that the alliance is planning to introduce another aircraft to replace the E-3A AWACS aircraft fleet. (Source: airforce-technology.com)
12 Dec 19. Citadel Defense counter-UAS systems “recently deployed by three US Government agencies.” San Diego-based company Citadel Defense reports it has worked with three undisclosed U.S. Government agencies for six months to deploy counter drone technology that meets regulatory, safety, and critical infrastructure protection requirements.
Citadel’s technology applies artificial intelligence and machine learning to reliably detect, identify, track (coming soon), and defeat unauthorized drones that pose a threat.
According to a company press release: “The Titan has been effectively used for on-demand, marquee event, VIP, port, and critical infrastructure protection under the pilot. Continued purchases of Citadel’s technology, highlight the U.S. Government’s commitment to rapidly field commercially available technology to address urgent national security challenges where solutions do not exist.”
Citadel technology has been deployed by commercial, Government, and military users including, U.S. Special Forces, Army, Navy, Air Force, Department of Homeland Security, Border Patrol, and Coast Guard. (Source: https://www.unmannedairspace.info)
10 Dec 19. Fortem counter drone technology selected for NATO testing. NATO is evaluating mitigation solutions for the emerging threat of small, dangerous UAV as part of its “Comparative Analysis of Lethal, Low Collateral Damage Effectors Against Low, Small and Slow UAV” programme. Among technology under review, the European defence agency has selected solutions developed by US supplier Fortem Technology including the SkyDome Network defense system, ThreatAware platform and DroneHunter autonomous drone interceptor. DroneHunter is designed to net and capture offending drones and tow them to a safe location for analysis.
“The NATO Defence Against Terrorism Program of Work is actively examining technologies that generate a lower collateral damage and that are mature and fully able to perform in realistic, threatening scenarios,” said Alexandre Papy, Dr Ir NATO DAT C-UAV Chairman.
The following nations are actively supporting the project: Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom (vice-chair), United States and The Netherlands. The industry selection meeting will be held at the Royal Military Academy in Brussels, Belgium, December 17 and 18.
For more information visit:
https://fortemtech.com/blog/selected-by-nato-defense-against-terrorism/ (Source: https://www.unmannedairspace.info)
10 Dec 19. Russia introduces layered counter drone device. Russian arms manufacturer Rostec is marketing a multifaceted counter-unmanned aerial system (C-UAS) capability through its subsidiary Rosoboronexport according to a report in Jane’s international Defence Review. The equipment combines electronic and kinetic technology capable of engaging with all types of unmanned vehicles including military devices and commercial off-the-shelf models. The device features a frequency jamming capability developed by JSC Defense Systems which can jam and control communications channels within 200-6000 MHz frequency band within 30 km. It is also fitted with active and passive UAV detection devices supplied by Avtomatika which can track small drones within 8km using camera technology, or up to 20km distant through the use of radar and electronics technology. It also features a Rubezh-Avtomatika and Kupol-PRO C-UAS system developed by Avtomatika which is designed to counter drone swarms by jamming an area up to 4 km and 2.7 km high. The equipment includes the Luch and Pishchal-PRO man-portable C-UAS designed to operate against small drones flying within 6 km.
For more information visit:
13 Dec 19. US defense department spent USD900m on C-UAS in 2019 – IDGA report. In 2019 the US Department of Defense spent roughly USD$900m on C-UAS solutions ranging from lasers to integrated systems, according to the Institute for Defense and Government Advancement (IADG – https://www.idga.org/) in a report The DoD’s Counter UAS Strategy.
“Though the DoD only requested USD500m in C-UAS funding for FY20, that by no means the C-UAS is any less of a priority. Instead, it looks like the military may be integrating C-UAS into broader programs and focusing on modifying existing air defense solutions… In addition, there are signs that the DoD is rethinking their overall C-UAS strategy. For example, the DoD recently announced that they’re adopting a new approach to C-UAS acquisitions. As Kevin Fahey, the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Acquisition explained to the audience at Defense One’s 2019 Summit, especially when it comes to counter UAS solutions, they’re trying to steer away from the habit of developing new technologies and training requirements at the same time. Instead, they’re looking to develop a standard processes around acquisition that include a near-annual evaluation of emerging technology available so “everyone can see the same stuff as we develop a common architecture on how we do UAS.
“While 2019 was all about acquiring and testing out the first generation of C-UAS, FY20 will be all about synchronizing counter-drone initiatives across the DoD and interoperability. Furthermore, though many of the existing solutions represent huge technological advancements from where we were just 5 years ago and show a tremendous amount of potential, the technology has not quite caught up with the need and a “silver bullet” solution to the small drone problem remains elusive. However, below we’ve outlined the top C-UAS solutions the DoD is exploring for both immediate and future deployment.”
For more information
10 Dec 19. Singapore to research counter-drone technology. The Singapore government announced the launch of a new research agency called Home Team Science and Technology (HTX) focused on safety and security in December 2019. Among initial projects, the agency is reported to be developing a mobile counter-drone vehicle according to a report in the Singapore Straits Times. The Xentinel unit can be operated by one person and is equipped with a radar, camera, and RF jammer which can be used to disable a drone. HTX plans to begin operational trials with the new unit in mid-2020.
For more information visit:
16 Dec 19. Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN) will support and sustain the sensor and processor for the Advanced Synthetic Aperture Radar System 2-A under a $217m U.S. Air Force IDIQ. Work will be performed through 2024.
ASARS-2A provides the U-2 aircraft with long-range, high-resolution intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities over large areas, from as high as 70,000 feet above Earth.
“With ASARS-2A, the Air Force can detect ground targets day or night, no matter the weather condition,” said Chad Pillsbury, director at Raytheon Secure Sensor Solutions. “And, it’s reliable. The Air Force just completed ASARS-2A’s 9,000th tactical mission in Korea this year.”
The ASARS-2A sensor locates moving and stationary targets using its ground moving-target indicator and search and spot modes. Its on-board
processing system delivers near-real time, precise target location data. This allows decision makers to respond quickly, rather than relying on ground stations to process the targeting data.
BATTLESPACE Comment: This is good news for the UK in particular as ASARS 2 forms the basis for the UK’s ASTOR Sentinel fleet and may create a rethink by the MoD in scrapped the aircraft due to lack of spares and support for the ASARS 2 radars which were slated for an upgrade to an AESA radatr some ears ago but then shelved
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.