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.


 
 

 
U.S. Chamber of Commerce photograph

Boeing, Embraer to collaborate on ecoDemonstrator technology tests

U.S. Chamber of Commerce photograph Frederico Curado, president & CEO of Embraer, and Marc Allen, president of Boeing International, at the Brazil-U.S. Business Summit in Washington, D.C. The event occurred during an offici...
 
 
LM-Legion

Lockheed Martin’s Legion Pod™ takes to skies

Lockheed Martin photograph by Randy Crites Lockheed Martin’s Legion Pod recently completed its first flight test, successfully tracking multiple airborne targets while flying on an F-16 in Fort Worth, Texas. Legion Pod was in...
 
 

Raytheon wins U.S. Army contract award

Will provide R&D for ground vehicles, ground robotics The U.S. Army Contracting Command ñ Warren recently awarded Raytheon the TACOM Strategic Service Solutions indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contract. The five-year multiple-award vehicle has a ceiling value of $634 million. The agreement covers future work on sensors, fire control systems, active protection systems, and robotics...
 

 

Lockheed Martin’s EW pod delivers proven ability to protect, control electromagnetic spectrum

Lockheed Martin is testing an electronic warfare pod in the company’s advanced anechoic chamber. The pod is designed to fit a variety of platforms, and is a self-contained electronic warfare package, encompassing an entire suite of capabilities in one unit.  Electronic warfare is the art and science of controlling the electromagnetic spectrum—from jamming enemy communications...
 
 
Northrop Grumman photograph

Northrop, Navy successfully conduct E-2D Advanced Hawkeye aerial refueling CDR

Northrop Grumman photograph An E-2C test aircraft assigned to Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 20 conducts an aerial refueling dry-plug engagement with an F/A-18. Northrop Grumman along with the U.S. Navy have successfully...
 
 

Northrop, Navy celebrate legacy of EA-6B Prowler

Northrop Grumman photograph by Edgar Mills The U.S. Navy’s last operational EA-6B Prowler, designed and built by Northrop Grumman, lifts off from Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, Wash. in a ceremonial fly-away June 27 from its long time operational base. The Navy is retiring the Prowler after nearly 45 years of service.   The U.S....
 




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=""> <s> <strike> <strong>