Predators keep insurgents in view


In this IT in defence World Wide Wrap: Predators keep insurgents in view, Boeing to provide information assurance, Lockheed Martin awarded $42 million contract, and Rocketplane Kistler, ATK announce agreement.

Predators keep insurgents in view

Balad AB`s MQ-1 Predator unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) patrol the landscape – scanning for any signs of insurgent activity around Iraq. Back on the ground, tucked away in a dark room full of computer monitors, TV screens, keyboards and joysticks, members of the 46th Expeditionary Reconnaissance Squadron monitor the images sent down by the bird above.

Once the Predator is in the air, the pilot and sensor operator will locate a target point used to zero in the weapons system. The sensor operator works with an Airman on the ground to ensure the laser, which guides the Predator`s weapons system, is on target. When the weapons system has been zeroed in, the pilot prepares to hand off control of the UAV to people stationed halfway around the world at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada.

The Predator is protecting the lives of service-members stationed at Balad AB and travelling in convoys throughout Iraq. When identifying potential improvised explosive devices on the road, the Predator can alert convoys of dangers ahead. When recognising the source of mortar attacks, the Predator can pinpoint the location of those responsible so the quick-reaction forces can apprehend the suspects and prevent further attacks on coalition forces.

Boeing to provide information assurance

Boeing, in partnership with Tenix America, will provide an information management system able to route vital information between networks operating at different security levels.

Using integrated technology from both companies, the system will allow users to share and manage the flow of information between networks while protecting the integrity of each network domain.

The integrated Boeing solution provides access to information residing on distinct secure networks from a single server. It transfers data from a high-level security network to a lower-level security network, and vice versa. Applications include enterprise-wide storage and retrieval from multiple security levels where users routinely need access to multiple security domains to perform their mission, while increasing network productivity by preventing data storage replication.

Lockheed Martin awarded $42m contract

Lockheed Martin has received a $42 million contract to provide US Army surveillance aircraft with next-generation technology that will enable them to precisely locate the source of modern communication signals.

Called Communications High Accuracy Location Sub-systems – Compact (CHALS-C), the system features improved processing speed, enhanced capability and is substantially smaller and lighter than the current systems.

The system`s increased processing speed allows CHALS-C to detect multiple signal types simultaneously. Earlier generation systems could only process one signal sequentially. CHALS-C also uses a common data exchange format that enables interoperability with other precision location systems on a variety of platforms in search of signal emitters.

Rocketplane Kistler, ATK in K-1 agreement

Rocketplane Kistler (RpK) and Alliant Techsystems have announced that ATK will become the lead contractor for RpK`s K-1 launch vehicle, which was recently awarded a Space Act Agreement by NASA for the Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) programme.

The K-1 is a fully reusable space transportation system designed to provide cost-effective and reliable transport of cargo and science payloads to and from the International Space Station (ISS).

Under terms of the agreement, ATK will provide launch vehicle development, assembly, integration and test of the launch system, and will conduct launch and landing site development and launch vehicle preparation for the K-1. ATK will also develop and produce critical composite structures and subsystems for the pressurised and unpressurised K-1 cargo modules, and conduct vehicle recovery and refurbishment.