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Archive for the ‘ISR’ Category

Trillium Sensors

Friday, October 11th, 2019

Trillium Sensors was founded in Hood River, Oregon, in 2013 by three engineers with experience in EO/IR sensor development, up to 8″ in size.

They are vertically integrated, with both in-house development and production. They specialize in stabilization control and GPS INS, integrating highly accurate geopointing along with h.264 video encoding. While the H.264 encoding standard might blur imagery, the newer H.265 is a more efficient compression. For instance, you’ll see 20-50 MBs with WiFi and .5-1 MBs for UAS operation.

I am particularly impressed with the HD25-XV, which is an EO only configuration, integrating a 3.5x optical zoom visible camera. Now get this, it’s a gimbaled camera weighing just 325g.

Much of their work is directly with OEM UAS producers. For example, the Trillium HD-45 sensor has already been integrated on the Lockheed-Martin Stalker.

However, Trillium can also provide sensors as upgraded payloads for already fielded platforms. In this case, they prefer whenever possible, to work directly with the customer in order to engineer a proper installation. Considering their sensor payload weights and sizes, there may be additional room for extra batteries, or an additional sensor.

To be sure, Trillium’s gimbaled EO/IR sensors are fantastic, but they combine them with intuitive software. They offer a 3D map GUI called Skylink which will run on Samsung tablets and handhelds. It allows control of the gimbal. Additionally, their feed is MISB compliant and will interface with ATAK.

To learn more, visit trilliumeng.com.

Logos Technologies Unveils New Platform-Flexible Multi-Modal Sensor Pod at AUSA

Thursday, October 10th, 2019

Pod combines wide-area hyperspectral capability with wide-area motion imagery (WAMI) and high-resolution imagery

The Multi-Modal Sensor Pod combines wide-area, hyperspectral, and high-resolution sensors into a single podded system, with real-time onboard processing and storage. (Graphic: Business Wire)

FAIRFAX, Va.–Logos Technologies announced today that it will be exhibiting for the very first time its airborne, platform-flexible Multi-Modal Sensor Pod (MMSP) at the Association of the United States Army (AUSA) Meeting and Exposition, on October 14-16.

Mounted on planes, helicopters and Group 3-5 unmanned aircraft systems, the MMSP houses:

• A wide-area motion imagery (WAMI) system,

• a wide-area hyperspectral imager,

• a high-resolution spotter, and an

• onboard embedded processor for real-time processing and storage.

The three MMSP sensors work in partnership, with autonomous cross tasking, to deliver comprehensive, multi-layered information in real-time.

“This is invaluable and a great force multiplier to the warfighter,” said Doug Rombough, VP of Business Development for Logos Technologies, “because it greatly reduces the number of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance sorties needed over a target area, saving time, saving platforms and saving equipment.”

As part of the MMSP, the WAMI system can image a city-sized area in medium resolution, enough to detect and track every mover within the vast scene, while the narrow-field high-resolution spotter can be cued to monitor 10-plus locations automatically, providing identification-quality imagery.

The hyperspectral imager provides additional information by scanning the scene for unique spectral signatures of camouflaging netting, explosive stores, tank hulls or any other relevant targets. The MMSP hyperspectral imager covers an area 15 times larger than that of traditional hyperspectral sensors.

“The MMSP covers an area in real-time as well as records, tags and stores up to eight hours of imagery for review by analysts while the pod is still in the air. It does all of this while fitting in a package that weighs less than 100 pounds (45kg),” Rombough said.

In addition to the MMSP, Logos Technologies will also be exhibiting the following lightweight WAMI systems:

• the Redkite platform-flexible pod,

• the Redkite-I for the Insitu Integrator,

• the Kestrel Block II for aerostats, as well as

• the Multi-Modal Edge Processor.

For more information on Logos Technologies and its innovative sensor products, please visit Booth 1467, at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, in Washington, D.C., or the company website: www.logos-technologies.com

CIA’s Mi-17 Helicopter Comes Home

Sunday, September 29th, 2019

Final Mission of a Valiant Workhorse

Fifteen days after the attacks of September 11th, 2001—on President George W. Bush’s orders—the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) deployed a small team into Afghanistan’s Panjshir Valley. Its mission: to launch U.S. operations against al-Qaida and its Taliban supporters. JAWBREAKER, as the operation would be called, was the United States’ first response to those attacks, and stands as an exemplar of the extraordinary capacity of CIA and the broader U.S. Government to respond swiftly and decisively in defense of the country. The JAWBREAKER team of seven Agency officers, three aircrew and two Afghan partners boarded a Russian-made, CIA-modified, Mi-17 heavy-duty helicopter on what would become a historic flight.

The Search for 10,000 Pieces

Robert Byer, CIA Museum director and curator, opened the ceremony by thanking attendees for joining CIA in celebrating what he described as an “incredibly auspicious day that has been many years in the making.” He briefly recounted the story of how the Mi-17 helicopter came to rest on CIA campus as a “macro-artifact” in CIA Museum’s growing collection. A macro-artifact, Mr. Byer explained, simply means that “we couldn’t fit it inside the building.” 

“In 2006, CIA museum began working on an exhibition about the Agency’s role leading up to Operation Enduring Freedom,” Mr. Byer explained. What began as a small collection of photographs and artifacts from those involved in the early response to 9/11 quickly grew to include flight kits, cartography and even a cockpit instrument from the Mi-17. “The aircraft was ubiquitous in the part of the world,” he said. “Rugged and dependable and described by those who flew aboard as ’10,000 parts all trying to come apart at once,’” he explained to laughter from the audience.

In the fall of 2018, Mr. Byer and the rest of the CIA Museum staff reunited that single cockpit instrument with the remaining 9,999 pieces of the Mi-17 with its delivery to CIA campus. “With today’s dedication,” he said, “we now have the full story of CIA’s response to those attacks on American soil. It [the exhibition] serves as a bookend to its 911 counterpart,” Mr. Byer said referring to the 9,000 pound rust-colored steel column on the Southwest side of CIA’s Original Headquarters Building that was recovered from World Trade Center 6 in New York City.

Today—exactly 18 years after the members of operation JAWBREAKER set foot in Afghanistan—CIA had the distinct honor of commemorating that mission with the dedication of the Mi-17 that shuttled team JAWBREAKER over the “Hindu Kush and into history.” Adorned with the tail number 9-11-01, the fully-restored Mi-17 helicopter is nestled amongst the trees in a large green space to the northeast of CIA’s Original Headquarters Building. The rocky landscape on which the helicopter sits was designed to mimic the Afghan landscape in which the helicopter served so well. Hundreds gathered at CIA Headquarters in Langley, Virginia, to see the helicopter in its final home and hear from the Agency officers who played a significant role in the success of CIA’s first response.

To Right a Terrible Wrong

Mr. Byer welcomed Gina Haspel, Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, to the stage to introduce the ceremony’s keynote speaker, Gary Schroen, who delayed his retirement to lead Operation JAWBREAKER in 2001. “Today’s ceremony is a celebration of the daring spirit that defines the Central Intelligence Agency,” Director Haspel said. She explained the importance of teamwork in the pursuit of success. “Gary and his team were at the tip of the spear, and at every step of the way there was an Agency family, here at Headquarters and across the world, who had their back.”

Director Haspel spoke of the courage and motivation of the JAWBREAKER team in their pursuit to “right a terrible wrong.” Her hope for this helicopter is that it serves as a reminder of the sacrifices made in defense of freedom and that visitor’s “gain a deeper appreciation of what it takes to keep our country safe and free.”

Business as Usual

Director Haspel introduced Mr. Schroen, the ceremony’s keynote speaker, as “a living legend and inspiration to every CIA Officer” and thanked him for his 50 years of service to the CIA.

Mr. Schroen took the stage to generous applause, a clear indication of the respect and admiration he commanded from those in attendance. He thanked Director Haspel for her remarks before launching into his recollection of the time, the operation and the sequence of events that led to his team landing in Afghanistan just two weeks after the attacks on American soil. “It’s an awkward looking piece of machinery,” he began. “But don’t be fooled – the Russians built it for utility and service, rather than looks and style.” He described the helicopter as a workhorse “designed to take a punishment,” which was exactly what the CIA needed.

He recounted the shudder of the helicopter as it began its ascent over the 14,500-foot Anjuman Pass and into Panjshir for the first time—a recollection that would make even the most valiant palms a bit sweaty. “We were very heavy,” he admitted. Between the passengers, weapons, fuel, ammunition and all of the other equipment, the team was pushing the helicopter’s payload to its outer extremes. “It wasn’t ‘business as usual,’” Mr. Schroen recalled. “But looking around the compartment, you would think it was – no one was dwelling on the danger we were in.”

Echoing Director Haspel’s comments on teamwork, Mr. Schroen noted that the success of the team was not theirs alone, but that of the “heroic efforts that this organization [CIA] made in getting the JAWBREAKER team ready.” He pointed to a number of officers and offices across the Agency that were instrumental to navigating the many processes needed to get JAWBREAKER airborne. He also credited the foundation which had been laid years prior, namely the relationships built with the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan, which would help JAWBREAKER navigate the unfamiliar territory.

Mr. Schroen concluded by expressing a simple hope that “we can all on occasion take a look at old 9-11-01 sitting out here, and remember that the seemingly impossible is in fact achievable.”

I often think there are things I’ll never get to share on SSD and then the CIA publishes something like this.

Air Combat Command Discusses 16th Air Force as New Information Warfare NAF

Saturday, September 21st, 2019

JOINT BASE LANGLEY-EUSTIS, Va. (AFNS) —

Gen. Mike Holmes, Air Combat Command commander, discussed the designation of the 16th Air Force as a new information warfare numbered air force Sept. 18 at the Air Force Association’s Air, Space & Cyber Conference in National Harbor.

ACC will integrate 24th Air Force and 25th Air Force capabilities into a new organization under a single commander who will be responsible for providing information warfare capabilities to combatant commanders with the speed to match today’s technological environment.

“By having cyber and all the intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance tools together, one of the things it allows me to do is build a collection plan in advance before I do something and am able to have better information to support better decisions for our warfighters,” he said. “The Air Force is not going to run independent information warfare campaigns, but we’ll build those, organize, train and equip tools for combatant commanders.”

The heritage of 16th Air Force pays tribute to a group of highly decorated Airmen with a history of continued excellence in joint warfighting, strategic deterrence and military partnerships. During the Balkans air campaigns in the 1990s, the 16th Air Force pioneered efforts in the way the Air Force conducts intelligence operations, setting the foundation for operating in a continuously evolving information environment.

“We want to arm our leaders with options they can use that are proportional to the things that peer adversaries are doing,” he said. “We think we can present more robust teams with better intelligence support behind them and present some information ops options, which we have some game at already, but to improve that and be able to offer it on a larger scale to more combatant commanders at once.”

Activating 16th Air Force emphasizes the organization’s continued excellence in addition to its early use of integrated information systems and emerging technologies, such as remotely piloted aircraft. Just as the 16th Air Force made history bedding down the RQ-1 Predator at Taszar, Hungary, to provide enhanced ISR capabilities in the Balkans, it will soon make history again in the expanding arena of information warfare.

“The activation of 16th (Air Force) will synchronize the mission areas of ISR, electronic warfare, cyber and information operations capabilities,” said Holmes. “This integrated capability will provide multi-domain options to component and combatant commanders around the globe.”

The 16th Air Force will be located at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, where ACC will hold an activation ceremony later this year.

By Staff Reports, Air Combat Command Public Affairs

Rohde & Schwarz at DSEI: Information Superiority, Situational Awareness and Spectrum Dominance

Monday, September 9th, 2019

Rohde & Schwarz demonstrates tactical and strategic intelligence and digital communications sovereignty, as a systems partner and integrator for planning, developing, manufacturing and implementing secure communications architectures and monitoring networks. The privately owned company showcases an innovative portfolio of interoperable, high-performance solutions for deployment on land, in the air and at sea.

London, September 9, 2019 – At this year’s DSEi, taking place in London, Great Britain from 10 to 13 September 2019, Rohde & Schwarz pushes information superiority, situational awareness and spectrum dominance to the next level, presenting its full technology portfolio on booth S1-350. Showcased are EW/SIGINT (electronic warfare/signals intelligence) systems, integrated communications on the high seas, on land and in the air, networked encryption devices and test and measurement solutions for radar and EW, alongside counter-UAS systems.

Rohde & Schwarz will showcase its operationally proven NAVICS integrated communications system for internal and SOVERON for external communications on all classes of ships. Relying on commercial IT technology to a large extent, the system is especially cost-effective, and its modern graphical user interface (GUI) makes it intuitive to operate. The system is fully IP based, allowing the integration of further communications services such as Voice-over-IP (VoIP), broadcast, alarm functions and shipborne telephone systems. Rohde & Schwarz will equip the Royal Navy’s Type 26 Global Combat Ship with an integrated communications system, built around the NAVICS, under a contract from BAE Systems, covering both internal and external communications.

As a leading supplier of EW/SIGINT solutions, Rohde & Schwarz is THE One-Stop Shop for reliable and field-proven EW, offering an exceptional portfolio and comprehensive functionality. In London, the company will showcase advanced EW systems for enhancing the situational awareness during operations in the field. The presented ELINT system features components of next generation ELINT intercept solutions that have been established on the market for years. The core component is a new 8-channel wideband ELINT concept, with 2GHz bandwidth, collecting and analyzing modern LPI signals and likewise legacy radar emissions. Exhibits also include a cellular network analysis system for supporting reconnaissance missions with focus on non-military communications. Moreover, Rohde & Schwarz will present a counter-UAS solution that provides reliable drone detection and countering capabilities even under challenging signal scenarios. The modular and scalable systems can be deployed on a variety of platforms and are in operation in the field several dozen times.

With its expertise in test and measurement, Rohde & Schwarz is also a leading provider of dedicated test solutions that help developers and engineers address the latest challenges in advanced radar and EW system design. At DSEI, the company will showcase its state of the art solutions for testing multifunctional radar systems, radar warning receivers and deceptive jammers/DRFM.

Addressing land-based platform requirements, SOVERON provides government customers with a secure, high-performance network architecture based on state-of-the-art hardware and software. SOVERON creates technological independence, scalable and modular according to customer requirements thus enabling digital sovereignty. As key components of the SOVERON architecture, Rohde & Schwarz presents its innovative SOVERON software defined radios (SDR) for tactical and airborne communications scenarios. For these SDRs, the company has designed high data rate, anti-jam waveforms to match diverse mission requirements. For every communications scenario, users can select the waveform and encryption that best suit their requirements in terms of range, data rate and jam resistance.

Furthermore, Rohde & Schwarz displays a broad range of hardware and software products to effectively protect networks and critical infrastructures against attacks. These encryption solutions protect authorities, organizations and enterprises against espionage and data manipulation. The Rohde & Schwarz network encryption devices are approved by the German Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) and can be used flexibly with many stationary and mobile applications.

www.rohde-schwarz.com

DSEI 2019: Steadicopter Will Present its Next Generation Black Eagle 50, an Advanced Lightweight Unmanned Robotic Helicopter

Friday, September 6th, 2019

New capabilities include an inertial navigation system with no dependence on GPS, as well as support for naval missions

DSEI, ExCeL, London, September 10-13, 2019, Hall S10, Stand 308

September 2. Steadicopter, a leader in the Rotary Unmanned Aerial Systems (RUAS) industry, will present its next generation Black Eagle 50 advanced lightweight unmanned robotic helicopter at DSEI. New capabilities include an inertial navigation system with no dependence on GPS, as well as support for naval missions.

Steadicopter’s Black Eagle 50 unmanned helicopter has been upgraded with several additional new features and is tailored for naval missions with its robust mechanical and electronic capabilities that support flight in maritime environmental conditions. The company also recently signed a cooperative agreement with Israel Shipyards for the marketing of the Black Eagle as part of the defense, intelligence and surveillance systems installed on its OPV Family.

 

The Black Eagle 50 features a special inertial navigation system capability, based on input from the system’s inertial and other sensors. Through a unique and smart navigation algorithm, this input enables the continuation of the flight and the mission, without relying on GPS. This allows the Black Eagle 50 a significant advantage in GPS-denied areas.

 

According to Noam Lidor, Sales & Marketing Director at Steadicopter, “In recent months, we have invested considerable resources in improving and equipping our unmanned helicopter in order to adapt it to a wide range of missions both on land and at sea. We have also developed cooperation with a number of Israeli companies ? each a leader in its field ? so that we can equip our helicopter with the highest quality and most advanced payloads.”

 

The Black Eagle 50 is a VTOL (Vertical Take-Off and Landing) robotic observation system. It is an ideal solution for tactical maritime and land Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance (ISTAR) missions.

A data link connects the aircraft with the ground controller, enabling the transmission of live video and data between the two. The system has a steady hovering endurance of up to 3 hours and flight endurance of up to 4 hours. At only 27kg, the Black Eagle 50 is extremely lightweight and compact, with a maximum take-off weight of 35Kg, and payload capacity of 5Kg. It has a communication range of up to 150km, depending on the client’s requirements, and a service ceiling of up to 10,000ft. Its total length is just 2540mm, while its maximum air speed is 70 knots (126Km/h) with a cruising speed of 45 knots (81 Km/h).

www.steadicopter.com

ThirdBlockGear – Advanced Field Sling Bag

Monday, August 19th, 2019

The Advanced Field Sling Bag was developed by a friend of mine for personal use while working initially overseas, and increasingly here at home. He wanted a bag that would keep his most needed equipment right at his fingertips.

His work requires the use of electronics and those often need to be recharged in the field.

Above is a layout of the kit he uses to teach classes.

And in case your interested in the types of electronics he uses, here are a couple of images of something he is currently working on.

But back to the ASF. Here are some key design points:
• Comfortable to wear for hours, in hot climates.
• Quick access to all your gear, without taking the bag off.
• Adjustable, ambidextrous, and quick-release design.
• Designed to fit power, communications, and sustainment gear.
• Extremely durable and rugged.
• 100% US Materials. 100% US manufactured.

I’ve had one for awhile and feel blessed anytime Jason honors me by allowing me access to his work. While it’s a very specialized piece of kit with a very specific layout, it has already been fielded to several organizations. Learn more at thirdblockgear.com/shop/afs-bag.

Warrior EAST 19 – HDT Containerized Weapon System

Thursday, July 11th, 2019

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HDT’s Containerized Weapon System integrates EO/IR sensors and weapons on a remotely operated mast. CWS can be used individually or networked with one another. It is transportable and can be set up in 30 minutes.

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Weapons and sensor options vary from non-lethal all the way to Hellfire missiles. Reloads and maintenance can be accomplished with the mast retracted, under cover.

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www.hdtglobal.com