TiaLinx Launches Phoenix50-H UAV
Unmanned-aerial-vehicle (UAV) pioneer TiaLinx (www.tialinx.com) recently announced the launch of their Phoenix50-H multisensor mini-copter. The advanced UAV features extended operating range and the capability to perform multiple functions, such as detecting both motion or a person breathing in a compound. The UAV can be piloted at many multiples of 100 feet from the ground or from an airborne asset for added production to operators.
The agile, lightweight mini-copter can be programmed to land at multiple waypoints, including on sloped roofs. It uses a software controlled interface which is integrated into a laptop or joystick controller unit. The UAV has been integrated with the company’s fine-beam, ultrawideband (UWB) multi-GHz radio-frequency sensor array and also includes an onboard microphone and video camera. The Phoenix50-H can send data with lower transmit power than a typical cellular telephone.
“Users’ feedback from our past evaluations indicate that a remotely controlled system at an extended range from an operator point of view is essential for safety and completion of a critical mission,” observes Dr. Fred Mohamadi, founder and CEO of TiaLinx. “Phoenix50-H’s introduction is intended to provide another breakthrough in miniaturization of advanced life detection sensors in compounds and to keep the operators at least few hundred feet away. TiaLinx is constantly miniaturizing and upscaling its UWB RF imaging core competence to enable extended standoff sensing of a premise for enhanced situational awareness without jeopardizing the operator.”
Many Mil PCBs Come From Outside The US
About one-third of all printed circuit boards (PCBs) for United States defense or military systems are made outside of the US. This revelation comes from a report prepared for the US Air Force by the IPC—Association Connecting Electronics Industries® (www.ipc.org). The association’s study placed the value of the US military market for PCBs between $1.05 and $1.23 billion and, depending upon the total market size, the amount of PCBs from foreign sources ranged from 27% to 39%.
According to Denny McGuirk, IPC president and CEO, too much of this business has moved overseas: “North America has a competent, competitive, and organized supply base to support current and future Department of Defense (DoD) requirements for PCB technology. In IPC’s ‘Electronic Interconnect Industry Policy Recommendations to the DoD Printed Circuit Board Executive Agent,’ the industry recommends that DoD should also source noncritical technology from North American manufacturers to support a robust and technical advanced domestic supply base.”
L-3 MPRI Earns ISO 9001:2008
L-3 MPRI (www.mpri.com) has achieved International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 9001:2008 certification. The scope of certification spans the company’s involvement as a provider of integrated training, education, development, and staffing solutions for security, military, and law enforcement services and programs for the US government and foreign governments. Support functions include human resources, accounting and finance, contracts and purchasing, business development, licensing, security, information technology (IT), and strategy. “Our recent ISO 9001:2008 registration helps assure governments that our core support processes have the internationally recognized performance and quality management characteristics necessary to execute contract objectives,” says Brian Gilbert, Vice-President of Quality at L-3 MPRI. “Our focus on continued process improvement fosters increased consistency and efficiency within our organization so that we can deliver a higher level of service to our customers.”
The company recently was awarded a contract with total potential value of $30.7 million to support the Center for Strategic Leadership. As part of the indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity (ID/IQ) contract, L-3 MPRI will provide highly trained professionals and technology resources to enhance senior leadership education and decision making at the highest levels of the government and the military. The contract spans a one-year base period with four one-year option periods. The Center for Strategic Leadership is one of five institutes in the US Army War College and serves as a high-technology senior leader experiential education center.
ARC-210 Gen5 Radio Certified For Satcom
The fifth-generation ARC-210 radio from Rockwell Collins (www.rockwellcollins.com) has completed Joint Interoperability Test Command (JITC) satellite communications testing, required for certification as a communication solution with networking capability for airborne platforms. This certification supports the NAVAIR Common Avionics Program Office (PMA-209) Procurement Decision, which will provide US Navy production aircraft the ability to procure ARC-210 RT-1939 Gen5 radios on the NAVAIR Production contract.
The software-defined radio (SDR) was also recently certified by the National Security Agency (NSA), to comply with the NSA’s cryptographic modernization initiative. According to Bruce King, Vice-President and General Manager of Communications Products for Rockwell Collins, “The ARC-210 Gen5 radio is the first-to-market solution capable of providing networking and modern cryptographic functionality that the US military needs for its airborne platforms. It provides a clear pathway for the Department of Defense to acquire an affordable, reliable and secure networking solution for any type of aircraft.” The ARC-210 Gen5 radio provides a form and fit replacement for existing ARC-210 radios, currently installed on 182 different platform types worldwide.
Network Emulator Checks JTRS In Action
Scalable Network Technologies (www.scalable-networks.com) has been awarded a $11 million contract by the Joint Program Executive Office, Joint Tactical Radio System (JPEO JTRS) for a JTRS network emulator (JNE) to be used by numerous Department of Defense (DoD) agencies. The firm was the first phase III contract recipient selected from a field of more than 80 small business innovative research (SBIR) grants in the JTRS program alone. The JNE, a virtual laboratory that supports real-time emulation of large-scale communication networks of current and future force radios and associated waveforms, will be based on Scalable Network Technology’s EXata™ emulation engine and used to create networks that simulate the intensity and distribution of traffic on a battlefield.
The JNE will be integrated into live exercises with actual hardware and real users, including the US Army’s upcoming series of brigade-level network integration operational test exercises at Fort Bliss, TX and White Sands Missile Range, NM. Because JNE accurately emulates JTRS and other waveforms, it can be scaled to represent the type of traffic that might be found on a typical battlefield deployment. “As the core of the Battle Command Network Integration and Simulation, the JTRS Network Emulator is the culmination of more than a decade of focused development, and the first time this capability will be used in operational testing,” explains Brigadeer General Don MacWillie, Commanding General, US Army Operational Test Command.
According to Michael DiGennaro, Battle Command Network Integration and Simulation Manager, USAOTC, “JNE is really a perfect success story of how the DoD does R&D at its best, bringing critical new technologies to bear on pressing challenges. We started as a research project, fur-thered the design through technical testing— adapting to changes in network technology along the way—and are fielding an exciting solution that is supporting the deployment of robust net-centric communications for the warfighter.”
Rockwell Collins Aids Turkish UAV Efforts
Rockwell Collins (www.rockwellcollins.com) and its Athena® inertial navigation system (INS) and global positioning system (GPS) have been selected to provide guidance and navigation for the Anka Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). The Anka MALE, developed by Turkish Aerospace Industries, Inc. (TAI), was created for day and night real-time image intelligence for surveillance, reconnaissance, fixed/moving target detection, identification and tracking missions. It can reach altitudes as high as 30,000 ft with 24-hour endurance time. Rockwell Collins will provide its Athena 511 integrated INS/GPS and air data sensor suite system for the Anka MALE. The system weighs just 6 lbs. Claude Alber, Rockwell Collins’ Vice-President and Managing Director for Europe, Middle East, and Africa, adds that its reliability has already been demonstrated: “Because our Athena guidance and navigation system has uniquely surpassed more than 1 million operational flight hours, we’re bringing the highest levels of proven reliability to this program.”