MCX

Archive for the ‘ISR’ Category

USSOCOM Announces Joint Threat Warning System Industry Day

Wednesday, June 28th, 2017

Joint Threat Warning System is the SIGINT Collection architecture for USSOCOM.  The current manpack version is the AN/PRD-13(V)2.  


While I used an early version of this system in Haiti over 20 years ago, it has come a long way from the AN/TRQ-30 DF loops first fielded to 3rd Group in 1990. They were the height of 1950s technology and the receiver used like 30 D cell batteries. 

As communication technology evolves, so must the equipment used to collect signals. Consequently, PM-JWTS is hosting an Industry Day, 13-14 July, 2017.

The Program Manager is specifically interested in signals intelligence technologies, ideas and solutions which advance One or more of the following Key Interest Areas:

1) Unique Signals of Interest

2) Modular and scalable open architecture systems (please see additional guidance below)

3) Remote C2 and Data Viewing

Further Clarification:

Modular and Scalable Open Architecture Systems: Need to allow the operator to choose relevant SIGINT applications and tailor the system to best support individual mission requirements. JTWS is seeking potential solutions with the below criteria as initial guidance but not formal direction:

• Hardware: Provide VPX (VITA 46)/Open VPX (VITA 65) based solutions that are modular and scalable from a body-worn or small UAS form factor to a vehicle/maritime platform to an airborne chassis. Focus should be on a 3U card size in order to maximize reuse between form factors. If use of VPX standards for small form factor solutions is not possible, alternative standards-based options that do not violate the remaining guidelines should be brought forward.

• Data: VITA 49 should be implemented for the data transport layer and output data using the Tactical SIGINT Data Model (TSDM). Systems should be JICD 4.x (currently 4.2) compliant at the sensor level for reporting, tuning, and collaborative geolocation.

• GUI: Partners should deliver capabilities with the ability to conduct full command and control and visualize mission data in RaptorX.

• Software: The adoption of the OpenVPX standard reduces the need for a pure open architecture solution across the program, but systems should still seek to implement open architecture solutions on individual cards in order to combine capabilities and maximize the capacity of each card within the system. Examples include GNU Radio and REDHAWK, but could be extended to any number of current industry and government developed environment.

Remote Capabilities: This capability needs to be Beyond-Line-of-Sight (BLOS), however the program office would prefer Over-the-Horizon (OTH) with minimal latency delays.

Vendors interested in attending the Industry Day should visit www.fbo.gov.

75th Ranger Regt To Stand Up 5th Battalion

Wednesday, May 17th, 2017

On Monday, 22 May, 2017, at Fort Benning, Georgia, the 75th Ranger Regiment will stand up a fifth battalion. There haven’t been five active Ranger Battalions since World War II.

However, this battalion is a little different. It’s the Military Intelligence Bn (Provisional). The battalion’s two companies will offer expanded capability beyond the current MI Co in the Regiment’s Special Troops Bn. It’s mission is to provide multi-discipline, full-spectrum, worldwide, expeditionary, and reach back intelligence capabilities for the 75th Ranger Regiment enterprise. Furthermore, it institutionalizes and professionalizes the find, fix, finish, exploit and analyze (F3EA) targeting methodology required to counter enemy combatant forces’ tactics, techniques, and methods.

The RMIB(P) will consist of a Ranger Military Intelligence Company providing all-source analysis, GEOINT, IMINT, HUMINT, and UAS functions along with a Combat Electromagnetic Activities Capabilities (CEMA) Company which will offer EW, SIGINT, Technical Surveillance and Cyber support. Additionally, there is a Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment.

Congratulations Rangers!

AeroVironment, Developer of the Nano Hummingbird, Unveils Snipe, A New, Stealthy Nano Quadrotor UAS

Tuesday, May 9th, 2017

-Launched from the palm of a hand, Snipe™ is worn on operators’ clothing so it can spring into action immediately – first 20 systems delivered in April
-Difficult to detect, Snipe provides close-range intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR)
-Simple to use and requires no assembly; operates in challenging and rugged environmental conditions
-Builds on breakthrough robotic Nano Hummingbird developed by AeroVironment for DARPA


DALLAS, at AUVSI XPONENTIAL, May 9, 2017 – AeroVironment, Inc. (NASDAQ: AVAV), a global leader in unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) for both military and commercial applications, today officially unveiled the new Snipe Nano Quad, a miniature (“Class 0”) and field-rugged unmanned aircraft system designed to support close-range intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions. The first U.S. government customer delivery of 20 Snipe systems took place in April.

“Snipe’s tiny size belies its impressive capabilities,” said Kirk Flittie, AeroVironment vice president and general manager of its Unmanned Aircraft Systems business segment. “It is quick, quiet, fast, durable and packed with advanced features critical to helping our customers succeed in close-range missions.”

“Snipe enables operators to spring into action quickly,” Flittie said. “No assembly is required for the five-ounce (140-gram) nano-UAS, which is designed to be worn by its operator so it can be deployed in less than a minute.”

Equipped with electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR), low-light-capable and long-wave infrared (LWIR) sensors in an integrated tilt mechanism, Snipe can relay high-resolution images and record real-time video both day and night. In addition, Snipe’s integrated UHF radio provides for excellent non-line-of-sight operation. The software-defined radio (SDR) allows Snipe to be sold commercially.

With its quiet electric motors, flight speeds exceeding 20 mph and more than one-kilometer range, Snipe is difficult to detect in operating environments with even minimal ambient noise. Its rechargeable batteries power approximately 15 minutes of flight time. Despite its small size, the durable nano-UAS is capable of operating under challenging environmental conditions – including winds of 15+ mph with gusts up to 20 mph

“While Snipe’s stealthiness makes it ideally suited for military applications, it’s an invaluable asset for anyone needing a ‘Class 0’ UAS to support their missions,” Flittie said.

Snipe is controlled using an intuitive app on a standard, ruggedized (MIL-STD 810) touch screen controller with intuitive user interface and automated operation for ease of use. Other critical functions include Snipe’s ability to return to its operator automatically if it loses its radio link.

Snipe benefits from advances in nano unmanned technology achieved by the company in its development of the internationally recognized Nano Hummingbird. “The Nano Hummingbird, the world’s first unmanned aircraft capable of propulsion and control using two flapping wings, is an example of how our breakthrough innovation has spawned a valuable new capability in Snipe that now will help our customers proceed with certainty,” added Flittie.

AeroVironment’s Snipe Nano Quadrotor will be available to order Fall 2017. Operator training requires four hours only.

www.avinc.com

An Imprecise History of the USASASODS

Monday, April 17th, 2017

Organic to each of the US Army’s Special Forces Groups are small teams of Signal Intelligence specialists operating in teams called Special Operations Team – Alpha or SOT-A. These in turn are supported by fewer still SOT-Bs. I served on a SOT-A from 1990-96 in 2nd Bn, 3td SFG(A). The SOTs-A are the direct descendants of the United States Army Security Agency Special Operations Detachments (USASASODs). While other SOF components have just recently stood up SIGINT support elements, SF has had the capability since before the Vietnam War.


Photograph: The 403rd SOD courier run – Plei Ku to Kontum – 1968 (Photo: INSCOM)

What follows is an “imprecise” history of thier existence from an ASA veteran website.

AN IMPRECISE HISTORY OF THE USASASODS

In the history of mankind, there are fleeting moments of time where, by fate or good judgement on the part of someone, a group of people are brought together at the most appropriate time and place or places to form extraordinary military units.

One such fleeting moment of history, was the formation and life cycle of an extraordinary military unit called the United States Army Security Agency Special Operations Detachment, more commonly referred to as the ASASOD.

One may ask why the ASASODs were called extraordinary and not elite. There are many elite military organizations such as the Roman Legions, Merrill’s Marauders, Rangers, Special Forces, SEALs, etc., however, there are few extraordiary units such as the ASASODs.

Why were the SODs extraordinary? Certainly, the timing was there and so were the places. But, the thing that really made the SOD an extraordinary unit was the people… good Special Forces soldiers…good technicians…loyal, dedicated, brave men…but, most of all, trusted and true friends.

The first SOD was originally formed at Vint Hill Farms Station, VA and relocated to FT Bragg, NC during the summer of 1960 with the 5th and 7th SFG(A)s. Later in 1960, units were organized and located in Okinawa with the 1st SFG(A) and Bad Toelz, GE with the 10th SFG(A). These original SODs were then designated as the 1st (1st SF), 2d (10th SF), 3d (7th SF), and 4th (5th SF) Operational Detachments of the 80th USASA Special Operations Unit (80th USASASOU).

In 1962 these Operational Detachments of the 80th SOU were redesignated as USASA Radio Research Units (RRUs); the 10th RRU (400th SOD) 1st SFG(A), and the 11th RRU (401st SOD) 8th SFG(A) was created, 12th RRU (402d SOD) 10th SFG(A), and the 13th RRU (403d SOD) 5th SFG(A).

During 1963 the units were again redesignated to the final designations we know them as today; the 400th ASASOD, 1st SFG(A); 401st ASASOD, 8th SFG(A); 402d ASASOD, 10th SFG(A); 403d ASASOD, 5th SFG(A) until Jan 64, 7th SFG(A) until Jan 65, and then to the 3d SFG(A) until the 403d’s deployment to RVN with the 5th SFG(A) in 1966.

The SODs remained the same from 1966 until the post-Viet Nam stand down of Special Forces during the early 1970s. With the stand down of the 5th SFG(A) in Viet Nam, the 403d was deactivated and was never again reactivated. On deactivation of the 8th SFG(A) in Panama, the 401st was deactivated for a short while and later reactivated with the 7th SFG(A) at Ft Bragg, NC. In 1974, on deactivation of the 1st SFG(A), the 400th was redeployed from Okinawa to Ft Bragg with the 5th SFG(A). The 402d redeployed from Germany with the 10th SFG(A) to Ft Devens, MA.

The official end of the USASASODs as United States Army Security Agency units came with the deactivation of HQs, USASA and conversion to Combat Electronic Warfare Intelligence (CEWI) organizations in December, 1976. However, even after the designation of USASA, the SODs continued to carry the ASASOD unit designations into the early 1980s when they were redesignated as Military Combat Intelligence Companies.

Schiebel’s CAMCOPTER S-100 Heading Towards Manned-Unmanned Teaming Ops

Monday, April 3rd, 2017

Vienna, 30 March 2017 – Schiebel and Patria have been working together to integrate Patria’s sophisticated Compact Airborne Networking Data Link (CANDL) communication network onto the CAMCOPTER® S-100 Unmanned Air System (UAS).
The two European companies’ joint effort is the first step of an ongoing program of work examining how the CAMCOPTER® S-100 can be deployed to directly support manned helicopter operations.

Patria’s CANDL provides a solid backbone to explore the benefits of Manned-UnManned Teaming (MUM-T) operations, where the combined strengths of each air asset can be optimized to increase overall situational awareness and enhance decision making.

As Schiebel’s Chief Technical Officer Chris Day points out, “using the unmanned element of a MUM-T operation to provide both the forward and higher altitude view will help to keep pilots and the manned assets safe as well as improve overall mission effectiveness.”

www.schiebel.com

AOC EW Europe 2017 Call for Papers Announced

Friday, February 24th, 2017

AOC EW Europe 2017: ‘Advancing EW and Electromagnetic Operations Together’

Europe is one of the most vital areas in the world and the focus of much change in the area of electronic warfare (EW), but with change comes uncertainty. In terms of EW and electromagnetic (EM) operations, how can we make sense of all of these things?

The Association of Old Crows is once again teaming up with Clarion Events to create Europe’s premier electronic warfare event- the only event fully supported by the AOC in Europe. This partnership brings together world-class speakers in a conference programme shaped by industry experts.

AOC EW Europe will consider the future of EW and EM Operations in the changing light of current and emerging threats, including Hybrid Warfare and Anti Access/Area Denial (A2/AD) where potential opponents are out-performing the West. It will consider the possible responses, how thinking and attitudes must change, and examine the new capabilities that will be required across all lines of development, by all services, in all countries in the free world. The Conference will consist of plenary sessions and twin-tracks focusing on operations, defence capability development, and industry inventiveness.

AOC EW Europe will be held in perhaps the world’s most iconic city – London. It will consider the future of EW and EM Operations in the changing light of current and emerging threats, including Hybrid Warfare and Anti Access/Area Denial (A2/AD) where potential opponents are out-performing the West.

Speakers will include leaders and operators from the military, government, academia, S&T and R&D communities and, crucially industry. This is an unclassified truly-global EW networking, exhibition, workshop and conference and not to be missed.

The PLATH Intelligence Workshop will precede the EW Europe conference on 6 June 2017. For more information or to submit a paper, please visit www.eweurope.com

Please note that the closing date for the call for papers is 17 March, however we encourage you to submit papers as soon as possible as they will be considered as they are received.

Kestrel wide-area sensor makes first-time showing at IDEX

Thursday, February 16th, 2017

FAIRFAX, Va.— Feb. 6, 2017— Logos Technologies will be showcasing the upgraded, exportable Kestrel Block II wide-area motion imagery (WAMI) sensor at the International Defence Exhibition and Conference (IDEX).

Designed for defense, public safety and humanitarian assistance missions, the Block II shares all the same capabilities as the original Kestrel system, which has been deployed with U.S. forces since 2011.


Each sensor, when mounted on an aerostat, creates a 440 Mpx mosaic image and can monitor an entire city-sized area at once, day and night, for weeks at a time. In addition, each WAMI system detects and simultaneously tracks all significant movers in real time, while also recording events for later forensic analysis.

Kestrel Block II mounted on an aerostat
“The key upgrade in Kestrel Block II,” says John Marion, president of Logos Technologies, “is that we have improved the operational reliability, while significantly reducing the weight, from 150 pounds [68 kg] to less than 85 [40 kg].”

This lighter weight allows the Block II to be paired up with a wider range of aerostats, sensors and communications equipment.

For more information on Logos Technologies and its innovative solutions, please visit Booth 03-B29 at the Abu Dhabi National Exposition Centre.

FLIR Systems Acquires Prox Dynamics for $134 Million

Wednesday, November 30th, 2016

This purchase is a pretty big deal as the Prox Dynamics PD-100 Black Hornet, Nano class UAV gains traction, including for such programs as the US Army’s Soldier Borne Sensor effort. You can see it here in this Army commercial.

Acquisition adds unique nano-drone unmanned aerial systems leveraging Lepton capabilities to Surveillance product range

WILSONVILLE, OR — (Marketwired) — 11/30/16 — FLIR Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: FLIR) announced today that it has acquired Prox Dynamics AS, a leading developer and manufacturer of nano-class unmanned aerial systems (UAS) for military and para-military intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance applications, for approximately $134 million in cash.

Based in Oslo, Norway and founded in 2007 by pioneers in nano helicopter technologies, Prox Dynamics develops, manufactures, and distributes aerial sensors that are revolutionarily small, light, and covert surveillance systems. Prox Dynamics’ Personal Reconnaissance System (PRS) features their Black Hornet aerial sensor and a hand controller, a system that is pocket sized and hand-launched by a soldier in the field, enabling a significant advantage in situational awareness and mission planning. The Black Hornet aerial sensor utilizes FLIR’s Lepton micro thermal camera, visible spectrum cameras, advanced low-power rotor technology, and proprietary software for flight control, stabilization, and communications. The Black Hornet helicopter is one of the lightest, stealthiest, and safest drones in the market, offering a highly advanced, lifesaving surveillance solution for traditional military forces and special operations forces. Weighing less than one ounce, the Black Hornet helicopter can fly for up to 25 minutes at line-of-sight distances of up to one mile.

The addition of the Prox Dynamics business will augment FLIR’s Surveillance segment by extending FLIR’s Airborne sensor product line and fully leveraging Lepton technology. FLIR intends to invest in optimizing the PRS platform to further enhance the range, cost, flexibility, and performance of the system. The Prox Dynamics team will benefit from close interaction with FLIR’s thermal sensor development group as well as the ability to leverage FLIR’s brand, distribution, and customer support infrastructure to better serve a global base of users. The business will become FLIR’s Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) line of business operating within the Surveillance segment.

“This acquisition adds a unique unmanned aerial systems capability to our portfolio. The Prox Dynamics team has created a highly-differentiated solution, incorporating our Lepton sensor, for advanced intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance that fits well with our vision for growth for our Surveillance segment,” said Andy Teich, President and CEO of FLIR. “The team at Prox Dynamics operates with a commercial mindset, which is a great fit for FLIR’s ‘commercially developed, military qualified,’ or ‘CDMQ,’ operating philosophy. We are excited to welcome the Prox Dynamics team to FLIR and look forward to working together to further advance this remarkable system capability.”

FLIR anticipates the business and related transaction costs will be approximately $0.01 dilutive to its 2016 earnings per share.