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02 Jul 15. Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) is testing an electronic warfare pod in the company’s advanced anechoic chamber. The pod is designed to fit a variety of platforms, and is a self-contained electronic warfare package, encompassing an entire suite of capabilities in one unit.
Electronic warfare is the art and science of controlling the electromagnetic spectrum–from jamming enemy communications or radar to protecting friendly forces from the ability of others to jam their signals.
“Our electronic warfare solution offers the capability to understand the electromagnetic battlespace through passive detection capabilities for advanced threats, advanced countermeasures, and a framework to easily integrate future upgrades,” said Brigitte Aungier, Lockheed Martin Electronic Warfare business development. “We offer proven capabilities that outpace the threat to the electromagnetic spectrum in a package that will allow us to continue to upgrade it in order to beat future threats.”
Lockheed Martin continues to develop and advance open architecture, wideband electronic warfare systems with a continual focus on low-cost, modular infrastructure that can be tailored to any mission.
01 Jul 15. NASA Collaborates with DRS Technologies to Create Mid-Infrared Detector. NASA scientist Xiaoli Sun and his industry partner have created the world’s first photon-counting detector sensitive to the mid-infrared wavelength bands — a spectral sweet spot for a number of remote-sensing applications, including the detection of greenhouse gases on Earth, Mars and other planetary bodies, as well as ice and frost on comets, asteroids and the moon.
“We have developed a new type of mid-infrared detector,” said Sun, a scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, who worked with the Dallas-based DRS Technologies to advance the detector, which has since garnered additional funding support from the U.S. Department of Defense. “This is a true success story,” Sun said, adding that NASA had been looking for this type of detector for years. “It’s a happy story because new detector development is difficult, requiring years of hard work, continued funding and some luck.”
The new detector, made of a special alloy called Mercury-Cadmium-Telluride (HgCdTe) used principally in infrared detectors, is well suited for lidar. Lidar stands for “light detection and ranging” and is a remote-sensing method that uses light in the form of a pulsed laser to measure ranges (variable distances).
This remote-sensing technique involves shining a laser light on a target and then analyzing the reflected light or signal to learn more about the physical properties of the illuminated object and everything along the path.
What’s unique about this detector, which is about the size of a sesame seed, is its ability to process the returning infrared signal at a single-photon level. Photons are particles of light. “People have tried to produce single photon detectors in this wavelength band for a long time,” Sun said. “Existing detectors can only detect signals containing hundreds of photons per pulse. It is the combination of the HgCdTe material and a near-noiseless avalanche photo-electron multiplication process that made this possible.” As a result of this advance, the new detectors enjoy unparalleled sensitivity.
Achieving this level of sensitivity wasn’t an easy feat. Detecting photons one-by-one with near-perfect reliability is dauntingly difficult, especially at mid-infrared wavelengths, Sun added. In fact, it took DRS Technologies nearly eight years to manufacture a 16-pixel photon-counting detector array. “It’s difficult manufacturing these things,” Sun said. “DRS is the only company in the world that can routinely make them.”
First Out of the Gate
The detectors already have customers. Two new aircraft ins