Wilcox BOSS

Archive for the ‘ISR’ Category

L3Harris and Air Tractor Display AT-802U Sky Warden ISR Strike Platform at SOFIC

Monday, May 16th, 2022

L3Harris and Air Tractor, Inc. are teamed to produce the affordable, production-ready aircraft designed for airborne intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) and strike missions in extreme combat environments.

L3Harris also will have an interactive Sky Warden systems integration lab in SOFIC Booth #813 to demonstrate the multi-sensor operator experience.

The multi-mission platform provides the operator agility and flexibility to identify, track and react to counter threats and merges the capabilities of larger ISR and armed aircraft into one resilient package. It is also capable of takeoff and landing on unimproved airstrips – allowing the aircraft to be deployed and co-located with special mission operators. Learn more at www.L3Harris.com/SkyWarden.

Army, National Intelligence Leaders Prioritize Protection of Warfighting Advances

Sunday, May 15th, 2022

??

AUSTIN, Texas — As the Army expands efforts to shape and modernize the future force, it is coordinating with experts across the U.S. government to ensure breakthrough advances in future warfighting equipment and strategies are protected from adversaries.

Army Futures Command leaders recently met with Dr. Stacey Dixon, Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence, at the command’s Austin headquarters to discuss Army-led modernization activities and technological innovations. The visit included a trip to the nearby Army Software Factory, where Soldiers shared with Dr. Dixon their motivations for wanting to contribute directly to the creation of new tech solutions for the Army.

“Deep partnerships across government are essential to maintaining a competitive technological advantage for the U.S., and I enjoyed meeting firsthand the talented Soldiers who are equipping warfighters with modern, tech-enabled solutions to advance our national security,” said Dr. Dixon. Dr. Dixon’s visit also underscored the critical importance of safeguarding development in future tools and concepts — an aim shared by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the U.S. Army.

Through its Tech Protect initiative and rigorous information review process, the Army is actively minimizing the risk of compromising sensitive or proprietary information to ensure the U.S. maintains substantial technological advantages.

“We’re putting in a tremendous amount of effort at AFC to develop state-of-the art systems, equipment and strategies that will provide us with technological overmatch on future battlefields,” said Ed Mornston, Director of Intelligence and Security at Army Futures Command.

“Protecting these advances from compromise by those who seek to do us harm is a central part of our planning,” Mornston said.

The Army estimates that in recent years, 80 percent of compromised information has been obtained through unclassified or improperly secured controlled unclassified information.

With the implementation of Tech Protect, however, the Army, working with the Intelligence Community, has established additional protections to prevent foreign interests from stealing valuable intellectual property and repurposing if for their own military advances.

This enhanced protection posture, which includes reducing unprotected information exchange, ensures that Army modernization activities are able to proceed uninterrupted and ultimately deliver unrivaled operational capabilities to the future force.

By Maureena Thompson, Army Futures Command

Sky-Hero, AARDVARK, and PROJECT7 Expand Groundbreaking Tactical Robotics Suite with the SIGYN Mk1 Throwable Robot, Using the Same Controller as the Loki MK2 sUAS

Wednesday, April 13th, 2022

The tactical robotics suite from Sky-Hero, Aardvark Tactical, and PROJECT7 ARMOR is undergoing a huge expansion in 2022, providing tactical operators with access to an easy-to-use, intelligent recon ecosystem that revolutionizes mission safety. While the highly successful LOKI Mk2 Tactical sUAS changed operator tactics in the air, the new SIGYN Mk1 Recon System provides superior scouting on the ground in the form of a compact, throwable robot.

SIGYN Mk1 is an operator friendly robot that provides teams with superior scouting through two ultra-sensitive Day-Night cameras. While 150-degree views allow for an impressive scope, dimmable IR LEDs on the front, back, and top of the vehicle provide video clarity and NVG lighting. SIGYN Mk1 is purpose built with aviation-grade carbon fiber and reinforced with polycarbonate frames for a rugged but lightweight build, allowing the operator to deploy the bot with a single-handed throw.

SIGYN Mk1 is seamlessly integrated into the Sky-Hero Tactical Robotics Suite and is operated via the Odyssy GCS, the same handheld GCS controller that operates the LOKI Mk2. The small but rugged Odyssy GCS controller employs the superior Odyssy platform, an ultra-secure interface that doesn’t require the use of GPS, WiFi, or cell service. Its strong AES 256 encryption and diversified analog audio-video receptors prohibit signal interception and secure all vehicle, payload, and intelligence data. The GCS can operate up to four devices simultaneously. This allows a single operator to control any combination of up to four LOKI sUAS and/or SIGYN UGVs simultaneously from a single GCS controller. It also allows other team members to choose between and watch any of the four device feeds from the new Tactical Wrist Viewer, regardless of which device is currently being controlled. The new suite of payloads, from diversionary devices to sensors, will expand to support the SIGYN and be interchangeable between Loki and SIGYN in Q3 2022. All products are designed and constructed in Europe and the United States by NATO allies and supported in the United States by Aardvark Tactical.

Also new in 2022 is an expanded partnership between Sky-Hero and PROJECT7. Designed to create an entire line of deployment accessories for LOKI and SIGYN, the partnership ensures that they remain the most tactically deployable robots in the world. The new PROJECT7 accessories include the PROJECT7 ILB-FLEX backpack system, purpose-built for Sky-Hero robotics. The system is mission configurable with removable pouches and panels, allowing the end user to select and carry only the items required for the current mission. PROJECT7 is also releasing a new leg carrying system for SIGYN, a revised version of the LOKI Vest Integration System (LVIS), and a new P7 Gauntlet to house the new remote viewer.  

Driven by innovative technology, the Sky-Hero Tactical Robotics Suite allows operators to eliminate the risk of the unknown in close-quartered indoor operations. Learn more about how the SIGYN Mk1 and the complete Sky-Hero Tactical Robotics Suite can revolutionize the way your team approaches an operation at loki.aardvarktactical.com or by contacting Aardvark Tactical, the exclusive North American distributor.

About SKY-HERO: Founded in 2013 and located in Brussels, Sky-Hero is a dynamic, flexible, fast-growing company that specializes in drones and robotics. With a target market in civil security, their clients range from Police Special Forces to International Security companies, mountain rescue teams, and firefighters.

About AARDVARK: Founded in 1987, Aardvark Tactical is a leading distributor and system integrator specializing in the protection of tactical operators from Local, State, Federal, and Military Units. AARDVARK is headquartered in La Verne, CA.

About PROJECT7 ARMOR: PROJECT7 is the culmination of years of research and development geared toward producing the ultimate integrated tactical armor systems. PROJECT7 is sold exclusively to sworn Military, Law Enforcement, and Federal Agents through our sole source distribution partner, AARDVARK, in La Verne, CA.

MKS Announces Ophir Long Range, Ruggedized 60-1200mm f/4 Continuous Zoom Lens for Cooled MWIR Cameras

Tuesday, April 5th, 2022

Detection ranges exceed 28km for security and survaillance, and C-UAS extended observation systems

April 5, 2022 – Andover, MA – MKS Instruments, Inc. (NASDAQ: MKSI), a global provider of technologies that enable advanced processes and improve productivity, has announced the Ophir® SupIR 60-1200 MWIR f/4 lens, the latest addition to the company’s series of lenses designed for SXGA/HD 10µm and 15µm VGA pitch FPA (focal plane array) cooled MWIR cameras. This new, high precision lens is equipped with an automated zoom interface and continuous zoom to provide a sharp and clear image across the entire field-of-view and throughout the full zoom range. This makes it ideal for the demanding requirements of Counter Unmanned Systems (C-UAS) applications and long range observation and surveillance systems.

“The SupIR 60-1200mm MWIR f/4 lens is a game changer for homeland security and defense applications,” said Dr. Kobi Lasri, General Manager, Ophir Optics Group. “The extended observation range, high performance continuous zoom capabilities, and ruggedized design allow for early and accurate identification and tracking of fast-moving targets without losing sight.”

The Ophir SupIR 60-1200mm f/4 has a horizontal field-of-view (H-FOV) of 0.3°-8.6°. It is the newest addition to the SupIR SXGA/HD 10µm detectors compatible series of lenses which are designed to withstand harsh environmental conditions, providing an operating temperature range from -32ºC to +85ºC. These lenses features Ophir’s world-renowned abrasion-resistant, anti-reflective (AR) coatings; IP 67 sealing; and a mechanical design that withstands severe shock and vibration. They are designed for ease of mechanical and electronic integration using Ophir’s standard software for optimal integration, calibration, and field operation. In addition, the lenses are equipped with zoom controller features for continuous zoom with focus retention, automatic focus compensation throughout temperature and zoom ranges, close objects focus mode, focus blurring for NUC calculation, and full manual and automatic control of zoom and focus positions.

Availability

The SupIR 60-1200mm MWIR f/4 lens is available now. OEM prices available on request.

Product Data Sheet

SupIR 60-1200mm f/4 lens

Ophir long-range product family brochure

Pennsylvania Guard First Guard to Field New SIGINT System

Tuesday, March 29th, 2022

FORT INDIANTOWN GAP, Pa. — The Pennsylvania National Guard is the first National Guard in the country to field the new Tactical Dismounted Electronic Warfare and Signals Intelligence (TDEWS) system.

Eight Pennsylvania National Guard Soldiers trained at Fort Indiantown Gap March 13-17 on the TDEWS, which filled a significant gap in the training of Soldiers in the intelligence Military Occupational Specialties. Signals Intelligence advisers from the Army National Guard Technical Control and Analysis Element and the Intelligence and Electronic Warfare Program of the Mission Training Complex facilitated the training.

“This system adds a huge amount of value to our intelligence capabilities,” said Warrant Officer Trevor Burgess, a signals intelligence analysis technician with 28th Infantry Division, the Pennsylvania Guard’s senior SIGINT technician. “Soldiers train for six months to acquire the MOS, then when they get to their units here in Pennsylvania, they didn’t have this equipment to train on and the support of full-time subject matter experts that the Army National Guard G2 provides, so this does improve our intelligence capability.”

The TDEWS is a dedicated, all-weather, tactical electronic warfare system providing force protection and situational awareness to commanders at any echelon.

“We went from classroom instruction to hands-on setting up and tearing down the system over and over, to using it in a controlled dismounted environment, and then in the past two days, we’ve been able to pack it up in our special man packs we were issued for the system and actually come out here and work with trainers who built situational training exercise lanes for us to train on,” said Sgt. Emily Rivas, a cryptologic linguist with the 103rd Brigade Engineer Battalion, 56th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 28th Infantry Division.

The 56th SBCT will be doing a rotation at the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, California, this summer. The training will ensure these Soldiers can employ this new equipment during the brigade’s validation exercise and can execute their mission as they would on the battlefield, Burgess said.

“The thing with this system that makes it so nice for our training is that we’re able to just fire it up and use it whenever we want at any training site,” said Rivas. The previous system required a lot of coordination and approvals, which became cumbersome.

During the recent training at Fort Indiantown Gap, the eight Soldiers were divided into two-person teams to locate trainers posing as enemy forces at a rubble pile. Rivas’ team was the first to locate their target.

“We were able to lock it down really fast, locating the enemy really quickly and let the other teams know where they were and how they were communicating,” she said. “It felt really good to actually be able to see the system working and how it all comes together.”

“As of right now, I’m feeling very good about it,” said Sgt. Joe Falcone, a cryptologic linguist with the 103rd Brigade Engineer Battalion, 56th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 28th Infantry Division. “We have a total of eight days so far training on this equipment, just due to the nature of being in the National Guard and that it was only fielded to us at the beginning of January, but every single day I feel leaps and bounds better.”

Falcone said he didn’t feel as comfortable with the device earlier in the week, but this event significantly improved his confidence in advance of the upcoming rotation.

“The NTC rotation will allow the Soldiers to actually utilize the skills that they train hard in, and use that to improve the intelligence footprint, the intelligence picture and make the overall mission a success,” said Burgess.

By SSG Zane Craig, Joint Force Headquarters – Pennsylvania National Guard

OverWatch by Aries Defense

Monday, February 14th, 2022

SupplyCore has been out looking for novel C5ISR* technologies and showed me the Overwatch System from a company right in my backyard. Aries Defense is based here in the Tidewater of Virginia and was founded by a small team of coders who specialize in rapid integration of existing systems into distributed networks.

OverWatch began service with the USMC but has rapidly been spread to other services. It is a TLR9 system which is a LOW voltage edge deployable video surveillance platform used to gain close-in situational awareness.  OverWatch will present a “live” view of the battlespace from a fixed and/or concealed position and provides live full motion video over any network.

OverWatch is network agnostic. They have integrated with LTE, SATCOM, Ethernet, and any Tactical radio such as Trellisware, Harris, DTC, Thales, Silvus, Persistent, etc.

OverWatch is also camera agnostic.  It will ingest any digital or analog video stream.  Aries Defense provides Canon/Nikon lens adaptors which allow maximum compatibility with existing lens kits.

Finally OverWatch is integrated into ATAK, WinTAK, and MCH as well as Aries Defense’s own StandAlone App.

Aries Defense products are available for unit and agency purchase through SupplyCore.

*Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Combat Systems, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance

Portable Servers Enhance Army Geospatial Intelligence Training

Saturday, February 12th, 2022

FORT KNOX, Ky. — The Army Geospatial Center has assisted in further modernizing the 412th Theater Engineer Command’s Engineer-Focused Intelligence Training, or ENFIT, geospatial intelligence procedures with two portable high speed imagery servers.

The OPTIA-produced “ammo can” and smaller-sized portable imagery server from TerraMaster provide Engineers with rapid access global map data without reliance on network speeds or bandwidth limitations. The unit connects a laptop to either device and pulls what they need directly from it, cutting down research and product development by as much as 50 percent.

Jorge Morales, Team Lead Geographer with the AGC Warfighter Support Directorate, stated that the AGC integrated both portable systems into the ENFIT program as of the third quarter of 2021, so the AGC anticipated units to send in results of their use shortly.

“The ‘ammo can’ has about 25 terabytes in storage,” he said. “That fits all of the geospatial maps with space to spare for more.”

Morales explained that the maps already on the devices varied depending on what engineers needed, but each were as detailed down to as much as half a meter. He said they provided a “hybrid solution” with both three dimensional and simulation capabilities.

Armed with comprehensive imagery of the entire world, regardless of depth or height, Army Engineers can precisely direct and reinforce U.S. military efforts for assured mission success. Further, at an estimated five pounds each, the servers prove an easy, more than acceptable burden for any unit.

ENFIT is a specialized course where Soldiers use updated geospatial analytic tools with rapid terrain analysis — geospatial data being facts about occurrences, objects and events that are associated with a particular location on Earth’s surface. These give engineer commanders proper foundational, geographical knowledge to make the right decisions as to where operations should take place.

Maj. Gen. Stephen Strand, 412th TEC Commander, emphasized that ENFIT provides new methods to improve top-tier planning for the Army Reserve.

“The ENFIT program significantly enhances the geospatial engineering capabilities of the [412th Theater Engineer Command],” said Strand. “It’s a great program to develop the bench needed to maintain proficiency for years to come.”

Col. Steven Hayden, 412th Theater Engineer Command Chief of Staff, concurred on Strand’s assessment, adding that ENFIT allows Soldiers to use geospatial analytic tools to provide commanders with terrain analysis that shape the battlefield and drive decision.

ENFIT continues in Alexandria, Virginia throughout 2022 with more classes that include these and more modernizing devices.

By MAJ William Allred and SFC Tony Foster, 412th Theater Engineer Command

Counting Elephants – The Hark-1 Radio

Saturday, January 1st, 2022

As Vietnam heated up, the Agency’s need for eyes on the Laotian panhandle increased beyond the support that could be provided by Thai PARU and RTSF advisors. As a result, the CIA was forced to look for other solutions to communicate with its illiterate Lao Theung road watching teams targeting the Ho Chi Minh Trail.

To tackle this problem, the Agency came up with a radio that used pictograms to communicate what a team saw. Crafted from a modified USAF survival unit, the Hark-1 or Hark Box was released early in 1967.

Note the depictions of armor, artillery, AAA, trucks, porters, soldiers, time of day, and direction of travel. The circular button at the center was used to transmit the tally of what was seen moving north and southbound on the trail to an airborne relay station. While the radio doesn’t appear to have a pictogram for elephants, it was given the affection moniker “the Elephant Counter” by Paramilitary Officers involved in the project. To avoid detection, the Hark road watching teams – sometimes numbering up to twenty-four road watchers on a target like the Mu Gia Pass – would be inserted via unmarked “Pony Express” CH-3s very far from their objective.

On the third slide you can see the Hark-1 with antenna deployed in front of Case Officer, Gene Norwinski during a briefing in Savannakhet. The project was wrapped up in 1969 having been overshadowed by a variety of Pentagon projects and new sensors and night vision capabilities like those present on the AC-130.

Written by @Immurement