Business

May 31, 2013

Lab effort to cut costs for Navy’s Triton UAS program

Paul Weinstein, an electronics engineer supporting the Common Standards and Interoperability (CSI) program office at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md., views imagery transmitted from sensors aboard an aircraft. His team stood up a government-led image quality lab here in 2012 that will help determine how to effectively employ sensors and radars for the MQ-4C Triton and potentially other manned and unmanned aircraft in the future.

An engineer at Naval Air Station Patuxent River is leading an initiative that will save the Navy’s MQ-4C Triton Unmanned Aircraft System program several hundred thousand dollars.

Paul Weinstein, an electronics engineer supporting the Common Standards and Interoperability program office, launched an image quality lab in 2012 that will help determine how to effectively employ Triton’s sensors and radars and potentially other manned and unmanned systems.

In preparation for the first Triton image evaluation, Weinstein, a former National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency employee, worked with the agency to provide the necessary training, software and image scientists for the first official evaluation of the P-8A aircraft’s Electro-Optical sensor. Since the P-8A and MQ-4C are part of the Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Force family of systems, Weinstein’s team made a decision to evaluate the P-8 first and include test engineers from both programs.

“Paul did an outstanding job getting this image quality assessment capability set up and running,” said Pat Ellis, MQ-4C Triton’s Mission Systems lead. “This will save the Triton program several hundred thousand dollars, since we will not have to submit packages for image ratings to NGA and the Office of Naval Intelligence for our imaging systems.”

Without this capability at Pax River, the Navy would have to rely on NGA to perform sensor testing, at a cost of more than $150,000 per evaluation. It would also take more than a month to return the analysis to the team. By having the lab at Pax, each test is virtually free and it takes less than one week to turn around the data to the test team, Weinstein said.

“This level of testing will enable program offices to make smart budget decisions with respect to changes to the current network and current integration measures as well as future integration efforts,” Ellis said.

Typically, image analysts perform this function, but the evaluation proved that test engineers can analyze images and make effective mission-planning decisions.

“We are following the fly-fix-fly philosophy as we figure out solutions that will allow lower bandwidth platforms to send better quality video,” Weinstein added. “We need to understand if a platform can meet its mission and avoid it just flying out and burning fuel.”

The first imagery evaluation for MQ-4C Triton will be conducted after the team has data available from Triton’s first flight, which was conducted May 22 at Northrop Grumman’s facility in Palmdale, Calif. The image-quality lab team will evaluate the MQ-4C’s EO/Infrared and Synthetic Aperture Radar sensors.

“The ability to collect and share real-time Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance quickly and accurately is crucial to ensuring battle commanders have the enhanced situational awareness required for a successful mission,” said Capt. Jim Hoke, MQ-4C Triton program manager.

As an adjunct to the manned P-8 aircraft, Triton is intended to provide persistent maritime and littoral ISR data collection and dissemination capability to the fleet.

 




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
boeing-avianco

Boeing, Avianca celebrate delivery of airline’s first 787 Dreamliner

Boeing and Avianca have celebrated the delivery of the first 787 Dreamliner for the Latin American carrier, helping the airline stay at the forefront of technology in the region. “The addition of the first Boeing 787-8 to...
 
 
boeing-boc-737

Boeing, BOC Aviation finalize order for two additional 737-800s

Boeing and BOC Aviation have finalized an order for two additional 737-800s, valued at $186 million at current list prices. The order is a part of the Singapore-based leasing company’s effort to grow its portfolio of fuel...
 
 

Northrop Grumman names chief compliance officer

Northrop Grumman has named Carl Hahn vice president, chief compliance officer, effective Jan. 15, 2015. Hahn is succeeding Judy Perry Martinez, who will be retiring, and will report to Sheila C. Cheston, corporate vice president and general counsel. “Carl brings to his role at Northrop Grumman a tremendous breadth of experience in global compliance, investigations...
 

 

GPS modernization advances as eighth Boeing GPS IIF becomes sctive

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. ñ The eighth Boeing Global Positioning System IIF satellite has completed on-orbit checkout and joined the active 31-satellite constellation, helping the U.S. Air Force continue modernizing the network that millions of people worldwide use. The Air Force and Boeing have now put four GPS-IIF satellites into service this year, adding to the...
 
 
GPS-OCX

GPS III, OCX successfully demonstrate key satellite command, control capabilities

Lockheed Martin and Raytheon successfully completed the fourth of five planned launch and early orbit exercises to demonstrate new automation capabilities, information assurance and launch readiness of the worldís most powerfu...
 
 

Aerojet Rocketdyne successfully demonstrates 3D printed rocket propulsion system for satellites

Aerojet Rocketdyne has successfully completed a hot-fire test of its MPS-120 CubeSat High-Impulse Adaptable Modular Propulsion System. The MPS-120 is the first 3D-printed hydrazine integrated propulsion system and is designed to provide propulsion for CubeSats, enabling missions not previously available to these tiny satellites. The project was funded out of the NASA Office of Chief...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>