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Proceedings Paper

Advanced MicroObserver(R) UGS integration with and cueing of the BattleHawk(TM) squad level loitering munition and UAV
Author(s): Bob Steadman; John Finklea; James Kershaw; Cathy Loughman; Patti Shaffner; Dean Frost; Sean Deller
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Paper Abstract

Textron’s Advanced MicroObserver(R) is a next generation remote unattended ground sensor system (UGS) for border security, infrastructure protection, and small combat unit security. The original MicroObserver(R) is a sophisticated seismic sensor system with multi-node fusion that supports target tracking. This system has been deployed in combat theaters. The system’s seismic sensor nodes are uniquely able to be completely buried (including antennas) for optimal covertness. The advanced version adds a wireless day/night Electro-Optic Infrared (EOIR) system, cued by seismic tracking, with sophisticated target discrimination and automatic frame capture features. Also new is a field deployable Gateway configurable with a variety of radio systems and flexible networking, an important upgrade that enabled the research described herein. BattleHawkTM is a small tube launched Unmanned Air Vehicle (UAV) with a warhead. Using transmitted video from its EOIR subsystem an operator can search for and acquire a target day or night, select a target for attack, and execute terminal dive to destroy the target. It is designed as a lightweight squad level asset carried by an individual infantryman. Although BattleHawk has the best loiter time in its class, it’s still relatively short compared to large UAVs. Also it’s a one-shot asset in its munition configuration. Therefore Textron Defense Systems conducted research, funded internally, to determine if there was military utility in having the highly persistent MicroObserver(R) system cue BattleHawk’s launch and vector it to beyond visual range targets for engagement. This paper describes that research; the system configuration implemented, and the results of field testing that was performed on a government range early in 2013. On the integrated system that was implemented, MicroObserver(R) seismic detections activated that system’s camera which then automatically captured images of the target. The geo-referenced and time-tagged MicroObserver(R) target reports and images were then automatically forwarded to the BattleHawk Android-based controller. This allowed the operator to see the intruder (classified and geo-located) on the map based display, assess the intruder as likely hostile (via the image), and launch BattleHawk with the pre-loaded target coordinates. The operator was thus able to quickly acquire the intended target (without a search) and initiate target engagement immediately. System latencies were a major concern encountered during the research.

Paper Details

Date Published: 10 June 2014
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 9079, Ground/Air Multisensor Interoperability, Integration, and Networking for Persistent ISR V, 90790D (10 June 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2049645
Show Author Affiliations
Bob Steadman, TEXTRON Defense Systems (United States)
John Finklea, TEXTRON Defense Systems (United States)
James Kershaw, TEXTRON Defense Systems (United States)
Cathy Loughman, TEXTRON Defense Systems (United States)
Patti Shaffner, TEXTRON Defense Systems (United States)
Dean Frost, TEXTRON Defense Systems (United States)
Sean Deller, TEXTRON Defense Systems (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9079:
Ground/Air Multisensor Interoperability, Integration, and Networking for Persistent ISR V
Michael A. Kolodny, Editor(s)

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