September 13, 2017

Skunk Works’ Project Hunter enables total battlespace awareness at remote Northern Edge Exercise

PALMDALE, Calif.—In support of the U.S. Air Force’s vision for seamless integration across its aircraft, ground and space systems, Lockheed Martin Skunk Works® participated in the Northern Edge military exercise to show how open systems architecture enables unprecedented battlespace awareness to reduce the data-to-decision timeline for the war fighter.

Reducing the data-to-decision timeline is important to the war fighter as the complexity of the battlespace continues to increase. Gone are the days of one plane engaging with another.

Today’s war fighters must have the information they need to drive decisions across multiple platforms in the air, on the ground and in water quickly. In partnership with the Air Force, Skunk Works continues to demonstrate how this next-level connectivity is possible through a series of projects designed to illustrate the tangible benefits of open mission systems.

A series of six flights performed at Northern Edge concluded one of these research and development efforts called Project Hunter, which matured open systems architecture technologies and demonstrated the ability to share data across dissimilar platforms in denied environments. The effort successfully demonstrated:

* The first use of open radio architecture to implement and evaluate advanced networking and communications capabilities
* Multi domain command and control capabilities
* Ability to disseminate data from the Distributed Ground System via a secure OMS enabled Link 16 radio
* Enhanced Link 16 fighter to fighter OMS capability integration

“This demonstration focused on advanced communications and interoperability between systems,” said Renee Pasman, director of mission systems roadmaps at Lockheed Martin Skunk Works. “We used a highly capable, high altitude U-2 as a vital communications and processing node, connecting a web of systems across multiple domains and enabling complete battlespace awareness.”

At the heart of the system was a modified Enterprise OSA Mission Computer v2, known as the Einstein Box. The Einstein Box hosted all of the OMS processing and cross domain capabilities, and served as the interface to all radios.

Project Hunter focused on advancing OMS technologies to provide the war fighter with a solution that brings faster system integration, enables affordable hardware and software reuse and upgrades, and provides a solid foundation to build the capabilities for today and future.

This project was led by Lockheed Martin Skunk Works with support from industry partners General Dynamics Mission Systems, L-3 Technologies, Viasat, Lockheed Martin’s Rotary and Mission Systems and Missiles and Fire Control businesses, and Northrop Grumman.

Project Hunter builds on the mission system integration work Lockheed Martin first demonstrated in 2013 and continues to advance with U-2 OMS flight tests, Have Raider and Project Missouri demonstrations.

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