Scientists and engineers from MITRE Corporation and Harvard University published a paper this week revealing the development of what they call the most dense nanoelectronic system ever built. The ultra-small, ultra-low-power processor could be used for tiny robotics, unmanned vehicles and a broad range of commercial applications, including medical sensors.
The emergence of big data combined with the revolution in sensor technology is having a synergistic effect that promises a boom in both realms. The ability to fuse sensor data is spurring the growth of large databases that amass more information than previously envisioned. Similarly, the growth of big data capabilities is spawning new sensor technologies and applications that will feed databases’ ever-increasing and diverse types of information.
An upgrade featuring a lightweight sensor and software system added to smaller unmanned vehicles can provide capabilities similar to those available on larger vehicles. As the Defense Department realigns its operational focus to the Pacific, deployable forces, such as special operations teams and Marine Corps expeditionary forces, need high-quality airborne intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance. While such capabilities are normally provided by unmanned aircraft such as the MQ-1 Predator, smaller platforms have to meet this need for troops operating in remote areas. These smaller vehicles require fewer personnel and are easier to maintain, but they are also less capable.
To ease the load on weary warfighters inundated with too much information, U.S. Navy scientists are turning to artificial intelligence and cognitive reasoning technologies. Solutions that incorporate these capabilities could fill a broad array of roles, such as sounding the alarm when warfighters are about to make mistakes.
The U.S. Navy intends to deploy an arsenal of airborne, surface and underwater unmanned systems for its new shallow-water combat ship. The array of unmanned systems will extend the ship’s intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities, enhancing awareness of enemy activities, and will reduce the number of sailors deployed to minefields, saving lives.
The U.S. Navy is expanding its autonomous subsurface fleet with the introduction of a platform designed for persistent intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance as well as offensive capabilities.
A prototype sensor technology under development will enable soldiers to identify threats more rapidly in low-light environments and to share target images with other squad members. Consisting of several types of small multispectral cameras, the system will use smartphone technology in the form of a warfighter’s handheld mobile device to process and fuse the camera data into high-resolution color images for the soldier’s helmet display. That display imagery can then be transmitted wirelessly to other soldiers.
The latest results in graphene research show promise for improving electronics and biological or chemical sensors by pushing or pulling liquid droplets across the surface. By placing long chemical gradients onto the graphene, scientists can control the substances’ flow.
New World Solutions Inc., Herndon, Va., was awarded a $35,748,885 cost-plus-fixed-fee, non-option-eligible, non-multi-year contract to provide the National Guard Intelligence Center with applied remote sensing image science support. The U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command (Charlottesville), Charlottesville, Va., is the contracting activity (W911W5-13-D-0001).
Georgia Tech Applied Research Corp., Atlanta, Ga., has been awarded a $24,973,043 cost-plus-fixed-fee, delivery order on an indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract (HC1047-05-D-4000-0241) for the SENSIAC program executive office for command, control, communications, computers and intelligence (C4I), sensors development and integration engineering functions.
Researchers are developing new ways of enabling troops inside personnel carriers to see their outside environment without increasing their vulnerability to hostile fire. The goal is to provide enhanced 360-degree situational awareness from sensors installed on a vehicle as well as from other off-board cameras in the area.
Electric Boat Corp., Groton, Conn., is being awarded a $7,562,531 cost-plus-fixed-fee modification to previously awarded contract for the continued procurement and development of a Sea Sentry mast and sensor. The Supervisor of Shipbuilding Conversion and Repair, Groton, Conn., is the contracting activity.
The concept connects disparate networks to provide greater information to warfighters.
U.S. military officials envision one day being able to network together virtually all airborne assets, providing data to warfighters in the air, on the ground and at sea, even under the most harsh conditions. Major milestones in the coming months and years will bring that concept closer to a fielded capability.
Raytheon Company, McKinney, Texas, has been awarded a maximum $14,606,048 firm-fixed-price, sole-source contract for sensor-sight turrets. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Aviation, Philadelphia, Pa.
Unmanned vehicles may become joint platforms as new software allows operators using a standard control system to use craft employed by different services. So, an Army squad deep in the battlefield may be able to use data accessed directly from a Navy unmanned aerial vehicle to bring an Air Force strike to bear against enemy forces.
Technology Service Corp., Silver Spring, Md., was awarded an indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, cost-plus-fixed-fee contract with a maximum value of $19 million for the development of a route optimization for survivability against sensors system. The Army Contracting Command, Fort Eustis, Va., is the contracting activity.
Sage Management Enterprise LLC, Columbia, Md., is being awarded a $7,955,374 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for advanced multi-integration sensor engineering reports.This contract provides advanced systems engineering, research, and analysis of sensors, networks, and ground stations spanning multiple disciplines to enable the future fielding of operational capabilities.
Raytheon Co., Largo, Fla., is being awarded a $30,020,420 cost-plus-fixed-fee and cost-only modification to previously awarded contract for design agent and engineering services in support of the Cooperative Engagement Capabilities (CEC) program. The CEC is a sensor netting system that significantly improves battle force anti-air warfare capability by extracting and distributing sensor-derived information such that the superset of this data is available to all participating CEC units.
Lockheed Martin Corp., Marietta, Ga., is being awarded a $7,340,724 contract modification for incorporation of Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasures (LAIRCM) NexGen Sensors onto HC/MC-130J aircraft. The contracting activity is the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio.