20 juillet 2021 | International, Aérospatial, Naval, Terrestre, C4ISR, Sécurité

Contracts for July 19, 2021

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  • Is this the new wave of submerged communications?

    29 août 2018 | International, C4ISR

    Is this the new wave of submerged communications?

    By: Kelsey Atherton The ocean hides what it contains, and it is in that hiding that submarines have their power. Lurking under seas, at first with just enough capability for an attack run and now with the ability to lurk for months at a time, submarines remain power out of reach, unseen until engaged in combat or resupplying in a friendly port. That stealth comes at a cost, however, besides the simple perils of existing underwater. When submerged, submarines are more or less on their own until they resurface again, since radio waves do not travel well through seawater. Or they are for now. New research by MIT, presented at a conference in late August, devised a way for submerged submarines to communicate wirelessly with people on the surface by combining hydroacoustics and acoustic radars. Presently, submarines communicate either across normal radio frequencies when surfaced or through hydroacoustic signals and listening posts underwater that can transmit the messages back to counterparts on shore. Very and extremely low-frequency radio waves can be transmitted in a way that submarines can listen to below the surface, but it’s a one-way form of communication, from stations on land to submarines. To get something responsive, with the flexibility to communicate away from static seabed hydrophones, needs something else. Specifically, it needs a way to combine hydroacoustic transmission from the submarine through water that can then be converted into a useful data. “We present a new communication technology, translational acoustic-RF communication (TARF),” write paper authors Francesco Tonolini and Fadel Adib of the MIT Media Lab. “TARF enables underwater nodes to directly communicate with airborne nodes by transmitting standard acoustic signals. TARF exploits the fact that underwater acoustic signals travel as pressure waves, and that these waves cause displacements of the water surface when they impinge on the water-air boundary. To decode the transmitted signals, TARF leverages an airborne radar which measures and decodes these surface displacements.” In testing, they demonstrated that the communication technique can transfer data at standard underwater bitrates up to 400bps, and even do so with surface waves 6.3 inches crest-to-crest, or 100,000 times larger than the surface perturbations made by the acoustic transmitter. Right now, this communication is one-way. While the signal transmitted up from the water produces useful information at the boundary with the air, a signal transmitted through the air downwards would disintegrate on integration with water. This one-way is distinct from previous forms of communication with submarines, however, as it lets the submarine talk without revealing its position to surface sensors. Despite the limitations, and the earlierness of the research, Tonolini and Adlib see a bright future for the technology, as a way to enable a host of new technology in machines. The technology, they write, can enable “many applications including submarine-to-drone communication, deep-sea exploration, and subsea IoT (Internet of Things). https://www.c4isrnet.com/c2-comms/2018/08/28/mit-discovers-way-for-submarines-to-talk-to-drones

  • International militaries reveal interest in US Army’s Future Vertical Lift program

    14 septembre 2020 | International, Aérospatial

    International militaries reveal interest in US Army’s Future Vertical Lift program

    By: Valerie Insinna  WASHINGTON — The U.S. Army’s Future Vertical Lift program is getting “significant” levels of attention from militaries around the globe, eight of which have already sent letters of interest to the service, the head of the FVL program said Sept. 10. “We’re working with multiple international partners on bilateral agreements … and we’re pursuing those letters of interest,” Brig. Gen. Wally Rugen, director of the Army’s Future Vertical Lift Cross-Functional Team, said during a panel at the Defense News Conference. Rugen declined to comment on what nations have expressed interest in the program but said that the Army has remained engaged with those countries during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’ve done a number of virtual meetings with our partners to keep the momentum up during COVID, and we have very good planning on our 2021 engagements going forward,” he said. “The exportability, interoperability and the cooperation is being studied deeply. [We’re] talking about [liaison officers] coming into the FVL office.” The Army intends to develop and field two rotorcraft in the early 2030s as part of the FVL program: future attack reconnaissance aircraft, which will take over the reconnaissance mission currently performed by a mix of the AH-64 Apache helicopter and RQ-7 Shadow drone; and the future long-range attack aircraft, which will replace the UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter. Both are on budget and on schedule, Rugen said. The service recently awarded 10 contracts worth a total of $29.75 million to companies that will develop a series of “air-launched effects” for its future vertical lift aircraft, which could include sensors, mesh networking technologies and other payloads. Future contracts for air-launched effects could present sales opportunities for foreign defense contractors, Rugen said during the panel. “There’s a lot of opportunity for our international partners in this space. I think it’s very wide open. And the reason it’s so wide open is” is that such technologies are “affordable and effective,” he said. In addition to the effort focused on air-launched effects, the Army is in the middle of multiple future tactical UAV demonstrations, which will ultimately pave the way for a replacement of the Shadow drone. Soldiers are assessing the four candidate systems through a series of field tests and exercises: the V-Bat system offered by Martin UAV and Northrop Grumman; Textron’s Aerosonde HQ; the Arcturus UAV JUMP 20; and L3Harris' FVR-90. “The soldiers are extremely excited but giving us good feedback,” Rugen said. “They’re not being easy on us [on] what to fix, what to do different. And that’s the kind of data and information that’s going to give us just a rock-solid requirement that we can move out on and get this into units where it’s militarized, ruggedized and ready to go.” https://www.defensenews.com/smr/defense-news-conference/2020/09/10/international-militaries-are-keeping-an-eye-on-the-us-armys-future-vertical-lift-program/

  • Australia makes another order for Boeing’s Loyal Wingman drones after a successful first flight

    3 mars 2021 | International, Aérospatial

    Australia makes another order for Boeing’s Loyal Wingman drones after a successful first flight

    The design will also be the basis of one of the U.S. Air Force's Skyborg entrants.

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